A Guide to Cheaper Train Tickets

Many times, while travelling by train, you could end up spending on travel tickets much more than what an airplane ticket would cost, so here is a guide to cheaper train tickets that will help you save money while travelling around the country, sometimes up to 60% off the original price of the ticket just by making some research before buying it .

Buy early, save more.
Train tickets disappear in no time, and it’s not easy to find affordable prices even within 1 or 2 weeks from the departure date. To be sure you can find the cheapest fare available you should book in advance at least 12 weeks before your travel.
As a rule of thumb, if your travel dates are flexible go for a trip starting during the week instead of week end; chances are you will be able to find cheaper mid-week tickets than week ends fares or tickets set for peak time trains.

You should always look on the different rail service providers’ websites, as many of them offer discounts and deals from time to time, and regular cheap fares for specific time of the week.
Virgin train, for example, charges super cheap mid-week tickets for just 1£ , while offers provided by Cross Country Rail can go up to 75% off from the regular ticket price. Another interesting service is operated by Thetrainline.com, which runs its own service and other booking sites as well; you should browse this site for cheaper deals and discounts and subscribe to the email alert system as it delivers up to date information on the cheapest tickets available at the moment. Keep in mind though that if you end up buying a ticket, the website will charge a 1£ fee.
Another similar and interesting booking site is Raileasy , good for booking in advance tickets at affordable prices.
A last tip, even if it’s not advertised as covering all UK rail trips and fares, National Express’ East Coast system gives a traveller all the information on economic tickets and journeys through its low fare finder system, without asking any additional fee. You should check its special offer page for last-minute extra discounts.

The Split-ticketing trick.
When you have to take a long journey that involves more than one course the rail train company will ask you to buy one comprehensive ticket, but at the same time you could buy more tickets that cover your travel and you would save up to 60% on your fare. Usually rail firms don’t say openly on their website that you can actually opt for this form of travel, you should take some time to do a little research to see if it’s possible to buy individually all the trades, the only condition is that you have to stop at all the places you have bought the ticket for. The reason why buying tickets one by one ends to be cheaper than buying one whole ticket is that different rail companies work on that trade and set different prices for each one.

If you are a seasoned train traveller, consider a rail card.
A guide to cheaper train tickets such as this one could not mention the advantage of rail cards: if you often travel by train with your family, or you are aged under 26, or you are an over 60 traveller, then you are eligible to specific annual rail cards that give you more possibilities to get discounts and promotions on your future rail journeys.
A Network Railcard, available in the South-East region, costs 25£ a year, it allows you and up to 3 adults travelling with you to get 1/3 off your travels within the Network Railcard area. Someone who’s eligible for a gold card has access to the same benefits, and can purchase another railcard for another adult for 2£.

Any delays? Get your money back
A last tip from a guide to cheaper train tickets has to be about delays: if your train is more than 30 minutes late you could ask some money back from the ticket cost. Keep your ticket and get a reclaim form from the station. If travelling underground your train experiences a delay of 15 minutes or more you are eligible to ask for a compensation claim trough the TFL website.

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