There are so many modes of transport these days that it can be easy to get lost. From trains to planes and cars to skateboards; the reality is we need transport to get around because walking just isn’t always practical.

Despite the fact we need transport to get around, it doesn’t stop us paying through the roof for it – especially when commuting or going on holiday. We’ve compiled a guide of things to think about before you book your next flight, train ticket or trip to visit a friend so that you can try to reduce the amount you spend on travel.

The Train

The invention of the train in 1804 brought a new meaning to the term ‘travel’. Suddenly, 3000 miles would take only days to cover rather than months. Over the years, the original steam train has been developed and re-invented to produce modern trains, trams and tubes, although steam trains do still operate.

Although the rail network has provided much of the world with what is now considered invaluable transport connections, the cost of travelling on a train can be far less desirable.

In the UK, rail fares increase every year which has a significant financial effect on frequent train users such as commuters. There are, however, some ways in which the cost of train travel can be reduced – not just for leisure purposes, but business too.

If you are used to taking the train to work every day, you’ll know that there are advantages to buying season tickets over daily tickets, and bigger advantages still of using an annual ticket to get to work. However, if you are between the ages of 16 and 25, it can work out cheaper to buy daily tickets with a 16-25 railcard. The railcard allows you to save up to a third on train travel, with a minimum payment of £12 during peak times. So, if your return journey costs more than £12 (whether using a season ticket or otherwise), you could save some serious cash over the year by buying dailies.

Some rail networks such as Southeastern run a ‘Keycard’ scheme whereby you can load prepaid tickets onto one card and use that to travel – similarly to an Oyster Card. This avoids the hassle of buying a train ticket every day.

If you don’t commute to work using public transport, but you do frequently use the train, railcards are a brilliant way of saving some extra dosh. There are loads of railcards for a variety of travellers so it’s worth checking out the website and doing a little bit of research to find out if you could save too.

Buying in advance will also reduce the amount you have to pay for your train ticket if you are travelling cross-country, however beware that some booking sites will charge a booking fee, so it’s always advisable to visit the trainline’s website directly.

The Bus

The bus is another great form of public transport and is often much cheaper than the train. Using buses may take longer but they can also be more direct which can help decrease costs of transfers from the station to your house, for example.

In London, taking the bus is considerably cheaper than using the tube. For example, the daily cap on bus fares is £4.50 whereas the daily cap on a tube (using pay as you go) is £12.80 between zones 1-6, that’s a difference of over £8 per day!

If you are travelling around London – perhaps visiting for the day, it’s worth checking a map before you travel as many places are within walking distance of each other. For example, walking from Victoria Station to Hyde Park will only take around 30 minutes – although if it’s raining this may not be a great option!

A downside to buses however is not knowing when one will arrive – we all know the saying ‘wait an hour for one bus then three will come along at once!’ While in major cities bus stops may have electronic boards advising people when the next bus is likely to arrive, this is not a luxury that is afforded to many towns and villages. This can make buses an unreliable mode of transport if you need to get somewhere by a certain time.

The Car

And this is why cars are so handy – and tend to become the first port of call whenever you need to get anywhere. Because we have become so dependent on cars, we’ve put together a small list of things you can do to reduce the cost driving.

  • Shop around for insurance. When your car insurance renewal is due, your insurance company will send you a letter quoting your premium for the next year. It is very likely that you will get a much better deal elsewhere. Use comparison sites to find a quote that suits you, and if you don’t want to move insurers (perhaps there’s a particular policy that sits well with you) – always ring them and discuss it. If you tell them you’ve found cheaper insurance elsewhere, they might lower their premium to keep you as a customer – it’s worth a shot! Even doing a quote online with the same company can be cheaper than automatically renewing your policy.
  • Car Share. If you make a journey frequently and in the same or similar direction as friends or family, car sharing is a great way to halve the cost of travel. Either take turns to drive or set up an agreement to split the petrol costs between you. Car sharing also reduces the negative effect cars have on the environment.
  • Drive in the right gear. Driving in a low gear at high speeds means your engine is working unnecessarily hard – shift to a higher gear and watch the revs drop. Each car is different, but for the best fuel efficiency your revolutions per minute (RPM) should be around 1500 to 2000 RPM when driving at constant speed.
  • The Roof Rack. Although it’s one of those chores you keep meaning to do but never get around to, taking the roof rack off can massively reduce the amount of fuel you use when driving.

There is a whole wealth of advice on the internet on ways to save fuel and make your driving more efficient – you may not be able to accommodate all of them but changing a few habits here and there could make all the difference. If you are buying a car, consider the car’s efficiency and miles per gallon (MPG) – electric cars are becoming ever more popular, especially as some are exempt from road tax.

The Plane

However convenient driving is over buses and trains and trams, you cannot drive across an ocean (although you CAN drive underneath the channel!). Sometimes flying is the easiest way to get from A to B, but many can be put off by expensive flight costs and added extras.

Fortunately, there are tools out there to help everyone and anyone find affordable travel for whatever occasion. Whether it’s a weekend away or a huge family holiday, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.

Flight comparison sites are a must when it comes to booking your holiday. There are a few around but some are better than others. Some airlines will offer package holidays whereby you can book a hotel and flights at the same time which often works out cheaper than booking it separately.

Other things to think about include airport transfers, car parking at the airport, snacks for the journey and luggage limitations. It’s common on many flights these days to have to pay extra for your baggage. It’s worth checking out these costs before even attempting to book your flights, and to consider whether it’s easier to put one bag in the hold or carry multiple hand luggage items.

Flying during the school holidays can mean paying almost double for your plane tickets, so if you have the luxury to fly outside of these times – it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

Booking well in advance is also a good tip to ensure you get a good price. However, flights to different countries can peak at different times. For example, the best time to book flights to Spain is around five weeks before you travel, whereas the best time to book flights to the US is twenty-one weeks in advance.

There are loads of travel blogs which offer country and airline specific information so – as with anything finance related – always research before you buy!

In Conclusion...

Transport costs are necessary, but it doesn’t make it any easier on your pocket. There are ways to reduce your travel budget, but it takes a little time and thought. Talk to friends and family to see if they have any tricks they use when booking tickets and have a search online as there are plenty of websites and forums dedicated to helping people save money.

Loans at

Some travel costs are unavoidable and unexpected which is why a payday loan or a multi-month loan from could come in handy. Available 24/7, a loan could be just the ticket (excuse the pun!) you need. Please be aware that short term loans have high interest rates, so make sure that the loan is affordable prior to applying as late payments may lead to serious money problems. As always, read the T&Cs and travel responsibly!