Travelling in the UK doesn’t have to cost a bundle. By planning carefully, you can easily stick to your budget while having a fantastic time. With helpful ways to save on everything from dining to accommodations to international phone calls and more, these tips will help your money go further.
How to Save Money when Travelling in the UK
Find comfortable accommodations for less
As you might suspect, UK accommodations can cost a bundle – particularly if you stick with famous hotels or opt to stay within a few minutes of major attractions. Here are a few ways to spend less:
- Search for a B&B that’s located a little bit off the beaten track.
- Consider staying at a hostel, particularly if you are travelling on your own.
- Try Couchsurfing for an ultra-cheap stay, or consider using Airbnb or a similar house rental. Some house-swapping sites also include car swaps, adding to the savings. Be sure to check references if you consider any of these options! Most people mean well and the majority of users are highly satisfied – still, it’s best to weed out any bad eggs ahead of time.
Take advantage of public transportation
Public transportation is popular throughout most of the UK and there are many options to choose from. Be sure to take advantage of buses and coaches, as well as services like London’s famous Underground and National Rail, with its inexpensive BritRail passes. Additionally, consider using Megatrain or Megabus services. These are just a few examples of the largest, most popular options. With a bit of careful planning, you can use public transportation to get around the UK without spending a fortune on car rentals and taxicabs.
Save money on international phone calls
Thanks to VoIP services, it’s no longer cost-prohibitive to communicate while you’re travelling. Whether you’re calling the United Kingdom to make travel plans, talk to friends or loved ones, or get information, this method of calling costs just pennies per minute. By downloading an app onto your favourite device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) and then using WiFi to connect, you bypass costly cell service while still having complete access to all the contacts in your phone book. You can also direct dial cellphones and landline numbers. VoIP services like Viber Out work whether you’re within your cell provider’s range or not – all you need is a free app, a calling plan that costs just a few dollars, and an internet connection. Chat away!
Be flexible, book early, and spend some time hunting for bargains
Whether you’re planning for an international flight, a ferry trip, or an overnight trip in a sleeper car, you’re likely to save more money if you can be flexible about timing and purchase your tickets well in advance of your planned travel dates. Searching for cheap travel rates is time-consuming, but feels less painful if you think of it as an investment. Keeping an eye on sites such as dealsqueen and hotdiscountcode will help you source voucher codes to save you money on your purchases.
Look into indirect flights and eliminate frills
Direct flights often cost more than indirect ones do, and sometimes the price difference can be impressive. If you opt to omit extras such as priority boarding, you may be able to save even more – and you’ll save some money (and eat better) if you bring your own snacks along. Look into your options and prepare to be amazed at some of the deals you find.
Reserve restaurant meals for special occasions
If you plan most of your meals around simple foods that you can purchase at popular markets like Aldi, Sainsbury’s or Lidl, you’ll save a massive amount of money during your UK trip. If you want to dine out without spending much, your best option is probably a kebab or fish and chips meal, or perhaps an Indian or Asian meal. Lunches tend to cost less than dinners, and as with other destinations, you’ll typically spend less at establishments frequented by locals rather than tourists.
Visit museums and art galleries
Many UK attractions are free to visit, either full-time or on certain days of the year. Certain castles and historic sites do come with small fees attached, so conduct a bit of research and look for savings and two-for-one vouchers, which you can usually find online. Researching in advance and planning your itinerary might be a less free-spirited way to see the sights, but planning ahead will help you save money.
Consider inclusive tours
If you don’t have much time to plan your trip, inclusive tours may help you save money on UK travel basics such as international flight, hotel accommodations, rental cars, and more.