Five Tips for Budget Travel in the UK

Budget Travel in the UK - Scotland
Budget Travel in the UK - Scotland
The Rocky Summit of Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

The UK is NOT cheap. In fact, with the proliferation of low-cost European airlines, the cheapest thing to do is probably jump on a plane to a sunnier and more affordable location! If you insist on exploring this sceptred isle with your limited funds, then I will show you how to travel cheaply in style like a sophisticated hobo. Here are five tips for budget travel in the UK.

#1 Catch the Megabus

Similar to the stagecoaches that would have ran the turnpike in ages gone by, modern coaches travel the breadth and depth of UK.

Fares can be extremely cheap, from £1 in some cases. These run to and from cities all over the UK, and are a cheap way to to cover long distances. Also, there is always a toilet onboard.

Megabuses also often have a service running to and from airports. Check the routes here.

#2 Book Trains the Smart Way

Train travel in the UK is all too often overcrowded, expensive, and inconvenient. Nevertheless, the rail network is well developed, and will take you to all corners of the country.

The pricing system however, is an unfathomable abomination.

Not only is it sometimes cheaper to travel a longer distance than a shorter one, but sometimes two singles can be inexplicably cheaper than a return ticket.

In order to avoid such frustrating fuckwittery, try using a website like the Split Ticketing tool. This experiments with splitting the journey at different points in order to find the cheapest possible fare.

Whatever you do, don’t buy from TheTrainLine or any of their lousy counterparts that will charge you a booking fee for the privilege, when you can just as easily book through National Rail.

Also, book your tickets early. Advance tickets are usually purchasable until up to the day before travel, but cheapest tickets are on sale the weeks before. If you will travel extensively, consider getting a rail pass.

#3 Share a Ride

Paris-based and operating over Western Europe, Bla Bla car is the biggest carpooling service in the UK. It allows you to put in a destination, and find others heading that way in their own private vehicle that you can jump in.

In a way it’s like formalised hitch-hiking; but making sure that you contribute towards the cost of fuel.

#4 Stay out of London

London is a wallet-bleeding, head-spinning metropolis, and to say it is difficult to do on a budget is an understatement.

Should you find yourself on a tight budget in London, leave. This should be very easy to do as London is possibly the most connected place on earth.

Note: There are many wonderful free and cheap things to do in London, but you are likely to spend a small fortune in the business of eating, sleeping, and getting to and from them.

#5 Buy a Local SIM

Depending on where you live, your local phone plan may have the ability to roam in the UK, but this is likely to be expensive, and with Brexit on the horizon is likely to become only more so.

If you want to stay connected on the cheap, or keep in touch with friends back home, then the best option might be buying a local SIM.

How about some more?

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