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How to get cheaper train tickets

We're here to help you make savings in a jiffy.

With rail fares going up, we all want to get cheaper train tickets more than ever. But we don’t have all day to scour the internet and find every possible combination to suit us! Here are some of the best Railsmartr tips on how to get cheaper train tickets with ease:

Look at slower routes

Let’s start with looking at slower trains. Railsmartr will pick out the slower routes that you might not have thought of, particularly when it comes to travelling to and from London. The best examples include going between Manchester and London, and Birmingham and London. Take a look at how much we could save you on a last-minute London to Manchester trip:

cheaper london to manchester train tickets on railsmartr

You could also click here for our full guide on alternative routes to try that could save you a packet!

Pick the right time to travel

It seems obvious, but avoiding busier times can help, too. This doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding the traditional ‘peak’ times either. Did you know, for example, that the Friday morning ‘peak’ towards London is one of the quietest times to travel? Meanwhile, a Wednesday can be one of the busiest.

Know when to book in advance

Booking in advance is another example of how to get cheaper train tickets. You can even book advance tickets on some routes right up to the time that your train is due to leave! So long as you’ve paid and got your ticket before you jump on, you’re good to go. Just be careful that you don’t book too far in advance, as some sites will sell you a full-price flexible ticket without any reservations.

Let our guide to Advance train tickets tell you more.

Single or return?

You should also make sure that a return ticket isn’t cheaper than buying advance single tickets. If you’re travelling at the last minute and need to make a return trip, a flexible return ticket (such as Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak) might be cheaper. It’ll give you more options, too!

Want to know about what Off-Peak train times are? We’ve got you covered.

The National Rail website will also tell you when tickets are valid.

Book smarter!

Most train ticket retailers charge a fee for booking or refunding your tickets. In fact, refund and exchange fees could cost you up to £10 if you need to cancel your trip or change your journey to a different time. Railsmartr is committed to never charging you fees for bookings or refunds, so when you book through us, you’ll be saving too.

Ready to book? Visit the Railsmartr website.

Author Richard

Hi, I'm Richard and I've been working for Railsmartr since 2022. I make sure that everything we communicate with customers is top-notch and write exciting and informative content for the website. When I'm not at work, you'll still find me on the rails - though often in the far corners of Europe!