Cheap rail travel

Generally, the best way to save money on train travel, is to book early, where possible. Train companies, such as Virgin, release their tickets 12 weeks in advance, and this is when the real good deals can be picked up. For example, it is possible to pick up a ticket from Manchester to Edinburgh for just £10!!. This system works very well if you are planning a trip away well in advance. TOP TIP If you are planning a return trip, the tickets for the return will only be available 12 weeks in advance of the return date, so you will need to book 12 weeks before your return rather than 12 weeks from your travel out!.

Even if you can't book the whole 12 weeks in advance, there will still be cheaper alternatives available. For example, if you know exactly which train you can get, it will be cheaper than if you want an open, flexible ticket. As an example, at the time of writing, a Virgin Train from Manchester to London (return) for next day travel ranged from £66.40 to £247.00 - quite a saving if you can be a bit more organised about timings.

Companies such as The Trainline actually do have an online Cheap Ticket Alert System which you can register with, to try to avoid missing out on the bargain tickets. Though having said that always check as you still may be able to get discount tickets right up to the night before, it's worth logging on and checking!

Other Cheap UK Rail Travel Tips

Where cheap railway travel tickets are concerned check the price of a return to a single, even if you only need a single as in some cases a return can work out cheaper.

Another trick is if you are going on a long journey check the whole journey on a return price to breaking the journey up into return sections, this doesn't mean that you have to get off the train at anytime, your actual journey will remain the same with the same changes as you would normally have had if you had booked the one return ticket but the way you buy the tickets will be different, this is perfectly acceptable and can save you a great deal of money.

This would be done in the sense that you would for example buy a return ticket for the first part of your journey such as Manchester to York, then the second part York to Edinburgh return. You are travelling the exact same route as you would have if you had bought a Manchester Edinburgh return but the intention is that this will save you money. Checking the cost should take only a few minutes more when using the internet and you need to ensure that you check and compare prices.

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Updated on 22nd October, 2009

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