Making the best use of travel (Rail and hotel)

pedagoguespet Posts: 1 Newbie

I'm based in the South West and have been offered a new role in London. It's hybrid and requires me, on average, to be in the city 2 days a week.

In order to help me plan the finances of this out, I have been considering the best uses of keeping rail costs down (split ticket app, slightly later train than usual rush hours, booking in advance as early as possible) as well as hotel costs.

The rail costs, as explained above, seem to be the costs I'm most aware of (although please do share other tips!).

The ongoing challenge will be hotels. I'm thinking of obtaining a credit card to specifically help with this and/or sticking to one particular hotel chain to maximise rewards. I've also thought about rewards so something might be slightly cheaper and I'd get rewards with that website.

Do you have any ideas or approaches where I can maximise rewards? Even if I can use hotel rewards for city breaks and trips with my family (other benefits for them). 

Thoughts and guidance are most welcome as the financial planning will help me determine if this is a viable option for me. 



  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Posts: 649 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 25 August 2023 at 5:44PM
    I 'commute' in a similar way but luckily at company's expense and doing it at your own cost in the current economic climate is a big risk.

    Things to consider over which you have no control

    Rail inflation (albeit 'controlled'/published in advance)
    Hotel costs - esp at times of events in London or where demand increases
    Rail strikes/weather disruption
    Change of heart from employer re no.of days in office

    So before agreeing the financials

    How fixed are the days - both from a no.of days and which days (i.e. if a football final is suddenly announced on a day filling all hotels can you change days ? Or alternatively if you book all hotels in advance are you confident you'll be there on those days and they won't switch ?
    How understanding will they be of rail disruption/strikes etc ?

    If you're comfortable with all those then you pick where you want to stay and you look at prices over next 3 months together with transport and living costs and set yourself an average cost per trip. Assuming the amount they'll give you (nett of tax) will cover no.of trips x cost then you consider it - whilst recognising that
    a) costs will increase and any salary is unlikely to increase by same amount
    b) you have the contingency of travelling in a cheaper way or staying somewhere cheaper if you need to

    ETA there are always rewards available - but no guarantee that current schemes will continue at same level. And as a suggestion depending on the area is to find an independent hotel that will negotiate a long term rate with you depending on your needs 
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