Living in Croydon the methods of travel to Cardiff are fairly varied and they can be mixed and match to balance out the saving of time and the saving of money.
I do struggle with travel in general as not only do I find it stressful to be closed in with little room to move and nowhere to escape to but travel sickness is a real issue for me. My body struggles to regulate temperature and that means travelling in anything other than a car where I can ask for the temperature to be lowered is a risk especially as I need to sit on the furthest left and facing forward of a vehicle or train carriage otherwise I feel icky that way too.
If you have only travelled on a coach or a train in recent years you are probably bewildered by my statement of them being too warm. Five or six years ago you were lucky if a coach had any cool air going as the radiators were always rammed up on full and having to sit by the window meant big trouble for me. For so many years I would end up being ill at least once per journey because the old coaches were just so illogically heated.
Now though National Express have nuch fancier coaches. Unfortunately when the Autumn and Winter hits they still ramp the heat up which would cause me to be ill if it was not for the strong cooling air coming from the openable vents overhead. On the way to Cardiff the radiators were far too warm and a bit of thin plastic in my bag actually became so warm it was able to be bent and reshaped. The biggest issue with a coach,whilst the cheapest, is that the minute you have your handbag and your coat there is no room for your legs unless you grab the seats directly behing the disabled friendly ones right at the front.
Trains take less time and generally give you a little more leg room regardless of where you end up sitting but tickets are hugely expensive, at least when booked with less than a month in advance to Cardiff, and anything remotely like a direct service was rare. And whilst coaches can get stuck in traffic trains suffer much more with poor weather and strike action meaning your seat reservation is cancelled if you can even get on a train at all.
Driving the Cardiff would have been perfect. Having some music going, being able to stop at services for a drink or pee and being able to take more off the beat diversions to avoid traffic. The small issue being neither me or my partner can drive.. one of us really needs to learn so we can go on some real UK roadtrips (though I would need a provisional driving licence first).
Our journey to and from Cardiff generally went issue-free. The way there was a little too warm and I was a little cramped but on the way back we were sitting in my favourite seats, where the radiators do not start until under the seat, and despite a little traffic we still got into London Victoria on time. The coach driver on the return journey was brilliant too and my partner said it reminded him of the coach episode in Gavin&Stacey.
But the big question is what is your favourite way to travel and how do you ensure everything goes smoothly and stress-free? I am always looking for tips to help me stay calm, cool and most importantly sick-free!