UNI TIPS • HOW TO FIND CHEAPER TRAIN TICKETS13:11
As a fresher who lives 3 hours away from home, I have quickly come to realise that train tickets are extremely expensive. To make matters worse, January saw a train fare price hike, and given that students are on a strict budget as it is, it wasn't really something I was too happy about. In fact, as I write this I am on a train journey which has cost me a heartbreaking £60! So if you're like me and like visiting home often, I recommend having a read of my top money saving tips below.
1. GET A RAILCARD
A 16-25 railcard will save you up to 30% on train tickets, which can be a substantial discount when your usual ticket might cost £80. Although they cost £30 a year, you'll most likely get this back through savings on one return journey, depending on how far you travel. If you want even better value for money, you can get a three year card which costs you £70, which saves you £20 if my maths is correct. This year, Santander offered a free railcard for people who opened a student account with them, so this is something to also consider.
2. BOOK IN ADVANCE
If there's anything you should be organised about at university, I'd recommend train tickets. Booking up to 12 weeks in advance can save you up to 80% according Raileasy. I understand that this may be hard for those who haven't got such a flexible timetable, but it's worth just buying tickets for when you'll definitely be home as it'll still save you something. If you're lucky and have 'reading' weeks, you can also look ahead on your timetable to see when those are and book tickets early!
3. RAILEASY ADVANCED OPTIONS
Raileasy is my go-to booking site as I find it always has the best deals. Under their 'advanced options' button, there is a 'find the cheapest fares throughout the day' filter. If you are flexible, this is great as you can just pick to travel at the cheapest time.
4. TICKET SPLITTING
Along with the advanced options, I like to use Raileasy's ticket splitting tool (you can find more information about the service here). Usually, I'll start by finding the cheapest time to travel and then split that ticket by putting the times I found into the tool. This approximately saves me a further £10, on top of the £30 I already save with my railcard! Pretty good right? Obviously savings will depend on each individual journey, but it's always worth a shot. However, always check the prices between the full and split ticket prices as occasionally, the full ticket can be cheaper.
Hope this is useful. If you decide to follow this, I'd love to know how much you saved! Or if you have any other tips, please share them below.
This post is not affiliated with or sponsored by Raileasy. I just think they are a great website and wanted to share my tips with you all!