Every student goes through some financial hardships. There are bills to pay, new devices and books to buy, not to mention the need to drink your favourite beer at campus parties. Studying in Great Britain (whatever that means!) is amazing due to the diverse environment and rich history. However, it is incredibly challenging if you are an international student living on a budget because it may take long before you discover the best deals for your money. It is better if you have already been on a budget abroad and you found best ice cream in Spanish for cheap. But with a few budget saving hacks, you can save a lot of Euros when studying in the United Kingdom. Here, you’ll find every trick you need to save on your travels and avoid costly fares when heading to college.
Travelling by rail
Are you aware that the favourite mode of transport for the Queen of England is the train? Actually, it is the best means of travelling around London for anyone. The old rail system is always busy and can get you just anywhere. Trains are quick and they provide direct connections between the cities and towns. You already know that finding the cheapest but legit research paper writing service in UK is a daunting task. Similarly, a low-cost train ticket is not easy to come by. When planning your routes, a few tips can help you pay less.
- Buy the ticket in advance
Often, train tickets are available for booking at least 2½ months before the actual day of travel. You can get advance tickets online but they are quite inflexible. You can only use the ticket at the specified time. While you can also book an advance ticket a day before travelling, there will be fewer discounts to enjoy. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the ticket clerk for the cheapest options.
- Travel during off-peak hours
Off-peak hours are called unsociable hours for good reasons. But they help to save a lot of money. Travelling from 7 pm in the evening is cheaper than in the morning hours or 4 pm when everyone is trying to get home. Also, the period between 9 am and 2 pm is off-peak and less expensive. You might also want to change the day of travel. If possible, avoid weekdays and travel more during weekends.
- Find a Railcard
This card will cost you some pounds but you will have a lot to save in the long run. Both 18-25 and Two Together railcards can save up to 30% of your travel expenses. The 18-25 is age restricted though while the 2-together card is perfect for any age. Some students’ accounts by different banks include free railcards so you might want to research on this package.
- Split tickets and don’t change
Surprisingly, purchasing individual tickets is less expensive for the most essential parts of your trip than getting a single ticket for a whole trip. If you are moving from town X to Z through Y, you’d better get two train tickets: one for X-Y and another for Y-Z. You don’t have to change the train because as long as it stops at Y, your ticket is valid.
- Check prices on discount sites
A lot of websites can do the math for you e.g. Megatrain, Trainline, and Raileasy. These sites provide cheaper train tickets. You can also use their inbuilt tools to determine the cheapest ways of moving around the UK cities.
- BritRail for international students
Every overseas student needs to get this ticket. It is not only affordable but also one of the most flexible travel tickets in Britain. It comes in different forms to suit different needs. Basically, you pay a one-time fee that gives you unlimited privileges of train transport across British cities within specific durations. With a fixed price, you don’t need to worry about cost inflation during your most important journeys. Moreover, it comes with a discount package for students who are between 16 and 25 years old.
Taking a Megabus
Buses seem confusing at first but they are always cheaper if you are a bit patient with the bus stations. You may not find this mode of travel to be classy but it is very effective and less costly. To enjoy a surprisingly cheap fare, go to National Express or Megabus websites. A good idea is to compare the bus fare between these two providers and choose a mega seat. The National Express offers tickets from £5 and £1 booking fee. Megabus covers similar routes as the National Express but charges zero booking fee.
This is a cost-effective way to get around your college. It saves up to 79% of the train tickets you would buy during an off-peak period. A good carpooling option is the UberX cars. You can download the uberPOOL app on your mobile phone. Once you pay the fare online, you are matched with a rider who’s heading to your direction.
Get a bike or walk
With a bike, you can save money, time and live a healthier lifestyle especially if your diet usually consists of space cakes. It is the easiest mode of moving around a high-traffic route. Plus, a bike is cheap and demands minimal maintenance. Instead of taking a taxi for short trips, why not put on your sports shoes, walk around, and burn calories?
International students studying in Britain face a lot of challenges trying to cope with the ridiculously high prices in this Kingdom. You shouldn’t be scared to apply for UK scholarships because, as you have seen, there is an abundance of ways to explore the UK cities and save your money. It is recommended that you do a lot of research to bag a bargain without a hassle.