How to catch the train without being taken for a ride: travel tips to make getting around cheaper
Finding a way to get around the region can be difficult and is increasingly expensive.
But there are ways to ease the cost and grab a few deals along the way, writes Amy Grayland.
Prices are rising everywhere but luckily there are ways to beat the rises, even when it comes to travelling around.
Firstly, if you get your fuel from Morrisons, the 'Jam Doughnut' app offers cash back on Morrisons fuel vouchers.
Usually this is five per cent, but sometimes, it gets boosted. This may seem like a small amount initially, but over the course of months and years it can really add up. The Jam Doughnut app can also gain you instant cash back on Uber gift cards, meaning you can save money on taxi fares too.
Another money saving tip for when travelling in your car is to make sure the air con is switched off, unless you really need it. It is obvious advice, but the savings can add up over time as air con increases your fuel consumption.
Secondly, you can buy railcards, which involve spending money initially but then reaping the benefits.
There are a few different types: 16-25 railcard; Senior Railcard for people aged 60 and over; Two Together railcard; Disabled Persons railcard; 26-30 railcard; Family and Friends railcard; Network railcard; 16-17 saver railcard and finally a Veterans railcard.
Spend some time to see what could work for you.
The railcard.co.uk website will guide you towards which is the best choice. Railcards save you up to a third of selected train fares, and sometimes, on long journeys, the saving on the train trip can pay back the value of the rail card straight away.
An extra money saving tip is that you can use Tesco Clubcard points to pay for or towards a railcard, meaning you may be able to get it even cheaper. When Clubcard points are used on their partner sites, they double in value, so this can make for a great saving or perhaps even pay for the full card if you have enough points. There are also regular discount codes available online for rail cards and I would recommend simply Googling “rail card discount codes” to find the latest offerings as these vary regularly.
When travelling via train, also ensure you’re getting the best prices. The Trainline app and website now automatically searches for “split fares”. This means it may break your journey up into multiple tickets, which makes the journey cheaper than what you would have paid originally.
This is fantastic that this is now automatically being applied when searching for trains on the Trainline. Travelling outside of peak times, keeping your eye on fares and booking them in advance will also save you money.
If you’re travelling as a family, or as a group of people, you may find the fares work out less to buy a family or group ticket.
This applies to the trains, buses and trams. Trams often work out cheaper than trains too, they can take a little longer but can sometimes be a huge saving which is worth considering.
If you’re regularly travelling on public transport, ensure you’ve looked into seasonal passes, as again these will save you money.
Finally, consider your options. There are other ways to get around other than by rail or road.
Have you ever considered travelling on a National Express coach?
The fares for these coaches can work out very reasonably priced and can save a lot of hassle on finding parking - could work out cheaper than paying for fuel and parking charges. It’s worth looking into if you’re planning a city break or trip to the seaside.
Other carriers can be even cheaper. Look up the websites for the likes of Megabus or Flixbus and see what they can offer you.
And there are plenty of sites, such as checkmybus.co.uk, that can allow you to type in destinations and will search for the best deal across all carriers. If you are happy to go by road, and have more time to space for the journey, coach travel could be just the ticket.