A teenager from Essex was so annoyed at the cost of a train fare home to Essex from Sheffield he looked into flying instead - and even flying via Berlin and enjoying the city was cheaper. The only problem was he had to travel 1,000 miles further - and his trip took 13 hours instead of three.

Jordon Cox, 18, known to friends as the "Coupon Kid" because of his talent for saving money, was giving a class on couponing in Sheffield and bought a one-way ticket because a return was so expensive. Then he decided to investigate cheaper options to get home to Shenfield in Essex - and found it was cheaper to fly vi Milan, Berlin, Dublin or Copenhagen than to get a direct train.

Later Jordon blogged at MoneySavingExpert: "Even by my usual standards, I'll admit this is a rather extreme way of saving money. 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."

Even travelling into Berlin City Centre, eating currywurst, and taking transport to and from airports, Cox was £7.72 better off than if he'd gone by train. He says it's often worth looking into flying via a Continental or Irish city than taking trains between two cities in the UK - while admitting it might not always be the most environmentally-friendly option, it can be a great way to see new places.

Train fares in the UK are among the most expensive in the world, and even flying the same route without taking a European detour can be cheaper than letting the train strain your wallet. For instance a return ticket from London to Glasgow travelling out on 28 January and returning the next day would be a minimum £135.10 (trainline.com). Flying the same route on the same days with Ryainair is £68 (SkyScanner).