A COST-conscious Sheffield teenager saved £8 on his train fare to Essex - by flying home via Germany instead.
Consumer blogger Jordon Cox, 18, also known as The Coupon Kid, wrote about the cheaper detour on the Money Saving Expert website.
He wrote: "I was teaching a class on couponing in Sheffield and I had booked a cheap train up there from Essex, but coming back home the cheapest one-way rail ticket was £47, so it needed some blue-sky thinking.
"It turned out that flying out from East Midlands Airport to Berlin, spending seven hours exploring the city and then flying to Stansted and getting the bus home was cheaper than a single train journey in England.
"But that’s not all, I also figured out I could buy a return train ticket to Berlin city centre, enjoy a free tour of a government building and lunch while I was out there and STILL save money."
Here is a breakdown of what Jordon spent on his journey back home:
Train from Sheffield to Derby - £4
Bus from Derby to East Midlands Airport - £4.20
Ryanair flight to Berlin - £11.83
Berlin return train from airport to city centre - £5
Currywurst sausage for lunch - £1.50
Ryanair flight to London Stansted - £9.54
Bus home to Hutton from Stansted Airport - £8
TOTAL COST = £44.07
Here is a breakdown of what Jordon would have spent had he travelled by rail from Sheffield to Essex:
Train from Sheffield to Shenfield - £47
Ham and cheese toastie for lunch - £2.99
Bus from Shenfield to Hutton - £1.80
TOTAL COST = £51.79
On whether it would always be cheaper to fly rather than travel by rail, Jordon said: "On certain trains and routes, you might find it cheaper to fly via a short stop-over in Ireland, or even mainland Europe, to get to your destination.
"It will take a bit of trial and error and you’ll have to book two separate flights, so take into consideration any extra booking fees.
"To get the cheapest price on your flights, I’ve seen the best deals crop up about 2-4 weeks before the travel date, most likely to flog surplus tickets, and then prices increase for the final two weeks to sting the last-minute travellers."
He added: "Ok, this isn’t for everyone as it can take a whole day to get to your final destination, but if you’re not in a rush, your focus is saving money and you fancy a little walk around a European city, it’s worth a look.
"Many of these airports are close to city centres, with cheap buses or trains taking you into the heart of the action, so you get to do a bit of exploring rather than waiting in an airport terminal."
To read Jordon's full blog click here.