UK Transportation Tips

UKTraveTips-smHow should I get around the UK while on holiday?

Most commonly asked at the end of a tour, or by family and friends before a trip.

The simple answer is that there are a few options to getting around the UK (Excluding Getting across to Northern Ireland):

  • Train (Intercity) – Quickest & Economical.
  • Coach (National express, MegaBus) – Often Cheapest but Slow.
  • Car Hire – Most Expensive but most flexible.

Most people will end up using a combination of these when planning their travel. So lets look at each in more detail.

Trains

The easiest way to book is via the discount websites like TheTrainLine.com & RedSpottedHankey.com.

Bookingaticket

Nearly identical to booking flights online there is a booking section in the top left simply put in your starting point and ending point and it will give you options for trains. (EXAMPLE: thetrainline.com booking widget to the right)

Things to note:

  • Number of Changes – The less changes normally means the shortest travel time.
  • Travel Time (Total) – The more changes often means increased time
  • End station – There is often many train stations in larger towns and cities make sure you check where you will end up.

Pros: Cost Effective (Time/Cost), Comfortable, quick, Great for North/South travel & Intercity

Cons: Limited network (not all small towns), busy/crowded on major routes, time tables can be limited, Hard to go east west direct, Need to Prebook for cheap tickets

Coach

If you are not in a rush but are on a budget this is the way to go. London to Glasgow for less than £20 is possible with discount coach travel like MegaBus.co.uk. Bring a book, tablet and be prepared to endure some long drives.

Sites to Check out:
National Express Coachs – http://www.nationalexpress.com/
Mega Bus UK – http://uk.megabus.com/ 

Pros: Cheap, goes to smaller towns, direct cross country travel, Overnight buses available for large journeys, covers parts of Europe (Mega Bus)

Cons: Slow, crowded (peak times), less comfortable, Frequent stop/start

Car Hire

By far the most expensive way to travel but gives you nearly unlimited flexibility to go where you please. Expect to hand over a fair amount of cash both for the car and then factor in £1.50 per litre (Thats $2.44 p/L Aus, and $9.32 USD per gallon).

Also invest in a GPS or buy an data sim card for your phone so you can use Google Navigation as the UK’s roads are a maze of small windy lanes!

Pros: Flexibility, Speed, own pace, private, own entertainment

Cons: Very Expensive, Need to be 25 or older, stressful, Getting lost, hidden Costs (parking/congestion charges)

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