Train travel is increasingly becoming a popular mode of transport. Many governments continue to encourage citizens to use trains as an alternative mode of transportation to help decongest the roads and reduce pollution. Although train transport is slower than air transport over long-distance, it is faster than road transport. However, the advancement in high-speed electric-powered trains is quickly narrowing the time gap. Train transport offers a cheaper mode of travel than air. Furthermore, depending with the route and operator, train fares can be cheaper than bus transport. Other ways of getting cheap train tickets include:
· Advance tickets
Depending with the train operator, advance tickets are available 12 weeks in advance. Furthermore, they are often facilitated for long-distance travel. The tickets are usually available in limited supply and thus it is advisable to buy your ticket the earliest time possible. The tickets are also train-specific and time-specific. Therefore, if you miss your train your money will not be refunded. You will be expected to pay the price difference in order to board the next train. Nevertheless, some train operators allow for ticket alterations, where a passenger needs to contact the operator 24 hours before the scheduled departure time and express his/her intentions to change the time of travel. The passenger should be ready to pay the administrative cost to facilitate the alterations.
· Off-peak tickets
If you have to travel with short-notice, it is highly unlikely you will find an advance ticket. In such case, opting for an off-peak ticket would help you save some money. Off-peak hours and days vary among different companies, but often between 6.30am & 9.30am and between 4.30pm & 7.30pm, Monday to Friday.
· Shop online
If you are operating on an inflexible schedule, perhaps to a scheduled business appointment before 9am, travelling off-peak in order to save money is obviously not an option for you. However, you can still save some money by avoiding buying your ticket from the train station. Shopping online from independent train ticket companies is likely to get you fantastic deals.
· Combine tickets
Instead of buying a return ticket, you can break your trip and buy 2 or multiple train tickets. Depending with the train line, connecting trains offer a cost-effective way of getting to your destination. Many of the independent ticket websites display combinations of fares. Therefore, you do not have to waste time searching for the cheapest singles in each direction. The sites also show the fares of each train operator, to allow shoppers decide which operator to travel with, while taking into consideration the added travel benefits, including power sockets, at-seat catering, Wi-Fi connectivity, etc.