Cheaper train travel for your family is possible when you’re in on the clever train travel money saving tricks and ticket buying loopholes that the train companies don’t advertise. Just a little bit of forward planning and these saving money tips and you’ll have the confidence that you’re getting the cheapest, best value ticket for your cheap family days out or commute to work. Use a car? Find out how to save money buying your family car and how to spend less on family car running costs.
Buy more than one ticket
Sometimes buying a return ticket for part of your journey and then a return ticket for the rest of it, can be cheaper than buying one return. Bizarre, but true. As long as the train you are on stops at the place your tickets join, it’s perfectly legal. Ask at the ticket office if there are any cheaper combinations you can try or visit splityourticket.co.uk
Buy two singles to save money on train travel
Check with your ticket office whether two single tickets are cheaper than a return. Sometimes it can be.
Invest in a railcard for cheaper train fares
Save 1/3 on adult fares and 60% on children’s fares with a family railcard. This will set you back less than £30 a year. A fabulous money saving if you make a lot of family trips by train.
If you’re able to book in advance, Megatrain, has cheap rail fares starting from £1 plus a 50p booking fee.
Save cash with a carnet
If you make the same journey regularly, buy a carnet. This is like a book of tickets and offers savings of around 10%. Check with your local rail operator to see exactly what it offers.
Pick your own season
If you’re going on maternity leave and usually buy a yearly season ticket to commute, you don’t have to switch to paying extra for monthlies or weeklies. If you’re going on maternity leave in 15 weeks, ask for a 15-week season ticket to enjoy better savings.
Get alerted for lowest train ticket prices
To get the lowest possible price for a journey you have to book 12 weeks in advance. But it’s sometimes hard to remember exactly when that is.
Ticketing website thetrainline.com has a handy little advance ticket alert system you can sign up for. Just enter details of your planned journey and it will send you an email alert when advance (often cheaper) tickets for that journey come on sale. Handy for booking for holidays or that Christmas visit.