Train travel can be expensive, there’s no two ways about it. While it might seem something of an impossibility, it’s actually quite easy to save money on your train tickets if you know all of the tricks of the trade. From booking your tickets in advance to split ticketing, here is a whole host of methods you can utilise to save money on your next long train journey.
Flexible season tickets
A flexible season ticket is designed to aim part-time computers save money on their travel to work, but it can also be used for your next long train journey. A flexible season ticket can be used up to 8 times every 28 days as a day return ticket, with no need to book in advance. For some people, this can save them hundreds, but others may find they don’t make as significant a saving. Money Saving Expert has a handy calculator that you can use to work out if you would make a substantial saving from investing in a flexible season ticket.
Find out when prices are going to jump
Lots of ticket selling platforms have a price prediction tool that tells customers when they can expect the prices of tickets to move up and down, or even sell out. This makes it really easy for anyone who needs to get a cheap fare, as they can see in advance when the cheapest prices will be available, especially if your plans aren’t finalised. Make sure you use a site that doesn’t charge you for your booking once you know the best date to book, in order to increase your savings.
Split your tickets
Buying tickets for constituent parts of the journey can absolutely slash the price of your fare, even though you’re staying on the same train. The only rule of split ticketing is that the train must stop at the station you’re buying a ticket for. For example, you could buy a ticket from Chester-le-Street to Leeds, with the train stopping in York inbetween. You could buy a ticket from Chester-le-Street to York, then York to Leeds to save some money. You might even find you’re in the same seat.
Consider a railcard
If you spend more than £90 on train tickets every year, it’s definitely worth getting a railcard. Most only cost around £30 per year, or £70 for three years, and most also give you up to a third off from off-peak London Underground, Overground, DLR and Elizabeth line journeys on Oyster pay-as-you-go services. There are so many different types of railcard, it’s worth seeing if you qualify for one. It can make a huge difference to the price you pay.
There are so many more ways to save money on train tickets for a long journey, including making sure you buy your tickets during the golden window (12 weeks in advance), and trying to buy two advance singles, rather than a return ticket. Make sure you know all of the ticket rules before you book, and especially during your journey.