We all love visiting relatives over the festive period and catching up with friends and family we haven’t seen in an age, but travelling around the UK during the festive season can be both stressful and expensive. Below are a range of tips that may help take the stress out of your festive travel.
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Plan your parking
Shopping centres are infamously overpriced for parking, so side roads, local public car parks, and apps which let you rent other people’s driveways by the hour are alternatives which shouldn’t be overlooked – with a bit of research, you can avoid hefty charges.
Shop around for petrol
If you’re driving up and down the country over Christmas, check online before you leave to find out where the cheapest petrol is en route – whatever you do, don’t get stuck topping up at a motorway station.
Time your journeys
Chris Rea may well sing about driving home for Christmas, but be honest Christmas traffic is always a bore and keeping your engine running whilst you stop and start will see you get through far more petrol. The afternoon and evening of Friday 21st December, 2018 is set to be the busiest for drivers, so consider whether early morning journeys are feasible for you to avoid the jams.
Only insure yourself for the time you need to drive
If you’re staying with family for a week or two and want to get insured on someone else’s car for the odd journey, why not price up a pay-as-you go policy rather than paying for a full month or week’s insurance.
Look out for car-sharing opportunities
Avoid huge public transport costs by coordinating your journeys. Whether it be planning with friends & family or using lift sharing sites, splitting the cost of car journeys is often cheaper than a train ticket.
Before you book any of your travel online, do a quick search on google to see if there’s a promotional code available for the brand that you’re booking through. Even if it’s only for 10%, it’s still 10% off the total cost – so you can treat yourself to a nice coffee to keep you warm when you embark on your travels
Book travel ASAP
Looking to visit friends and family during the winter period? If so, make sure to get the best price available by booking your travel as soon as possible. Many airlines release their winter prices months in advanced with some fantastic deals, so it pays to book early. Leaving it too late can mean that you may not find availability on your preferred dates and the prices may increase due to popularity and limited availability.
Don’t travel during peak times
If you’re heading off to a family Christmas Party keep a look out for cheaper rates on the train, then make sure you avoid booking your travel during peak times on weekdays and opt to travel after 10.00am.
Make use of ‘Group Travel’ Options
Travelling by train and in a group of three or more? If so, then make sure you take advantage of the special group travel rates available from National Rail. You’ll be able to save 1/3 on the cost of travel during off-peak times. The only drawback is that you must stay together for the entire journey, however if you’re travelling with family to visit family, then this won’t be a problem.
Consider alternative transport
If you’re finding that prices for travel on your dates are just a bit too much for your bank balance, then why not consider using alternative transport such as buses and coaches? Sure, it will take a little longer, but if you’ve got more time than money, than this is the perfect option for you. Also, it may be worthwhile speaking to friends that are travelling the same way and seeing if they’d be willing to do a car share for a contribution towards fuel.
Have you already started to save or make money towards your winter travel plans? You can get in touch with us using our social media buttons or comments section below.