Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Cheap Train Travel

This post was requested by my dear friend Krystal who travels back home from university via train a fair bit. She was shocked to discover that certain websites add additional charges for for things like paying by credit card/paypal or simply for just using their service. Train ticket prices are set to rise which makes these charges even more annoying and making rail travel less viable. Here is my list of tips to help save you money on rail travel.

1. Use travelsupermarket.com
Most people know it is much cheaper to buy tickets in advance online, in recent years the number of websites selling tickets has increased dramatically with every company trying to get hold of your money using gimmicks and advertising without telling you all the details. Travelsupermarket.com don't charge for using credit cards, they allow you to collect your tickets for free from train stations and best of all they don't charge a booking fee. Most of the other major online retailers have various charges when you book with them. The site is really easy to use and clearly displays which times are the cheapest, how many stops they have and  how much the journey would cost if you were buying a return or if you were buying singles. Sometimes buying singles can be most cost effective, to learn more about ticket splitting click here.
2. Use a Railcard
For some people a railcard will not save much money but there are ways to ensure it does. In the past I have bought railcards at full price, but in the last 2 years I haven't. A full price 16-25 railcard at £30 would take me at least 6 journeys (travelling my usual route from Sheffield to Lincoln) before I'd start to save money. I usually do travel more than 7 times a year so it is cost effective for me to buy one but you can also find railcards at discounted rates which makes the saving even greater! Tesco run a scheme where you can exchange your clubcard points for various things including discounted railcards. So instead of costing you £30, you can exchange your points and get a railcard half price! Don't have clubcard points? Don't worry you can get 20% off a 16-25 railcard here. Not only do railcards entitle you to 1/3rd off your travel you can also get money off various attractions. If you are a mature student, you are now eligible to apply for a railcard, for more information click here. If you still can't get hold of a railcard you can always ask for one as a gift from a family member.

Let's face it, everyone hates coaches but sometimes they are actually the cheapest option. Often they do take a lot longer than rail travel but if you aren't in a rush and you're really strapped for cash then it might be worth looking into, you can always do a bit of homework to pass the time. National Express have their own Young Persons Coachcard which costs just £10 a year and is for those in full time education or people aged 16-26. Over 60's can get a coachcard too so it might be worth telling your nan. 

I hope you've found this post useful!


  1. Such a good post! Had no idea there was a National Express coach card!


    Amy x

    1. Neither did I until I was researching this post. It's definitely worth getting!


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