This week see’s the arrival of World Car Free Day on 22nd September, and there’s no prizes for guessing what they’d like to encourage you to do. Yes, driving is an everyday necessity for many, but if there is a possibility that you could leave your vehicle at home, then where’s the harm in trying it? Not only could it inject a spot of exercise into your day, but it can also save you money. So to celebrate World Car Free Day, we’ve taken a look at a few alternative ways you can get around, whether it to and from work or for a family day out…
It’s one of the more obvious alternatives, especially if you’re commuting by car and aren’t covering huge distances every day, and in case you hadn’t noticed, cycling is now the new golf in terms of popular past times, so why limit it to just a weekend activity? If there’s even the slightest possibility that you can cycle to work then it’s well-worth giving it a go, and comes with huge positives for your bank balance and health as well as the environment. There’s no need to abandon the car altogether to begin with, so just try one day a week at first and then go from there – World Car Free Day is the ideal opportunity, in fact. And if you’re lacking in cycling accessories (or even an actual bike), Wiggle voucher codes are a good starting point for great price cuts on selected items as well as a £10 voucher when you sign up to their newsletter.
Day Trips by Train
It’s very tempting to pile the family into a car and get away from it all for a couple of hours, but if you plan ahead, you can leave the wheels at home and have another sort of adventure entirely. If you can get to a train station easily then this can open up a whole new world of weekend and holiday day trips and no one has to volunteer to be the designated driver. Although they have a reputation for being a bit pricey, there are many ways to save on the price of train tickets when you book in advance. The Trainline can save you money on group bookings as well as providing details on how to get a family railcard that can get you 33% off adult fares and 60% off child fares, and once you have said railcard, you can get access to special offers that save you money on entry to a number of different attractions.
Short of a few bob but want to get out of the house? Leave the car at home and explore your local surrounds. Even if you live in a city of large town, there is often somewhere local that’s worth a new look such as a nature reserve or green space. For example, just outside of London you can explore Epping Forest, Richmond Park and Bushy Park, the Peak District National Park is accessible from Manchester and Sheffield, and the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park can be reached from Glasgow. If you can’t get there by train or other forms of public transport, cut down on cars by planning a group outing, and if you’re in need of some more suitable outdoor clothing for exploring these green spaces in, then Millets can save you money on a wide selection.
So this week, see if you can find an opportunity, any opportunity, to leave your car at home. You never know, it might become a regular habit and both you and the environment might feel all the better for it.
By Anna Scott, 20th September 2016