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Is there any way of getting cheaper train tickets?

(23 Posts)
IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 31-May-13 15:33:18

We're planning a weekend in London, travelling by train from South Wales. I cannot remember the last time that we travelled by train!

I can get tickets for the 4 of us for £177 return. They are all single tickets (they are a lot cheaper than return tickets for some reason) and are only valid for the exact train selected at the time of booking which ought to be ok.

Does anyone know if there are ever any offers or ways of getting cheaper tickets?

OP’s posts: |
BigStickBIWI Fri 31-May-13 15:35:05

Have you tried thetrainline.com? They will give you different options. Whether they will be even cheaper than the price you have I don't know - but they seem to be cheaper the earlier you book.

mumblechum1 Fri 31-May-13 15:37:53

It may be worth buying a family railcard. That way you get (I think) one third off, but of course you have to buy the railcard (which lasts a year)

Juniperberry79 Fri 31-May-13 15:40:17

Megatrain.com

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 31-May-13 15:56:49

Trainline.com is where I got my original prices from.

Family railcard looks like a good idea though - £30 for all of us and will save us 1/3

Megatrain only seem to have buses available for our journey (and then only from central Cardiff) so that's not going to work with super fidgety ds2 - the bus prices are fantastic though and I'll certainly look there again for any child-free travelling that I might do (in the very distant future!)

Thanks all

OP’s posts: |
Nospringflower Sun 02-Jun-13 10:24:49

There's a deal on at the moment that you can get a family railcard free for 2 months and then you get one half price or something like that. I did it last year and saw it advertised recently - something to do with daily mail ...

Nospringflower Sun 02-Jun-13 10:25:54

This

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/prmts/article-1386804/Free-2-month-Family--Friends-Railcard-Offer.html

MirandaWest Sun 02-Jun-13 10:27:51

Definitely get a family railcard. And don't use the train line as they charge an admin fee (might be only a pound but it all adds up)

notcitrus Sun 02-Jun-13 12:22:22

Go to the East Coast trains website. There;s an option to be alerted when cheap tickets for your journey are available (about 8 or 12 weeks in advance) - they will automatically email you.

Leaving Cardiff after 10am may help, or if going earlier, look at splitting the tickets at wherever you stop just after 9.30, so you only pay expensive rates for part of the journey.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 02-Jun-13 20:07:30

Thanks for the ideas.

Unfortunately the link for the free railcard isn't working - I'll try again tomorrow.

I definitely think we'll be getting a railcard one way or another - do they actually check them though? I can get the reduced priced tickets without inputting any information, just saying that I've got one.

OP’s posts: |
Ponders Sun 02-Jun-13 20:15:08

redspottedhanky & Virgin don't charge a booking fee.

Also redspottedhanky can be booked with Tesco vouchers (but only at 2 for 1, you get better value if changed for restaurants)

You do need to carry the railcard - they look for it IME grin

Catbert4pm Sun 02-Jun-13 20:18:57

Agree with Ponders, they expect to see it when they check your tickets smile

Crikeyblimey Sun 02-Jun-13 20:22:20

Redspottedhankie take Tesco vouchers.

Also try "ticketysplit" they show you where to split your tickets for cheaper fares for the same journey.

MirandaWest Sun 02-Jun-13 20:28:46

I think the link for the free railcard might have only been valid until the end of May sad

But getting one even at half price could still save you money even on one trip.

Ponders Sun 02-Jun-13 20:32:42

ticketysplit is only for walk-on fares, not advance

but you can look at booking the journey in stages anyway, OP - as long as your train stops at the ticketed station, you don't have to actually get off

DottyDot Sun 02-Jun-13 20:32:50

You can use Tesco vouchers to buy a family railcard (just ordered ours yesterday) as well as for train tickets. We save ours up to get tickets to London.

Ponders Sun 02-Jun-13 20:34:48

oh, & you can use Tesco vouchers to buy the railcard (£15 worth) but again it's only at 2-for-1

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 02-Jun-13 20:35:06

£177 sounds pretty cheap to me from South Wales to London, for 4 people.

A railcard is definitely worth doing though as with a trip like that you make the cost back in one go.

Also worth looking at megabus.com - they have coach and train fares extremely cheap. I once went to Edinburgh from the Midlands (via London grin) for about £8 per person!

Ponders Sun 02-Jun-13 20:35:09

x-posts, Dot smile

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 03-Jun-13 14:53:27

Thanks all.

East Coast Trains website had a slightly better price, and with a railcard it'll be about £120 which is pretty good I think. I'll have a look at using some Tesco vouchers to fund the railcard.

Why is it cheaper to book single tickets both ways rather than returns? That seems very odd.

Megabus is excellent value, but not with fidgety ds2! That'll works as he gets older hopefully.

OP’s posts: |
Ponders Mon 03-Jun-13 15:27:14

Why is it cheaper to book single tickets both ways rather than returns? That seems very odd

It's a mystery. I don't think even the train companies know confused

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 03-Jun-13 21:41:53

I've got 4 of us return for £93.50. That's fantastic value for money - I've used Tesco vouchers to buy the Family Railcard too grin

OP’s posts: |
Ponders Mon 03-Jun-13 22:01:00

fantastic! that's only just over half the price you got originally - well done smile

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