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Travel Can Be So Cheap

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  • Travel Can Be So Cheap

    Over the years I've travelled to Thailand and Asia many times and for various reasons I've always sought out the best available bargains. Previously the fact that I looked for bargains and have never opted for business class etc. has been the reason that I have been able to travel there so many times. Now its because I'm skint .

    Whilst I agree that if you go on holiday once a year, you want a little comfort and the minimum of fuss, like me you could have reasons to seek out a cheaper alternatives. I'm not talking about flights here, we already have a long running thread on that subject and because of that, finding the cheapest flights should be relatively easy for all members here.

    What I'm refering to is the cost of getting to and from airports etc. which can add quite a lot to your total costs. For me, when working out the total cost of all travel - Heathrow always wins out as a departure airport but I have to get there. If you are prepared to put up with dragging your cases around a bit, there are some real bargains to be had.

    Example: I'm travelling to Bangkok on 20th August and need to get from home to Heathrow in time to check in for my 21.30 flight.

    I could drive down and use an airport parking service - this would be the most convenient for me as there is no bus service where I live. However, the total cost - parking and fuel would be around £115 return (14 nights with Purple Parking @ £65).

    I could, as I usually do, go on the train - hassle but usually cheap. This involves me driving to Leeds, parking at a friend's house, friend takes me to Leeds station, Leeds to Kings Cross by train, and tube to Heathrow. Same on the way back except that I get a taxi from Leeds to pick up my car. However, the total cost this time would have been £76.25 return because I couldn't get the cheapest train to Kings Cross.

    I looked around and have now booked Megabus at £11 for my journey to London - coming home by train as its much more convenient and at £14.25 on East Coast, not a bad price. All the other expenses remain the same and the total cost is £50.25 (although I will have one extra traveller with me on my way back ). So against the drive and park option, I've saved £65, not a fortune but it makes a big difference for me. Incidentally, I could have booked the Megabus trip for £1 if I'd been prepared to travel at 2am or £5 if I was prepared to risk arriving at Victoria coach station at 18:00.

    There are also various options for travelling within Thailand once you get there and I'm often surprised how few travellers know about them. Example, most people use a taxi to get to and from Suvarnabhumi - although I'm aware of an express bus service to central Bangkok, I have no idea of the cost.

    Is there any mileage in having another Sticky thread where experienced misers travellers can share their knowledge of the other parts (other than flights) of the total travel costs with members?

  • #2
    ha - wrote a massive reply to this and clicked the wrong button and lost it. Will write it again - later!!!!


    • #3
      ah, being a fellow yorkshireman, who's ancestors 100 years ago come from pateley bridge as it happens I can empathise with you.

      What I always try to do now, is to deliberately book a route that is not direct and get a free stopover on route.

      Did that last year from heathrow to hong kong with air china, via beijing for 378 quid. 4 days in beijing see the wall and the forbidden city then another few days in hong kong before jumping on a 30 quid air asia job to bangkok.

      Already planning my next trip, this time with air india via mumbai, to coincide with the icc world cup final, well you never know the cricketers may show the footy players how its done. Either way I will get to see some of india and on the way back it goes via new delhi, so a visit to the taj mahal will also be in order.


      • #4
        the scuttle service to central bkk cost 100 baht,cheaper than a taxi on arrival.


        • #5
          Originally posted by bristolgeoff View Post
          the scuttle service to central bkk cost 100 baht,cheaper than a taxi on arrival.
          lets get this into perspective.......2 quid and then lugging heavy cases any sort of distance to find your hotel versus 6 quid for a door to door brainer me thinks


          • #6
            i hope this is not seen as mean spirited.........there was an old gardener from Yorkshire(the late Geoffrey Smith) once talked of a yorkshiremans spending habits. "a yorkshireman is a scotsman with the generosity squeezed out" . I,m looking forward to this new misers sticky thread. Will have its own mods ? Remove any talk of wasting money on taxis for instance.

            ---------- Post added at 21:48 ---------- Previous post was at 21:41 ----------

            flip ..................I,m looking forward to being old enough to using a free buspass all the way to the airport ?? might take a while. I always thought the problem with megabus is that its whats its says on the tin " A BUS"


            • #7
              all depends how much you take on your trip to LOS.the size of the suitcase.but i take my bag down to the scuttle service at swampy.the bus takes me to the hotel.almost door to door but still cheaper than a taxi on arrival


              • #8
                Shorter than what I wrote before and lost.

                After going to LOS for some years I like to plan my trip, saving money but affording a few luxuries. Usually try and get cheaper than previous year but not easy with taxes going up on flights.

                I like to think as my holiday starting from when I start my journey. I think being self employed I am always working in some way and I try and break from it on my trips. So when I get on the train I like to relax, use laptop etc, have a can and something to eat and its nice to think about my destination.

                I like to get the train down, but coming from Hereford that usually means expense. However booking with always saves money.

                I have to get to Paddington usually so the heathrow express can be 18 quid but bundled with fare it can work out cheaper. Also booking on the trainline you can choose seat etc, so I always choose a table, with power point facing backwards.

                If you look at the site and select gadgets on the top and then select best fair finder you can find some good deals. I have done Hereford to Reading for about 15 quid then got the bus which takes an hour for about 11 quid so thats not bad. Using the cheap fare finder I have found a cracking deal on the way back home, but it means travelling to Newport. Paddington to Newport for 11 quid. I even got first class last time for 15 quid. Then got my old man to pick me up from newport which is a one hour journey for most people but 2 hour for the old man:-)

                One of the luxuries I like is to book is a lounge pass. Go through security, pretend your interested in the free drinks in duty free and have a few of them, then squirt a few smellies and moisturize with the really expensive stuff in duty free then head to the lounge. You are allowed to spend 3 hours before your flight time in the lounge however a little tip is to book half an early. Ie your flight 9.30 book lounge for 6pm. If they say anything just say flight was changed - however they never have said anything.

                Well if you don't know what the lounge is - it costs 18 quid. Its very nice, leather seats, plasma screens, books and current papers, wi fi etc, clean toilets and relaxing. Then the best part - the free bar. They have a good choice of spirits, wines, beer in cans and nibbles such as biscuits and crisps. Its self service so I usually line up a few doubles and a glass of wine or 2 just for myself. I make sure I get my monies worth, which I always think if you are in the outside bar you would pay that amount for 4 drinks.

                Another Derren tip for Heathrow and security. Have you seen the fast track queue. Well there is no queue. Its for business class and first class. Well just walk up confidently, boarding pass and passport in hand. Be confident like you are not stopping and they have always taken it and I have gone through. No fuss, never been turned away. Security then is very quick. I dress fairly smartly when travellling but not over the top so this maybe helps.

                The wife is a godsend with savings in bkk. I used to overtip but she feels 20 baht plus change is well enough. I used to leave a few 100 when single and eat in expensive places but she has shown me the cheaper out of the way places just as good if not better.

                Travelled by bus to Kanachuburi and back. I thought we were in the film speed. Anyway coming back got the bus at first outside our hotel to get to the main bus stop. It happened to be the scbool bus and we did the school run first. Good fun and very cheap.



                • #9
                  I agree about the lounges but use I get this free with Barclays premier account, but I think its well worth the money. It gives you access to VIP lounges in just about every airport.


                  • #10
                    Gardener, not seen as mean spirited at all and I've heard most of the tight Yorkshireman jokes. However, I used to travel to see my then girlfriend 6 or 7 times per year. That would have been 4 or 5 times pre year if I hadn't saved money wherever I could. My search for cheaper alternatives now is down to being made redundant early this year, paying for a visa, paying for flights and now being virtually laid off until September. Add to that my van breaking down last week and costing £800 to repair - its not been the best of years so far.

                    I also like to have a good time when I'm over there rather than spend unecessarily on the journey.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Flip View Post
                      I could drive down and use an airport parking service - this would be the most convenient for me as there is no bus service where I live. However, the total cost - parking and fuel would be around £115 return (14 nights with Purple Parking @ £65).
                      Have you tried Hotel Parking. I did this at end of May with and stayed 1 night at the Holiday Inn J4 on M4 and got 15 nights free parking for £69. I then paid £4 each for a shuttle bus to take us to the airport in the morning.
                      I thought it was good value.
                      Bye Bye EU Day 31st December 2020 (11 p.m.)


                      • #12
                        Good to know for the future Gary - thanks.
                        Last edited by Tobias; 27 Jul 2010, 18:53. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post.


                        • #13

                          Who do you book your lounge pass with?

                          Going through the VIP gate don't they pull you up if you have an economy boarding pass?



                          • #14
                            For those in the north (ish) part of england sould search emirates/china airlines of taiwan from newcastle or glasgow. Have seen flights as low as 425 outwith xmas and school hols.
                            I have a business insurance that cost 126 per year but that includes my family (all of them covered) and best of all, it includes 'priority pass' airport lounges anywhere. Since I travel twice with family and 6+ for business it pays for itself. Cant be bothered with the hassle of bus at bkk end. I go upstairs where people get dropped of and always get taxi for 400 max right to the door of my hotel. The skytrain is up and running soon but again its lugging your suitcase around and personally the terminus is not good and requires further lugging of the suitcase about.
                            Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.


                            • #15
                              Always interesting how other people travel. Have had a great year so far. Jan and I returned to LOS for Songkran as her visa was up on a round trip upgrade on my gold card, she sat upstairs and I sat at the back in peaseant class. Coming home the first weekend after the ash cloud I was upgraded on my upgrade to first.

                              Booked in at Heathrow beginning of July arrived at the gate to be told upgraded to Business. 3 flights 3 upgrades no such luck on the return last week.

                              Flew down to BKK to apply for settlement Vias from Udon Thani with Nokair just over 6000 bhts for both of us. However to come home booked the overnight sleeper train. 2354 bhts plus 950 bht for supper and breakfast. However it takes 12 hrs, but an enjoyable experience.

                              Sent an e-mail to Thai last nigh asking them why is a single trip nearly as expensive as a return and secondly why were their flights £200 more than anyone else. I await their ( hopefully ) reply with baited breath.