London is notoriously expensive. Worse still, paying for travel to the capital can often leave you out of pocket even before you’ve arrived. This guide will help you save money on a major necessity, allowing you to see the city and fully enjoy your stay without being burdened with pricey expenditures.

Train

train

If you aren’t clued up, travelling to London from anywhere in UK is likely to take its toll on your budget. Here are a few tricks and tips that will help cut costs when travelling by train that could save you hundreds of pounds.

 

Anytime Return Tickets

Don’t buy your tickets on the day you decide to travel. As you can see from the table below, purchasing an anytime return ticket to London Kings Cross from UK cities will set you back a lot of money.

Newcastle LeedsManchesterLiverpoolBirmingham GlasgowEdinburgh
*Train (£)301249327307170358304

*Based on Anytime Return Ticket bought on the day of travel to King’s Cross station

 

Advanced Tickets

Although there are cheaper alternatives to travelling on the train, it is still an affordable option. Buying your tickets in advance will help you save a huge amount of money – up to a huge 80%.

By law, National Rail have to release their journey timetables and accompanying tickets 3 months in advance. This means that there are some amazing deals for you to take advantage of and you can organise your trip with ample time to spare.

NewcastleLeedsManchesterLiverpoolBirminghamGlasgowEdinburgh
*Train (£)129.10103.3087.6087.6056.80**139.80134.20

*Based on cheapest off-peak/ super off peak open return ticket to London King’s Cross from http://www.thetrainline.com/

**Off Peak Day Travelcard

 

Railcards

Railcards are fantastic for those travelling long distances as you’re guaranteed to save money. And, if you’re lucky enough to be aged between 16 and 25, you are eligible for a young person’s railcard which will save you 1/3 on your train travel.

Book on the day or take full advantage of the benefits a railcard provides by booking in advance with your railcard.

NewcastleLeedsManchesterLiverpoolBirminghamGlasgowEdinburgh
*Train (£)85.2068.2057.8057.8037.592.2588.60

*Based on cheapest open return ticket to London King’s Cross station with 16-25 Railcard.

 

Spilt Train Tickets

You can also slash the price of your train ticket by purchasing each part of your journey separately – even though you’ll still be travelling on exactly the same train.

This method is allowed within the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and there is only one rule – the train must call at every stations present on the tickets.

It can be slightly confusing so to find out more about this method of train travel try using this useful tool! It’ll really help to cut down on cost, leaving you with more money to spend when you get to London!

 

Deals

Take advantage of deals being promoted by train services. Here’s a useful list to will come in handy when you’re trying to find cheap train fares.

 

Bus

bus

 

If you’re unfazed about a slightly longer journey whilst travelling to London then hopping on a bus could prove to be a far cheaper proposition than travelling by train, or anything else for that matter.

Mega Bus offer some unbelievably cheap deals that even those on the smallest budget would be able to afford. So cheap in fact that you can get a ticket from some of the UK biggest cities to London for £1.50. Incredible.

NewcastleLeedsManchesterLiverpoolBirminghamGlasgowEdinburgh
*Megabus (£)2.501.501.506.52.509.5011.50

*Based on individual tickets to London and back over the next 3 months (including 50p

 

You can even pay a little bit extra if you are travelling from Scotland, Cardiff, Bristol or Plymouth and upgrade to a Sleeper Ticket.

These tickets includes a seat on a bus as well as your very own bed, with access to free wi-fi and complimentary snack and beverages. Check out their website for more details about cheap ways to travel to the London from the UK or Europe.

If you can’t find the deal you want through MegaBus, there are others options available too. If you’re travelling from across the UK, National Express also offer budget travel as well as 2 for 1 tickets from a range of destinations to London.

 

Car

M1_J6a_J10_22

If you’re planning on driving to London, check out this awesome tool which will help you plan your journey. It will tell you the best route, how many miles you’ll be travelling and how much you’ll pay on petrol for your vehicle.

Alternatively, you could sign up to a car sharing website where you have the option of offering fellow travellers a lift or jumping in someone else’s car.

This can be an extremely cost effective method of travelling as you’ll only have to pay for your share of the petrol.

BlaBlaCar, the world’s leading long-distance ridesharing platform, has shared 5 amazing reasons for why travelling via car share is a fantastic, cost-effective method of travel:

  1. Save money

If you don’t have a car, ridesharing is a great way to avoid spending a small fortune on the train. Find a driver travelling the same way and book a seat with them, and, on average, you’ll save 79% compared to taking a train, meaning peak fares are a thing of the past.

PASSENGERS: ONE-WAY

LiverpoolManchesterNewcastleSwansea
Train Ticket  (One–Way) (£)135135154124.50
BlaBlaCar (One–Way) (£)17162214
Savings (£)118119132110.50

Train prices from thetrainline.com for cheapest standard single travelling the next day between 5 – 6pm.

DRIVERS: ONE-WAY

LiverpoolManchesterNewcastleSwansea
Fuel cost of journey (£)43415737
Savings for drivers with two passengers (£)34324428

  1. A Social Way to Travel

Ridesharing is a great opportunity to meet new people. If you’re regularly commuting for hours on empty motorways, a good conversation can make a long journey so much more enjoyable, and a lot of people end up staying in touch after their journeys.

  1. You Make the Rules

Ridesharing lets you take back control of your travel and tailor your journey to better suit you. Before you travel, BlaBlaCar let you choose whether you want to travel with smokers or non-smokers, if pets are allowed, and what kind of music you want to listen to on the journey. Members can even specify how chatty they are from ‘Bla’ to ‘BlaBlaBla’ – hence the name BlaBlaCar.

 

  1. A Greener Way to Travel

Sharing a ride means fewer cars are on the road, as each driver is making the most of the seats they already have. This in turn means less pollution – what’s not to love about that!

  1. A Trusted choice

Drivers and passengers choose their travelling partners before they go, reading each other’s verified profiles and past reviews to make an informed decision.  All platforms have dedicated moderation and customer services teams for increased peace of mind.

Check out these sites for more information:

Check out our first article in this series to find out how to save on accommodation whilst staying in London and our third article that details affordable activities to do once you’re here.

Planning your trip to London?  Find out more about Clink78 and Clink261, or visit our group accommodation page to find out more about our rates and best deals.