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How to save money on train tickets

Train tickets are expensive. That’s especially true if you’re travelling at peak hours or if your train journey will take you through London. Find out how to save money on train tickets and where to look for the best bargains on train journeys.
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Book in advance

This is a tip that everyone knows so you need to look far earlier than you’d think. If you’ve got an important trip planned, you need to start searching for a ticket 12 weeks in advance. If you don’t, the best tickets will be taken. The suggestion of checking 12 weeks in advance isn’t a random one. Contractually Network Rail have to set timetables 12 weeks in advance so this is the earliest you can start looking for tickets.

Split your tickets

This might not sound right but buying two or even three tickets that make up the whole of your journey can often save you cash. As an example London to Durham will cost you more than £300 but you can get there for around £220 if you book separate single journeys via York. In this scenario four single tickets were also cheaper than two returns so going from London to York and then York to Durham on the way there, followed by the same two single journeys on the way back would be cheaper than booking a London to York return and a York to Durham return. Bizarre but true.

One more thing

When you think about getting an advanced ticket, you will be forgiven for thinking that you need to book weeks or days in advance. Often you don’t. If you find that you’ve left your journey planning to the night before, you might still be able to get a good deal so don’t give up on the idea of a cheap train ticket.

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