I put Year 10 (S3) students into pairs and "give them" pound;500 and 12 hours to spend it. The winning team is the one that is geographically furthest away from the starting point when the 12 hours runs out.
Presenting their plan - with modes of transport, detailed timings, locations and costs - provides lots of functional maths, demands real life skills and creativity, and is good fun.
Rebecca and Laura plan to walk to the bus stop 350m away, and buy two under-16 tickets to Bolton train station. There they visit Aldi to purchase a nutritious food bundle costing pound;10.64. They catch the 13.25 train to Glasgow, saving a third of the pound;124 ticket price with their railcards. They arrive in Glasgow at 17.08, and book a bus to the coast and a ferry to Lewis. Total journey: 488 miles, with pound;68 left to spend on shelter.
Chloe and Beth plan a taxi to the airport, which costs pound;96 but gets there in 30 minutes. They hop on a RyanAir flight to Malaga for pound;389, inc taxes and luggage allowance, and travel 1,547 miles in four hours. pound;15 is left for fake tan.
They all send me a nice postcard from their destinations, addressed to Mr Barton at the Palm Hotel, Barbados, where I have taken myself after siphoning a few thousand pounds off the budget.
Where to find it
Tomwatt20's PowerPoint game introduces timetables. NatWest's free "Money Sense for Schools" helps develop budgets and understand finance. CIMT's "Money and Time" includes worksheets, lesson plans and activities covering travel, currency, time zones and timetables.