Erratic engineeress

A personal blog fuelled by caffeine and curiosity.

Quick tip: How to get around the UK with public transport

I probably spent more time on the public transport than in my own house while living in the UK.

I spent 6 months studying in the UK in 2017/2018 and tried to travel around as much as I could, so I thought I’d share the app that helped me out a lot. Trainline is both a website and a very handy app, which allows you to choose the cheapest and most convenient public transport options around the UK.

Studying on the train.

I’d found trains were better and more reliable than buses, but the app also tracks bus routes and it’s best advantage is that it conveniently offers the off-peak travel options.

The public transport in the UK comes in two forms, peak and off-peak travel, which indicates the expected popularity of a certain route at a certain time. Peak times include mornings, some afternoon times and evenings, when most people commute to work and back, while off-peak times are all other times. Off-peak travel is notoriously cheaper, but can be annoying to keep track of, which is why I adored the Trainline app so much, that I am happily recommending it here without getting paid for the promotion or anything. 🙂

Travelling at off-peak times probably saved me about 50% of my getting around budget, which allowed me to treat myself to all the fancy food and afternoon teas I desired (you’ll see a lot of those in my UK photo travel guide posts.

The app also saves all e-tickets as QR codes and allows you to buy your next ticket minutes before the departure, which was a life saver on many occasions, as I prefer to be flexible in my travelling. All in all, I heartily recommend travelling at off-peak times, although it does take a bit of an adjustment of the normal travelling schedule, as the times can be quite random.

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