How many weeks in advance should you buy your train ticket? Which ticket should you choose? What are the railcards available to get discount on train fares? How can you make sure you do not miss any train deals & special offers? Following our recent article sharing our tips to get the best fare when booking flights, here are our tips to book cheap train tickets.


Book you train ticket in advance

Choose the right ticket

When looking to book cheap train tickets, you can choose between four types of tickets:

  • Advance tickets are the only train tickets that need to be purchased before the day you travel and are not refundable. Advance tickets enable you to travel only at a specified time. They are usually the cheapest tickets.
  • Super Off Peak tickets enable you to travel at a specified time during off peak period.
  • Off Peak tickets enable you to travel at any time during the off peak period.
  • Anytime tickets enable you to jump on any train, at any time within 5 days from purchase date for your journey. This flexibility makes it, most of the time, the most expensive train ticket.

Book early

Train operators enable travellers to book their train ticket up to 12 weeks in advance. The earlier you book it and the least expensive it will be. You are able to book all ticket types 12 weeks before taking your train so if you want to book cheap train tickets, do not wait the last minute!

> Book cheap train tickets


Travel in Group

Most train companies will offer you a discount if you’re travelling as a group during off peak hours. Groups of three to four people (including minimum one adult) are able to travel for the price that two adults will normally pay. Up to four additionnal children can travel with the group for 1£ each.

Please note that some restrictions apply to group travel as the group must travel together at all time and you will not be able to combine the group offer with a railcard discount. Please note that not all journeys and train companies allow group travel and you will need to check with the rail operator.


Check the price of 2 singles instead of 1 return

Another great tip for cheap train tickets: For some journeys, it could be cheaper to book 2 singles rather a return ticket. Check the difference when booking your ticket to make sure you do not miss any opportunities!


Invest in a railcard or a season ticket


Railcards enable you to get a third off train fares and will thus help you to book cheap train tickets when travelling. Depending on your age and situation, you can choose between six different railcards:

  • 16-25 Railcard: dedicated to anyone aged 16 to 25 or over 26 and in full time education. The 16-25 railcard costs £30 for a year.
  • Family & Friends Railcard: families travelling with at least one child aged 5 to 15 can save a third off adult fares and 60% off children fares with this railcard costing £30 a year.
  • Senior Railcard: dedicated to anyone aged 60+. The senior railcard costs £30 for a year.
  • Two Together Railcard: if you’re use to travel with the same person, the two together railcard costs £30 (15£ each) and can only be used when travelling together.
  • Network Railcard: people travelling around London and South East can benefit from the network railcard to save a third off adult fares and 60% off children fares. The railcard can be used for up to 4 adults and 4 children, it costs £30 for 12 months.
  • Disabled Railcard: by paying £20 a year, disabled persons can benefit from 1/3 off train fares for them and their accompanying adult.

Season Ticket

If you are making the same journey 3 or more times per week, a season ticket is likely to be profitable instead of daily tickets!


Check the Best Price Calendar

Holidays, sporting events, festivals, concerts, you’ve probably noticed already that train fares for the same journey can change depending on the season, the day you wish to travel and special events. We suggest you, whenever possible, to be flexible on your travelling dates as train fares may vary significantly from one day to another. When searching for cheap train tickets on Gopili, you will be able to access a calendar of cheap tickets on the search results webpage.


Be aware of the train deals

Some companies are offering special train deals to travel across UK and Europe, these deals could help you make great savings if you’re reactive. By making sure you are aware of them, you should be able to reduce the price of your train tickets.

“How can I be aware of them?” – simply follow us! We recently shared with you this eurostar deal to travel to France & Belgium and will continue to keep you updated of the most interesting train deals available for travelling in UK & Europe.

> Follow Gopili on Twitter
> Follow Gopili on Facebook


Travel at the right time

Train tickets tend to be more expensive during the busy peak travel times between 06:30 to 09:30 and 15:30 to 18:30. By being flexible on your ticket, you may be able to spend less.


Transport alternatives

You have already tried all these tips to find cheap train tickets but you cannot find affordable train for your journey? There are other transport alternatives that could meet your requirements for your journey. Our travel search engine enables you to find cheap tickets for UK and European journeys comparing train, bus, plane and ride share offers!
> Search for cheap tickets

Source: National Rail

About the Author :

Leave a Reply