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advice on trains to Cornwall—when to pull the trigger?

(10 Posts)
USUK Mon 13-May-19 17:38:07

I'm newly moved back to the UK after decades overseas and I have no idea how things work, so... my husband, son and I are planning to take the train from London to Bodmin Parkway in Cornwall in mid-August. Just checked prices on Thetrainline.com and it comes to £175.05 for a Super Off Peak Return (with a Family & Friends railcard) for all three of us. No idea if that's a good price or expensive since I've never done the trip by train before. The site is asking me if I want to sign up for an alert for Advance tickets that go on sale 12 weeks before travel (that's a couple of weeks from now). It says Advance tickets are often cheaper, but doesn't give specifics. Should I wait a couple of weeks for the Advance tickets to go on sale, or should I grab what I can now, since the prices seem to be going up by the week at the moment? Thanks for any advice from experienced train ticket buyers...

OP’s posts: |
ScreamingValenta Mon 13-May-19 17:41:15

A super off peak return is the cheapest type of non-advance ticket. It's not likely to go up in the next two weeks. Advance tickets are generally cheaper but they do tie you to a specific train and seat, so they're no good if you need to be flexible.

MarieG10 Mon 13-May-19 17:43:13

Wait for the Advance tickets and book a fixed train. Much cheaper as long as you don't need to travel at peak time of the day

buttermilkwaffles Mon 13-May-19 17:56:15

Sign up direct with the train company for alerts of when tickets go on sale or work out the date and set your own alert. Book direct with the train company as Trainline charge a small fee (unless using Trainline via a cashback site and the cashback is higher than the fee).

USUK Mon 13-May-19 20:57:29

Thanks, everyone!

OP’s posts: |
Dermymc Mon 13-May-19 20:58:37

Use ticket splitter to save money too. It splits your journey into smaller ones (you stay on the train) which reduces the cost.

Do this after the advance fares are out to secure the best rate.

MustardScreams Mon 13-May-19 21:00:09

Probably cheaper and quicker to fly to Exeter and grab a train from Exeter St David’s to Bodmin.

Zone4flaneur Fri 17-May-19 08:42:20

Yes definitely wait. If you're happy to go at less popular times of day as well it's usually much cheaper with the advance. The last train back up is cheap but gets into Paddington very late!

WobblyArse Fri 17-May-19 09:04:08

Flights Gatwick to Newquay also possible. Otherwise, definitely wait for advance tickets. To give you an idea, I've just searched on 22 & 29 June and you can do it for £93.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 18-May-19 08:48:58

I would read this about Advance tickets before further committing yourself to these:-

www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/46546.aspx

This site is also worth looking at:-
www.redspottedhanky.com/cheap-train-tickets/

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