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Travel within the UK and Europe

Travel within the UK and Europe

It is easy to travel within the UK, and there are plenty of options for exploring the country by plane, train, car or a bicycle. You can easily reach any part of the country within a few hours, and there are plenty of discounts available for international students.

Flying in the UK

There are a number of regional and international airports that provide you with unrivalled access within the UK and to the rest of the world. Ryanair and EasyJet are discount airlines that usually offer very good prices for travel around Europe. Tickets vary depending on destination, but booking in advance and travelling during less busy time periods can sometimes allow you to travel at a very low cost (i.e. you only pay taxes and EU charges).

Travelling by Train

The price of a rail ticket depends on the type you buy, but a general piece of advice to save money on rail tickets is to decide exactly when you want to travel and buy in advance.

Important! If you’re aged between 16 and 25 (or a mature full-time student of any age), you can save even more with 16-25 Railcard. This costs £30 per year and gives you a third off the price of the most UK rail fares.

The Eurostar travels from the UK through to Europe, and this can often be cheaper than flying. It is a high speed train that can bring you from London to Paris in 2.5 hours. This can actually be quicker than flying, as security lines are much shorter.

Travelling by Bus and Coach

One of the cheapest options for international student travel is by bus. Usually you buy tickets from the driver when you board the bus. However, in London, you can no longer use cash to pay your fare on the bus; you must either purchase a ticket before you start your journey from ticket machines situated in London Underground stations or from many newsagents and shops, or you can use a contactless payment card to pay your fare on the bus. For regular travel around town or to your place of study, buy a weekly or monthly pass and save money.

Coach is usually the cheapest and the slowest method of inter-city travel. If you’re aged 16-26 or a full-time student, you can buy a Coachcard from National Express, the main coach company in the UK. This costs £10 per year and will save you up to 1/3 on all National Express coach journeys.

Travelling by Taxi or Car

Taxis are easy to find in all major cities and are often a convenient option for travelling in the UK. Most taxis are metered, but you will pay a lot more for travelling by taxi than for a similar journey by train or bus.

You can drive a car in the UK if you’re aged 17 or over and have a valid licence. Be aware that UK fuel prices are very high, and if you are under 25, insurance can be extremely expensive.