Whether you are a university student or a business commuter, or perhaps you just like the odd weekend away every now and then, train travel can prove to be very costly. When booking your train fare online there are lots of hidden ways to save on your travels and get the best price for your journey.
- Get a Railcard
If you haven’t already, make sure to get a Railcard online and save 30% on all train tickets. Whether you travel daily, weekly or monthly it is worth the one off £30 cost to save on your journeys. There are seven types of railcard including those for young people aged 16-30, families travelling with kids (who can enjoy a 50% discount on kids fares) and people aged 60 and over.
- Book Early
The early bird gets the worm, and this is certainly true for saving money on your train fare. Online you can book up to 12 weeks in advance, and save up to a massive 80% on your tickets. If you have left it late to book, then booking in advance is can still give you a significant saving. Save up to 30% when you book before 6pm the night before, compared to booking on the day, so bear this in mind whilst finding the best price for your journey.
Getting your Tickets
- Use Voucher Codes
Many online promo code companies offer extra savings on train fares, including no booking fees. Websites such a offer discounts on singles, returns, last minute booking and much more. Get discounts at Trainline and save on fares, and you can even save money on your railcard to get a long term discount.
- Buy Single Tickets
For many journeys, if you buy two single tickets instead of a return ticket, your fare works out cheaper. For certain trainlines such as Virgin trains, you can get even you can save up to 50% compared to getting a return when you choose two off peak single tickets.
- Travel Off Peak
Whether booking in advance or on the day, off peak journeys are always cheaper than travelling on peak. If you can avoid travelling during the early morning and rush hour, then choosing their off peak and super off peak is a great, money saving option. These tickets are less flexible and require you to travel at certain times of the day, but are ideal for weekends away.
- Split Ticketing
This technique involves splitting your journey up and getting different tickets for each part of your journey. This doesn’t even involve changing trains in many cases, and is a good way to save if you have left your booking until the last minute. Split your journey into two or more parts, and make saving of up to £80 on your journey!
- Compare & Save
Booking your journey online also means that you have the advantage of being able to find the best price. With comparison websites such as MyTrainTicket offering a best fare finder tool, you can look at the price of your journey from many different providers. Choose the best price for your entire journey, and choose the right fare for you.
- Book Train & Tube Together
Whilst the Oyster card is great if travelling by tube or bus around central London, booking the Train and Tube together is great is travelling further afield. With Virgin Trains there are a number of inclusive ticket packages available to save you money if you are taking more than one train or mode of transport in the South East.
- Holiday Packages
Going on a short break or a weekend away? Booking hotel and train fare at the same time offers great savings on your entire break. Although these packages can often have an added cost due to their convenience, if you find daily deals and added discounts often available such as those discussed in the Save Money on Vacation article, you can find a great deal on your entire break.
Before Checking Out
- Avoid Booking Fees
When you have secured your train tickets, the booking fees are the one thing which can trip you up and have you spending more. Search for providers who don’t have booking fees such as Cross Country Trains, or check out the voucher code websites to see that they don’t have any of the regular “free booking fee” deals on offer.
Extra Money Saving Tips
– Students can also get 12% off the 16-25 Railcard when they use their NUS card
– Look out for train-lines which have group bookings as some offer a 20% discount
– Don’t forget the refunds – some providers such as crosscountrytrains.,co.uk provide cashback for customers if their train is delayed.
For frequent travellers, some of these tips will no doubt already be saving you a fortune such as a railcard and booking your tickets early. However, there are many secret savings to be had every time you book train travel, no matter what trainline you book with. From browsing voucher codes to find savings on your specific journey, to comparing deals and ensuring you get the best one, there is no need to overspend in order to get from A to B. Save time and money on your train travel by keeping these top tips under your belt!