How to save money travelling home
As every semester slowly winds to an end, you’ll no doubt get the persistent messages from your family and friends at home wondering when you’re going to get back for catch-ups and some family downtime. You have to go back sometime, whether that be straight after the semester ends or after a few extra days of work and play, but your travel options look expensive and lengthy (even if you’ve successfully managed your money throughout the semester).
Get a 16-25 Railcard
If you don’t drive and there is a train station close to your home and uni, getting a 16-25 railcard is definitely a good call. You will save ⅓ on your fare which means that after parting with the £30 or £70 (depending on whether you want it for one or three years), it will only take a few trips to make up for the money spent. If you like travelling back home and to visit friends over the weekends as well, railcards are useful in saving a sensible sum.
Take time to play around with train tickets
This is going to sound really bizarre, but some train stations have tickets that are more expensive than others or have certain trains that are cheaper at some times than others. For example, if you are going to Birmingham from Bournemouth, the trains vary a lot: it can cost £131 for a 9hr journey at 21:22 but then only £30 for a 5hr journey at 20:12.
Megabus/National Express buses
These coaches are a really good, cheap option for travelling around major cities, especially to and from London. They might take a bit longer than the train, but they are very simple in that you can just turn up and get on the coach, plug your headphones in, then not have to worry about stopping off at multiple stations, getting your ticket out for the ticket inspector or moving your bags for the trolley to fit through.
Ask around at uni, you may be surprised to find out that there are people driving that are keen to take a few passengers on in exchange for petrol money (sometimes they might even just like the company).