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Saving money at the Commonwealth Games

Published 22 July 2014 by

After all the drama and excitement the World Cup offered us, the sporting thrills are set to continue through to early August with the prestigious Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Although the festivities kick off in less than two weeks, there are still tickets available for plenty of great events (including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies) – so it’s not too late to get yourself there to cheer on England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland! Triathlon, Diving and both Track and Mountain Biking may have already sold out, but you can have a look at some of the other great sports that you can still get tickets for here.

It’s bound to be 11 days of spectacular sporting history, and we’re here to give you some advice on how you can get involved without spending a fortune.

Getting to the Games

Wherever you’re travelling from, there should be a way for you to get to the Games on a budget.

A great way to save a bit of extra cash and help reduce your carbon footprint is by car sharing. Whether you’re a driver or passenger, there are websites out there dedicated to helping you find a way to save money by sharing the journey with someone else. There could be someone relatively close to you looking for a lift to Glasgow for the Games, so if you’ve got a spare seat in your car, why not let them join? They’ll contribute towards your petrol costs so you’ll save money and you could even make a new friend. Car sharing websites like, and are all good places to check.

But if you don’t have any luck on your hunt for a car share, National Express provides some cheap coaches to Glasgow just in time for the games. Prices will obviously vary depending on where you’re travelling from, so we can’t give any exact prices. You’ll be helping to do your bit for the environment too, especially if you were originally planning to drive on your own.

If you live in Glasgow, why not get into the spirit of things and try cycling to the Games? Parking spaces are likely to be limited in the city centre and you should be able to avoid all the traffic if you get on your bike instead. For those who are feeling extra sporty, you could try cycling from outside of Glasgow – so long as you make sure you plan your route and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re not that used to cycling. Just remember to wear a helmet!

For those travelling from further away, you could rent a bicycle for while you’re staying in the city to help travel between the venues. Nextbike have paired up with Glasgow City Council to provide hundreds of rentable bikes, available 24 hours a day – and you can book one here

Once you get to Glasgow, your ticket will also get you free travel around the city, which will help save you a fair few pounds. You can find more information on the services you’ll be able to use your ticket on here.

All athletes need a good night’s sleep

When you’ve spent the day travelling and revelling in all the festivities Glasgow has to offer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a place to rest your head. Cheap hotels in and around Glasgow are probably going to be quite hard to come by – especially at this late stage – but, there could be other alternatives.

Renting someone else’s room or house may seem like an alien concept, but it could end up being a great way to sort out cheap accommodation in the city centre. There are plenty of people with spare rooms who are willing to let others stay in their house for the Games, and they advertise their properties on websites such as Locals in and around Glasgow may not be staying at home during the Games either, so you may be able to find a place to stay for your whole family. Providing you’re respectful and treat their home well, it can be a brilliant way to save money without sacrificing any home comforts.

Anyone looking to be a bit more adventurous could consider house swapping instead, and there are websites like lovehomeswap.comyou can head to should you want to give it a go. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you shouldn’t have to pay anything for your accommodation, so as long as you don’t mind someone else staying in your house for a few days, it could be the most affordable way to enjoy the Games.

Free things to do while you’re there

Aside from the sports events that you’re already planning on attending, there are hundreds of cultural goings-on to choose from, and you won’t even have to pay for some of them.

Whether you’re a music-lover, movie buff, regular theatre-goer or dance enthusiast, there’s an abundance of free shows, workshops and events for you to choose from covering a wide range of passions. For the full event listings, head here.Although a lot of the events are free, you still have to order tickets to secure your place, so don’t be put off if an event says it’s free but asks that you get tickets first.