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Go by Train, 5 Ways to Save Tons of Money on Tickets

Cheap Train Tickets
photo by JasonRogers

Cheap train tickets anyone? A month doesn’t seem to go past without another, “Train ticket prices set to rise by [insert inflation busting value here]%”. True, UK train ticket prices are generally rising, but as with flying there are some bargain offers to be had.

Here’s my top 5 tips:

1.) Buy Early

Cheap tickets are available on most journeys and routes. But as with airlines, these tickets are often loss leaders to the train operating company. Therefore always aim to book your tickets at least 3 weeks if not 4/5 weeks in advance, as these seats are limited per train. Remembering peak time tickets are most sought after by bargain hunters/experienced rail travellers.

2.) Split Your Journey

Experiment online, often there are silly things when buying your ticket. For instance a ticket booked for a train between Cardiff and London can cost a lot more than a ticket between Cardiff and Bristol, then Bristol and London. Even though you may stay on the same train all the way through! Just remember booking a ticket which starts or ends beyond where you are getting off is against the terms of travel, so even if it is cheaper, don’t do it! I will give you an example I just looked at. A ticket booked from Cardiff to London costs £19 but splitting the tickets on the same train costs £3 Cardiff – Bristol and £10 Bristol to London. In total £13 a saving of £6! Without even having to change train!

3.) Don’t Book For Peak Times

May sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering. If you have to catch a train during peak time, split your ticket as in tip 2.). So that you only pay peak prices when you are doing the section of your journey that is at peak time.

4.) Get a Railcard

With up to a 1/3 off on many journeys a young persons railcard (student railcard), will save you a fortune or at least the cost of it. That assumes you travel often by train or travel large distances.

5.) Travel For Only £1

You may have heard of MegaBus, well there’s MegaTrain as well who offer tickets from as little as £1. As in tip 1.) the tickets are limited, but if you book early, you could find some astonishingly cheap tickets.

As long as you plan head and are willing to put a little time into experimenting on National Rail Enquiries website. You to could be sitting on a train smugly thinking the person opposite you may have paid twice as much for the same journey!

Happy travelling,

Martyn.

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