Thursday, 3 January 2013

Travel: Making the Train Cheaper

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With UK ticket prices constantly rising, here are some tips to keep your costs down when traveling by train for business or pleasure.

Cross Country Bombardier Class 221
Super Voyager waits at Newcastle Central Station

If you can avoid it, never buy your train tickets on the day of travel from the station or on the train itself.

Buying tickets online in advance can save you up to 80% compared to the on the day price.

Most operators allow you to by tickets months in advance and offer great deals to those who book early.

Web sites such as and can offer good prices. However, if you want to save more, find out which company operates the trains in your area. For example Grand Central and Northern Rail operate from Sunderland.

Go to the train operators own web site and buy your tickets direct from them. This can save you an extra 10%.

Buying two singles for specific trains can often be cheaper than getting an anytime return.

Also breaking up your journey can save you money – for example buying a ticket from Sunderland to York then York to London can work out much cheaper then a direct ticket to London.
Two class 43’s wait at London Kings Cross.
One in East Coast the other Grand Central Trains liveries
Both operators travel North on the east coast main line
and both offer online deals.

Try to be flexible, if you don’t need to travel during rush hour don’t as you can get good discounts on train tickets in the middle of the day.

Now this may sound strange but during school holidays - when the second class cloches are full of families taking staycations and business people are a few and far between - 1st class can often be the same price or even cheaper than 2nd. See the blog Traveling First Class (in the UK) Could Save you Money!. So it’s always a good idea to check all ticket prices including 1st class as you never know what deal you may get.

Finally, the cheapest journey is a journey not made. Conference calling and Skype meetings can in many cases replace face to face meetings, which can save you a huge amount of money, which will aid your cash flow especially in the early days of a business.

Take care,

Dom O'Neill

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