Ways to cut your travel costs in London | Travel around London on a budget

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5827 2439 Montage WIP V2 Rev2 Cropped

The City of London, the British capital is arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world where commuting can be both expensive and tedious especially when traveling across zone 1 which is Central London. 

There is always somewhere to go whether you are going to work, school, leisure, business meetings, market, or casual sight seeings if you are a Tourist.

You will find below how to travel in London almost for free but don’t bet on that but what I mean is: very cheap and on budget.

Oyster PAYG

Pay As You Go (PAYG) Oyster card offers the cheapest way to travel around London using the Underground, Trams (DLR), Overground, some river boats, Emirates Air Line, and the iconic red London buses.  If you are a Student who resides in the British capital, you may be eligible to apply for an 18+ Oyster which will give you about half the discount of Adult fare. 

Peak and Off-Peak travel

Planning your day in advance can also help you to save money especially if you can fit your schedule around the Tfl’s fare pricing scheme. 

Underground has two different prices for peak and off peak hours. Try to avoid travelling on the tube between 06:30 to 09:29 and from 16:00 to 18:59 for the cheapest fares. 

Mayor of London’s Hopper fare

It is a well known fact that the tube (London Underground as it is sometimes called) offers convenience, faster journey, but can be pricey.  London buses and trams on the other hand may actually be a cheaper alternative with the introduction of the ‘Hopper fare’ by Sadiq Khan – the new Mayor of London in a bid to make travel around London more affordable and stretch Pound further.

This fare means that passengers can take a £1.50 bus/tram journey and then change onto another bus/tram for free within an hour of starting their journey.


Walk and cycle

You could also walk/cycle the tube map. This may seem a little ambitious at first, however once you get to know London, you will realise that tube stations are actually positioned quite close together. There are quite a number of cycle hire schemes on offer in London.  There are more than 750 docking stations and over 11,500 bikes to hire around London.   It costs £2 to access a Santander cycles bike for 24 hr, the first 30 minutes of each journey is usually free.

Popular bike sharing scheme in London consists of Docked bike scheme stations and dockless bike schemes.  Santander bikes offers docked stations while operators like Lime, Ofo, Mobike, Urbo, oBike offer dockless station https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/22/life-cycle-is-it-the-end-for-britains-dockless-bike-schemes

Disappointingly, Ofo and Urbo have now ceased operations in the UK, the development which came barely one year after their respective launch owing to what could be said to be poor market conditions, vandalism, theft among others while Uber is considering launching it’s Jump e-bikes in the UK.

Find bike docking station near you at https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles/find-a-docking-station


16-25 rail card 

If you’re planning to use National Rail services to get around London or you fancy venturing out to the rest of the UK, a 16-25 Railcard will definitely save you money.  This card allows you to get 30% off rail tickets.  Also booking tickets 12 weeks in advance can help you get some of the biggest savings. 


Image credit Tfl 



Written by West A

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