Monday, September 23, 2013

Cutting the Costs of London Travel

London has become notorious for its high costs of living, but with a little savvy and careful budgeting, you can avoid some of the expenses. Your travel expenses will take up a large portion of your budget, so if you can find ways to cut back and save here, you’ll make your money go a lot further. Be aware of all the offers available to you in the capital so you can spend wisely.

If you’re thinking of moving to London, leave your car elsewhere. Driving is a nightmare in this city, with traffic and the congestion charge making your car the least affordable and most aggravating mode of transportation available. What’s more, London has many great public transport options to explore, so there’s no excuse to overspend on petrol and charges. Make sure you have an Oyster card from day 1 to use on the tube and on buses; this card has replaced paper tickets for most London commuters thanks to its cheap deposit cost of £5, convenience and reduced ticket pricing. The Oyster card is best used for simple journeys and daily commutes; if you have a day with a particularly lengthy trip broken up into complicated routes then it may be cheaper to buy a Travelcard, so check the costs before setting off.

If you commute and travel regularly, you can also look into a season ticket. These work on a weekly, monthly or annual basis, with the annual ticket offering particularly good value for money; it will save you the cost of about 2 months commuting expenses. The annual pass will also get you a free Gold Card, which will get you an additional third off the cost of your rail and tube tickets.
Make sure you’re getting all you can from the London transport system. Are you over 60, or do you have a disability? If so, you’re probably eligible for the Freedom Pass, a special pass that will get you free transport in London if you’re a resident. This could certainly save you a fortune if you’re not currently utilising it. If you’re a war veteran and receiving payments from the War Pensions Scheme then you can claim your War Veterans Pass, which will also allow you free transport. If you’re receiving Job Seekers Allowance or are unemployed then ask at your local Jobcentre about the reduced rates available to you on transport; you could be able to pay child rates on tickets bought with cash, half rates on Oyster card payments and Travel cards and bus passes at reduced prices. There are also discounts available for students: a special 18+ Oyster card for those in full time education can save you 30% on all your tickets and Travelcards. If you find that you fit into any of these categories then act now to start saving money.

One of the best ways to cut costs while travelling in London is to avoid public transport as much as possible. This is particularly good for those low on money, such as those who need to take out payday loans just to get by. Especially if you’re spending most of your day in the centre of the city, you may find that the distances above ground are far shorter than the tube would lead you to believe. For example, many people take the tube from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch, without realising that it’s really only a few minutes walk away. You could improve your fitness and enjoy more fresh air, along with saving a little extra cash, if you took some of your bus and tube journeys by foot. Cycling is another great way of getting around in the capital, especially now that London has been revamped with improved cycle lanes and a plethora of affordable cycle hire schemes. Get out there and explore the city by wheel and you could make a considerable impact on your savings.
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  1. I need these tips because London is indeed in my bucket list of places I want to visit before I die.

  2. Wait a minute, smiles. London's public transit is very reasonable. The platform is what most everyone uses there to get around. Automobile ownership is very expensive so people resort to the platform. The passes is a great idea for people who work and need it on a daily basis.

  3. Biking and walking would be great because I plan to take lots of pictures in London :)