I’ve found this travel company to be excellent. They are Australian but have outlets around the world. A year or so ago they found a ticket for me that was £100 cheaper than one which had been quoted by a company specialising in voluntary organisations travel needs. Thus I have checked them out regularly since then. Very efficient and friendly service.
I used this carrier for my Croatian trip from Stuttgart to Split. I found them very good. A notch up on some of the other budget airlines. Reasonable fares and very thoughtful service.
When meeting friends from Namibia, with whom I was to spend a day exploring London, I discovered that the National Express coach from Gatwick actually stops at Victoria Rail station. This can be really helpful to both passengers and those meeting them, as onward travel by train or tube is so convenient. It is a fair walk from the Coach Terminal back to the Railway Station (10-15mins).
While in London last year, I discovered that Greenline offered free travel to folk with a national travel card. This was excellent and led also to finding out other similar routes to Milton Keynes and to Cambridge from Oxford. It just takes time to discover all the special fares in operation.
Advance Purchase Rail Fares
When travelling into London by train it is good to book well ahead and also buy a travel card (annual discount card about £30) if possible. These two actions can provide some excellent discounts. Good to do some research before booking. It is good to use a discount rail card too. The difference for a fare to Carlisle was between £60 and £16 with this system. On one occasion I have been able to travel to London first class for less than the second class fare (£11 one way). Another great fare was from London to Manchester one way for £7.
Good to do some research before booking. It is good to use a discount rail card too. I highly recommend using Trainline for online bookings. You can also find good prices on Megatrain these start at £1 each way plus 50p service charge. The National Express buses are also good value and sometime have “fun fares” available. These you obtain on the internet and can be as low as £1 for a single journey.
Buses and Coaches
Greyhound is here!!
Greyhound coaches are now operating out of London. From Southampton they are offering £1 advance booking fares on the internet. Why not try them out. The turn-up and jump on fare though is £10 whereas for the National Express is only £6 if you have a Route-Sixty discount.
Route Sixty Travel
The national bus pass in the UK is a brilliant concept and enables those of us in the “Route Sixty” fraternity to travel free to most places in the UK after 9.30am until 11pm on locally operated buses. On a recent trip, I made some interesting discoveries. You can travel from London Victoria to Luton Airport by Greenline free of charge, if you have a senior national pass. Also I found out that one could travel from Oxford to Cambridge – right across the country, almost, on Stagecoach using the card and on the regular service – no standby feature. I find the Traveline site excellent for planning routing. One just needs to be careful when planning tightly-timed routes to airports etc. I was caught out by one of the routings from the Traveline site. Being stranded in part of suburban London ariound midnight does have its challenges. A young couple helped me out by using their I-pod to locate an alternative route.
I’ve found Berry’s Coaches to be excellent. It is a family-managed business and really seeks to care for the passengers. Travels from Taunton to London via Yeovil. The return fare to London, for senior folk for the day, is only £9 (£10 for period return) from Yeovil. The coach arrives at Hammersmith Central Bus Station which has underground connections below and ongoing connection by bus travelling throughout London on the same level at which you arrive.
There are also some very competitive fares on the National Express coaches at certain times in the year. Worth checking when planning to travel. They can be as low as 99p. The website is very well designed to locate the cheapest fares on any specified day.
National Geographic’s travel section is well worth visiting. Every aspect of the National Geographic site is well done.
For train and ship travel information, you will find The Man in Seat 61 an excellent site. Amazing amount of information at your fingertips. The site covers mainly Europe. Fascinating. The site author has also written a book with the same title. This should be available through local libraries in the UK or through Amazon.
Affordable Car Rental
Always good to learn about car rental that is competitive. Friends from South Africa were delighted with Enterprise car rental. They specially liked the ability to pick up and drop off at the airport. Their luggage was considerable yet they found the service more than adequate. Vincent Car Rental is a Somerset-based company that have very competitive prices. Worth exploring.
I’ve found the Oyster Card (a top-up travel card) to be very useful when travelling across London. They are now accepted on the railway system also I understand. You make a deposit of £5 for the use of the card (refundable in full anytime) and then use it as a top-up card. I have really found it helpful as you can swiftly and easily move from one journey to the next. No queuing for tickets or inserting tickets in machines at the barriers etc. Just touch-pad and go.
It is good however to do some research on trips as sometimes I have been recommended to take a Day Travel Card instead or purchase a normal ticket with my Senior Railcard (discount card). There are so many options that it is good to check. Just recently I was recommended a Day Travel Card with my discount card, even though it was mid-afternoon. The saving was worth making.
I even received a refund of a few pounds the other day when the officer topping up my card noticed that I had overpaid on one journey. Very impressive service.
I’ve highlighted Mark’s venture before. He offers a very comprehensive travel service with a personal touch and thoughtfulness. Would be well worth trying out his services.
Should you be travelling in Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands etc. and you would like to have some initial orientation, do get in touch and maybe I can assist in some way.