Friday, 27 April 2012

What's the cheapest way to get home?

From Le Mans, there are a number of ways to get to London: I can drive; I can fly; and I can take the train, The first is out of the question since I don’t drive in France and neither do most language assistants. Many assistants will prefer to use the second option, to fly, as it appears to be cheaper. After all, an Easyjet ticket can have a base price of €35 (and rises to about €45 after the additional card fees, discounting an extra €10 if you buy luggage space in advance).

Yet the train journey to one of the nearest cities with an airport (and then the extra journey) will cost at least €30 if you’re lucky, leaving you paying a minimum of €75 to travel back to England. We’re still missing one more factor though, as the airports that Easyjet fly from are generally in random locations, leading to extra costs in petrol. For example, I would fly to Luton and for my father to drive to the airport, and then back again, would probably cost him a minimum of €25. Total cost by flight: €100.

While the train in France is usually exorbitantly expensive, if you have a look on the SNCF website about a month in advance, you can sometimes find pretty impressive deals. To give you an example, for my return trip to England, I found an offer that will cost me €55 to travel from Le Mans to London St. Pancras (which also allows me to carry as much luggage as I can hold). Then we add on the €5 it’ll cost me on the London Underground to get home. Total cost by train: €60.

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