Traveling to and from home during the holidays can be expensive as well as getting into University for those important lectures and seminars. The following article gives advice on discounts and offers available to students to help traveling by bus more affordable.
Megabus offer very cheap no frills travel. Taking one of their buses is the cheapest way to travel long distances in the UK: if you book far enough in advance it’s possible to travel from London to Edinburgh for £1 (although it will take you 8 hours) If you have an NUS card you can save an extra 10% on tickets.
‘I took the bus from London to Edinburgh a few times in first year. It is incredibly cheap but takes forever! Once we were running late so didn’t stop for five hours, I ran out of snacks, it was horrific. To be honest, I’d rather spend a bit extra and get the train.’ Sophie, third year, Edinburgh
‘Great for getting down to London for the weekend to see friends, wouldn’t do it with lots of luggage but you can’t beat it on value!’ Ian, first year, Manchester
‘Yes the bus times can be quite inconvenient and the buses break down quite a lot, but it’s so much cheaper than the train! I’d rather grin and bear it for a few hours and save my money for better things!’ Nick, second year, Leeds
National Express run coaches all over the UK. Their coaches are more luxurious than Megabus however their prices are steeper. They do offer a Young Person’s Coachcard initiative. The Coachcard is available for anyone between 16-26 or a full time student, costs only £10 and can save you up to 30% on all their coach fares. They also offer special coaches to summer festivals such as Reading, Leeds and Download festival. If you have an NUS card National Express will give you 25% off all tickets.
‘More expensive than Megabus but they are more reliable and don’t break down so often!’ George, second year, London
‘They do good coach deals to Leeds festival in the summer.’ Rhiannon, first year, Nottingham
First Group Travel
First Group offer local bus services all over the country. Like Stagecoach and Arriva they offer student saver bus passes, at different prices in different towns. First Group also allow you to buy a student bus pass just for a week or a month, which means you don’t have to commit to a whole term or year.
‘I buy a week long bus pass during exam time when I need to be in the library a lot, it’s a lot cheaper than buying separate tickets for every journey’. Anna, third year, Aberdeen
‘The first group buses seem pretty reliable, I think it’s really good that you don’t have to commit to buying a pass for the whole year.’ Jess, second year, Leeds
Arriva run local buses all over the country. They offer a student saver bus pass which allows unlimited travel for the holder and can save you up to 30% on bus fares if you use a bus regularly. They are a student focused company who obviously rely on students as a large sector of their customers: check out their student city guides online for advice on the best places to go and things to do.
‘I use an arriva bus to get to university every day, although the yearly ticket seems like a big one off payment, it does save you money in the long run!’ Leah, second year, Leicester
‘I use Arriva from time to time but haven’t bought a bus pass, I think it’s really good for bus companies to offer student deals though.’ Jamie, first year, Chester
Stagecoach run inter-city buses across the UK and also run some coaches between local cities. They offer a UniRider scheme in most big cities across the country, which means you can buy a year long ticket and have unlimited travel on Stagecoach buses. This is definitely worth it if you travel on the bus every day.
‘I use a stagecoach bus occasionally, but normally cycle. The tickets are quite expensive if you don’t have an annual pass as they don’t offer concessionary rates for students on standard buses. I use the Oxford Tube a lot to get to London, which is run by Stagecoach, and they do a good student price’. Mike, second year, Oxford
‘I live outside of town so get the bus into university every day. I bought a UniRider pass at the beginning of term which is great, it means I don’t need to worry about transport for the rest of the term!’ Molly, third year, St Andrews
* All prices, terms and conditions are correct at the time of publishing this post
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