Money Saving Travel Tips for the Self-Employed

Are you familiar with the old adage, “a penny saved is a penny earned”? It’s a simple concept yet most of us struggle with saving up for a rainy day or making time to bargain hunt. Here are a few tips to help you save money when your contracting jobs involve travelling.


Keep track of your mileage  

Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, you can claim the cost of travel to and from your temporary place of work. Mileage rates are 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in any fiscal year and then 25p per mile thereafter. This allowance is to cover fuel and running costs of the vehicle. If you are travelling to work as a “back seat driver” in a car you are entitled to claim 5p per mile. Mileage allowance can also be claimed for travel by motorcycle and bicycle at rates of 24p per mile and 20p per mile respectively. In short, contractors can claim mileage as legitimate business expenses. Find out more in our contractor’s guide to expenses


Book as far in advance as possible 

According to Virgin Trains, their Standard and First Class Advance tickets are their cheapest, and are released up to 24 weeks before departure, so it pays to book early. Using railcards and travelling during the weekends and offpeak times may help you with reducing ticket costs. Head over to Virgin’s ways to save page for more details. The cost of travel by public transport can be claimed as a business expense, but you must have a valid receipt so be sure to save these. 


Find the free Wi-Fi

When you’re on the go and especially when your travelling out of the country, you may be hit with hidden mobile costs such as roaming or data charges, even when travelling within the EU. If you use your mobile on free Wi-Fi, you can make phone calls using Skype or Facetime (other platforms are available) and not worry about hitting your monthly data limit when you need to stream or download. Learn top tips to finding free Wi-Fi at


Plan meals ahead of time

Sounds a bit tedious but think about it. How many times have you been in an unfamiliar area and wasted time looking for a place to get your next meal only to pay more out of pocket for convenience? Plan ahead by choosing restaurants that fit your budget or better yet, pack a your own meal if you can. And if you must treat yourself to a fancy coffee, you can save money and the environment when you BYOC (bring your own cup) to a participating coffee shop. See how much you can save on your favourite takeaway drink here.


It is worth mentioning that you should keep business and pleasure separate. The thought process is that HMRC can get sniffy if they think your expense isn’t purely for business, so if you decide to go out for casual drinks with friends during a work trip, it may worth keeping it on a separate tab.


Discover more

Whether you’re a newly self-employed or a seasoned contractor, learn more tips on how you can work smarter with our range of contractor’s guides