Record high inflation means that everything is getting more expensive, and travel is no exception. Fuel prices are soaring, train fares in England and Wales have seen their highest rise in 9 years (3.8%), and flight prices are also expected to climb this summer.

But whether you regularly commute or you’re finally planning a holiday abroad this year, there are plenty of ways to cut travel costs and save money, as we explain.

Cartoon fuel pumps against a blue background

Contents:

  1. Save on train travel
  2. Save on holiday travel
  3. Save on fuel

How to cut the cost of train travel

Booking your train fare in advance (where possible) could save you up to 80% according to Raileasy. Advance fares are released around 12 weeks ahead of departure and get more expensive the closer you get to the date of travel.

Travelling off-peak will also cut costs, as could split-ticketing . This is where you break down your journey into smaller chunks and buy different tickets for each segment of the journey. You’ll still travel on the same train and in the same seat but it could cost you far less. However, you must check that the train stops at all the places you have bought tickets for and that it doesn’t just pass through.

If you only travel into the office two or three days a week, you can now buy Flexi Season tickets that enable you to travel on any 8 days within a 28-day period. This offers a minimum saving of 20% versus an equivalent monthly season ticket.

Green train moving fast along a track

Families and groups can benefit from travelling together, with deals like the LNER London Family Travel card where kids travel for £1, or get a Family & Friends Railcard that’ll score you ⅓ off adult train fares and 60% off for children. Family travel tickets can also be purchased through Great Western Rail, Southern Rail and Avanti West Coast to name just a few.

Our last tip is for young adults and seniors to get themselves an annual Railcard for only £30. This entitles you to ⅓ off your rail fares for a full calendar year. The options are available for 16 to 25 year olds, and people aged 60 and up. The same discount is also available for people who travel together frequently via the “Two Together Railcard". Simply sign up for £30 to receive ⅓ off train travel for the year.

How to save money on your holiday

If you’re off on holiday this year, use comparison sites like Expedia and Booking.com to find the best price for accommodation and flights.

Hand holding a boarding pass and passport at the airport

Once you’ve selected your hotel and flights using a comparison site, get in touch with the hotel or flight provider directly for the Best Available Rate (BAR) which is often lower than a comparison site. If their BAR isn’t lower, you may still be able to take advantage of a “Price Match Policy" which will often be displayed at the bottom of their website. For example, Apex Hotels has a “Best Price Guarantee" where they’ll match a lower price and give you an additional 10% off! Similarly, Park Plaza has a “Best Online Rate Guarantee" under which you’ll receive a price match as well as a massive 25% off your room rate. Make sure you book airport parking early on as this will guarantee you a space and save money.

Clean hotel bedroom

The same applies to car hire. Booking early will be cheaper and ensure you get the vehicle of your choice. It’s also worth buying a standalone excess insurance policy. If you damage your hire car, most car rental firms will charge you for the first portion of any repair costs, known as the excess. This can be thousands of pounds, so car rental companies will offer you the option to cover this excess with their own expensive policy. By comparison, purchasing your own excess insurance policy from sites like carhireexcess.co.uk can cost as little as £2.50 a day.

Finally, when organising your travel money, never buy currency at the airport as you’ll pay inflated exchange rates and commissions. Using a travel money comparison tool to shop around in advance will get you the best rates, but if you’ve left it to the last minute, you can still save by pre-ordering currency for collection at the airport. This must usually be done at least 4 hours in advance. You might be surprised to hear you could also find a deal on your travel money at Savoo when you check out our Post Office Travel Money vouchers.

Travel money exchange stand at an airport

Top tips to save on fuel

How you drive can have a big impact on how much fuel you use, so follow the tips below to cut costs:

  1. Read the conditions of the road carefully to reduce the need to brake harshly
  2. Avoid accelerating too quickly as this consumes more fuel
  3. Plan your journey in advance to reduce the risk of getting lost and wasting petrol/diesel
  4. Avoid leaving the engine running unnecessarily
  5. Switch to an electric car for reducing running costs, as well as making a greener choice
  6. Use equipment like your car’s air con sparingly
  7. Avoid routes which will require lots of idling, for example routes with heavy traffic lights
  8. Regularly checking your car’s tyre pressure and clearing out the boot to remove unnecessary weight will also help improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Person checking their tyre pressure

Travel is an unfortunate expense, as it is often completely unavoidable. That’s why, when the cost of travel goes up, it can impact our budgets in a very meaningful way. From seeing family to getting to work, most of us travel multiple times a day by car, train, or other modes of transport for which the cost is decided on by others.

Cartoon beach with parasol, beach ball, and a crab

But as you can see, where there is a way to travel there is a way to save. If you build these saving tricks into your routine travel habits, you’ll find yourself automatically making savings on a regular basis, and cutting costs on your overall monthly spend. As well as our top travel tips, find more ways to save when you travel with our travel savings page and automotive savings page, or on our pages dedicated to saving when you book trains, flights, hotels, and holiday packages.