Please Be Aware The Following Tips Are For UK Cheap Train Tickets Only
Because of my background in the rail industry I have learned a trick or two about how to get the cheap train tickets whenever I travel.
The vast majority of people that travel on trains simply turn up at the station, buy a ticket & get on a train. This is one of the most expensive ways to travel.
The only other way that is more expensive is if you buy a ticket on board the train.
But we're not talking about the most expensive train tickets, we want cheap train tickets.
The 1st thing you should get if you are wanting cheap train tickets is a Railcard. There are many different versions available to cover everybody's needs.
You can have a Student Railcard going up to the age of 21. If your not a student don't despair. You are still entitled to a young persons Railcard. This is available right up to the age of 50.
Over 50? No problem. Get a senior Railcard that entitles you to cheap train tickets from 50 years onwards.
If you have a family of at least one over 18 & one under 16 then you may be better off investing in a family Railcard.
Of course rail cards are only good value for money if your going to be traveling regularly throughout the year.
If your just traveling as a one off, visit any of the train operating company's websites & purchase what is classed as an 'Advanced Purchase'. Basically these are the cheapest of the cheap train tickets.
Please be aware - There are severe restrictions on these tickets. These include you must travel on the time & date specified & if you need to cancel the ticket or change the ticket, you cannot have a refund. While this may sound bad, its not often that people who make plans cannot stick to the plans made.
The advantage of this type of ticket is if you book it in advance, you can get your train ticket for as little as Â£5 from Newcastle to London & vice versa. When you compare this to the standard open train ticket priced at Â£168, the advanced purchase ticket is a very cheap train ticket indeed.
There is a way you can try & get this ticket even cheaper.
Splitting your ticket but not your journey.
There are time restrictions on some trains (peak trains & off peak trains) & peak zone time restrictions for certain area's (for instance entering London before 9am & leaving London between 3pm & 6-30pm). Now because of these time restrictions the cost of your ticket can increase dramatically. For instance a peak ticket from Newcastle to London is Â£168 but an off peak is less than Â£100.
If you get your ticket off peak to the most southern station allowed under the above mentioned peak restrictions (usually Peterborough Or Stevenage) then get a peak ticket for the remainder of the journey. For this to work, your train MUST STOP at the station where your tickets specify or the ticket person will charge you for a new ticket.
You will need to do a little bit of research before you buy your ticket but it can be worth it in the money you can save.
It can also be cheaper to buy 2 one way tickets rather than one return ticket. Again a little research before you buy can save you a fortune.
Of course if you have bought one of the previously mentioned Railcards, you can also use these when purchasing your ticket(s) to save even more money on your cheap train tickets.
What about us commuters I hear you say? Most Train Operating Companies (TOC's) offer what is called a Season Ticket. You pay for either a monthly travel card, a quarterly travel card or a yearly travel card. These can cost in excess of Â£6000 for an annual Season Ticket. While this is obviously a lot of money, if used every working day (taking into account bank holidays & 6 weeks holiday per year) the price averages out to about Â£40 per day for a return journey.
These are just some simple steps you can take to ensure you get cheap train tickets, at the best price for you, not the TOC's.
If you have any other tips on how to get cheap train tickets then please post thses onto infobarrel for the rest of the online community to benefit.