TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION FOR LAWYERS: ADVICE FROM THE LEGAL TWITTERATI (& OTHERS)
The latest “advice from Twitter” concerns travel and accommodation. What tips to people have about the best, and most economic, means of travel and accommodation for work. These are the early pieces of advice. It may well pay to check back periodically to see whether other ideas arrive.
Following CivilLitTweet #s thread about bag content for lawyers and tweets from
about travel difficulties, it occurred to me that we could share a lot of insider knowledge amongst legal Twitter about travel / accommodation?
Split tickets. The Didcot manoeuvre on London to Swindon / Bristol / Cardiff & vice versa used to save hundreds if not thousands over a year. Savings have recently reduced, but always worth investigating on long journeys.
Heather Self FCA CTA(Fellow)
If you need to stay overnight for a Manchester visit, consider using the Travelodge at Macclesfield station – from £19 per night; 25 mins on the train to Manchester.
Splitting still works to Manchester. Also to Norwich. It will not offer a saving against the best Advance deals, but will save £50 & sometimes more on standard tickets.
Cirencester for a weekend. £115 walk up fare. Byzantine split ticket arrangement via Didcot – £40 Absurd.
‘Seatfrog’ app for cheap 1st class train upgrades! Having chosen a seat where no-one can see your laptop and taking other suitable precautions, etc.
Travelodges & Premier Inns (but don’t pay for breakfast at either), look for the step-free routes when you’ve got a case full of paper/books, don’t drive when you’re too tired – squished lawyer helps noone. Try to time your travel outside rush hour, if poss.
Why would you go to a Premier Inn and not have a breakfast?! What’s the point in being a lawyer if you can’t have weird fry-ups in random towns?
Train / paperless / noise cancelling headphones / Premier Inn
Look after yourself by booking advance 1st class, enquire at last min if expensive hotels have vacancies & then barter room price; eat healthily, don’t drink any more alcohol than you would at home. Always take some exercise before evening work or sleep
PS when I travelled a lot for work, used to book Travel Lodge or similar as back stop but call expensive hotel on Sun eve for week ahead. They always had vacancies & would often give you much reduced room rate for next 3 or 4 night
Trains are far less stressful than driving. A cancelled train is also provable and forgivable in a way that even a documented road problem isn’t.
Leeds to Birmingham New Street, anytime return, departing Leeds on the 7.10 am train = £137.00.
Same train, split as below = £57.00:
(1) Leeds – Sheffield return – £14.20;
(2) Sheffield – Derby return – £22.80;
(3) Derby – Birmingham return – £20.00.
If you split in York it sometimes works out a little cheaper. e.g. advance single Leeds to Newcastle 7.35 am tomorrow = £30.30. Same train, advance singles, Leeds – York £5.60 and York – Newcastle £12.20.
Pack efficiently and have a bag always ready to go with key essentials, makes it so much easier. Always have a long charging cable as well.
In comfort. No point in arriving frazzled or unwell because of overcrowded trains, screaming kids, etc. Better pay the extra to arrive reasonably fresh, if necessary absorbing the cost of the upgrade, taxis etc.
Fly anywhere that takes you far too long on a train (it can be just, if not cheaper than train fairs). I’m located in Manchester and have found this to my detriment travelling to Norwich and Truro respectively.
I travel a lot (i.e. about £20k pa on travel and accommodation) and could write a small book on this but I’m sure loads of other Twitter lawyers can help out as well.
Common wisdom says stay at Travelodge or Premier inn but that isn’t the case in London in my experience. They know they have a trusted brand and charge in line with all the others. Loads of independents to be had at a tiny fraction of the price with better quality.
Get a PayPal Business Debit card. Pay for your tickets using that and get a further 0.5% cashback
Kensington / Earls court are surprisingly cheap and have easy tube access to more central areas. Wembley novotel is my personal favorite when working in the City – about 25% of the cost of staying nearer and about 25 mins on the Metropolitan line.
Join cashback website Quidco. Currently getting 3.5% cashback on all train tickets if you buy from Chiltern railway. You can buy any ticket for anywhere in the country.
If, like me, you stay in London a lot for work, get to know the city. Citymapper app is essential (and works in many cities) to find the quickest route from A to B. Not always what you think… Staying out of the city, West end, legal London can save a fortune…
For regular train travellers on either EC mainline or WC mainline, buy direct from Virgin (at the mo) to earn nectar points. I prefer the train line app but Virgin fund my Xmas shop at Sainsbury’s each year!
Free drinks, and points rewards at all Accor group hotels worldwide (including e.g. The Savoy). Use work trips to have a few nice nights away each year.
If you stay away regularly, get a loyalty card for hotels. About £60 pa buys an ibis business card worth 10% off and a guaranteed room anywhere 3 days before. However, it also gets you gold membership meaning auto upgrades at all Accor group hotels
Bar Council has partnership with fare-spliting train site raileasy. Wish I’d discovered this years ago instead of last month.
LNER website is great and their trains are even better for East Coast travel. The President Hotel, Russell Square, is my go-to hotel in central London (but not mid summer when you need air conditioning!)