*This post is a collaboration with Stagecoach, but all words and experiences are my own.
The cost of living is going up, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that you’re filling up the car with petrol (or diesel in my case) on a much more regular basis. Household incomes aren’t changing, but the things that we have to pay for are. One of the things that a lot of us are automatically thinking that we’ll have to give up are our leisure activities. Taking road trips ‘just because’ can seem a little out of the question when the fuel for the trip will cost much more than it would have before.
Stagecoach Bus Trip Challenge
The good news is that there is an alternative. With children, it has often seemed simpler to get in the car and park up when we go out for the day, but being on more of a strict budget these days, parking in a city centre for a whole day can really add up. Not to mention the petrol to get there. I was asked to take part in the Stagecoach Bus Trip Challenge, to see if it could help my budget to go a little further. Stagecoach Buses are much more affordable for a day out than I had thought. With their journey planner, I was able to plan a route locally, and it saved so much more money. We used to live in Guildford, but now live further out, so I do head that way from time to time occasionally.
The journey planner was simple to use, and Stagecoach even has an app so you can see where the bus stops are near to you and buy tickets there as well. This was definitely a good thing for me as I never seem to have cash on me, and I could check bus times for the return journey too.
Park & Ride
I used a ‘park and ride’ with Stagecoach, parking for free outside the city, and then getting the bus in. For the return trip, to and from the car park, the cost was £2.50 for an adult ticket! I was honestly amazed! You can also get up to two children under the age of 16 for free, and babies are free anyway, so it means for any day trips in the future, I can travel with all the children for still just £2.50. So much cheaper than parking. Parking for an hour usually in a place like Guildford (or other cities) really does add up, and you could usually only park for an hour for that price, if that. It meant Mason and I could head into town for some lunch, do a little shopping, and have a walk around Guildford Castle, all for much less than we would normally spend. It is great to know that using a bus can help my budget for a day out with the family stretch that little bit further.
Stagecoach serves over 100 towns and cities in the UK, so the chances are that there is a route near you. I have definitely gotten out of the habit of using the bus, so hadn’t even thought about how much more affordable it would be. The ‘park and ride’ buses that I was on were completely electric too, called Glide, so it is a good thing for the environment too, meaning fewer car journeys if more people took a bus, especially an electric one.
I really enjoyed this challenge and seeing what a difference taking the bus makes to what I have to spend. I have normally just thought, for ease, to take the car, but now that I need to be much stricter with my budget (especially on maternity leave), I will definitely take the bus more often.