How do I save money on train and bus fares?

How do I save money on train and bus fares?

Train fares rise every year but whether you’re going on a long journey across the country or a short day trip out, there are still ways to make savings when using bus and train fares.

How to save money on train tickets

Get your ticket early
Buying tickets any time before the day you travel could net you a saving on your rail travel. You can book advance tickets up to 12 weeks before your travel.  Book early for the cheapest fares.

Split it

Let’s say you’re going from Point A to Point B. One single train ticket there could cost you £25, but there’s a chance you could cut costs by getting two tickets – one from Point A to a destination along the line for £12 perhaps, then getting off and changing to another train to go from there to Point B at maybe £10. That’s because train prices aren’t necessarily based on distance.

In a similar way, you can break up the same train ride into several tickets without getting off the train. It’ll often drop your costs, but you’ll have to be careful to make sure the tickets you’re buying are for the exact same train..

Experiment with your bookings next time you’re looking to ride the rails – although beware that if you miss your connection, you could have to buy another ticket on the service you do get.

First-class service
Sometimes first-class tickets are cheaper than standard fares should there be space on the particular journey you’re looking to take. There’s no hard-and-fast rule on when they’re available, so keep an eye out when you’re booking in advance or close to the date.

Should you snag a cheap first-class ticket, remember you’re entitled to free food on many services. It’s not the case all the time, but generally you’re guaranteed a drink and snack if the journey is short and a meal if it’s well over an hour. It seems there is such a thing as a free lunch.

Save money on train travel all year round

If you travel regularly it might work out cheaper to get a railcard.  Although most involve an initial upfront cost, if you travel often enough they can save you a lot money throughout the year.  There are few different options so it’s worth spending al bit of time reading about each at the National Rail website to make sure you get the best one for you.

How to save money on bus fares

Less fuss on the bus
Not only can fuel put a hole in your pocket, but parking these days can also cost you a fortune. If you go into town for work or just on a regular basis, you could make big savings, especially if you’re in for a long trip. In some places, parking for just a few hours could rack up a ticket of over £10. A bus day ticket usually comes in at under £5, though it can be more in some places. It also means you don’t have the stress of finding a parking space.

King of the road
You could save a bundle of cash by choosing the bus instead of the car, train or even aeroplane if you’re making a long trip. The UK’s big coach companies, National Express and Megabus go between all the UK’s major cities, many large towns and, in some cases, even big European destinations, all the while costing significantly less than other means of transport. Where a return journey between two major UK cities might cost less than £10 going by coach, you could be looking at over £40 for the train.

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