train tickets in advance
As with most modes of
transport, booking train travel as far in advance as possible
is the way to get the cheapest fares. As soon as you have
decided upon your dates and a destination, you should register
the details with Trainline’s ticket alert system.
You will then be emailed as soon as the cheapest advance
tickets come on sale. You will need to be quick off the
mark. Tickets are limited at the lowest price and tend to
Avoid costly airport
express trains and take the normal service instead. A standard
return on the Southern train from London Victoria station
to Gatwick airport costs £21.80, whereas the Gatwick
Express fare is £28.80. Yet Southern says its fast
service takes only five minutes longer.
If you are flying from Heathrow, consider taking the tube
instead of the Heathrow Express from London Paddington station.
A standard return on the Heathrow Express costs £32.
A single tube ticket from central London to Heathrow is
National Rail website
has a page devoted to special promotions all over the country,
including discounted rates, two-for-one offers and group
savings. In some cases buying two single journeys beats
one return journey on price, because most of the best deals
are available only as singles.
If you are booking in advance you can bag fares for as low
as £1 return on the Megatrain website, which covers
train routes in the south-west of England and the East Midlands.
Splitting your train tickets can save you a fortune compared
with buying the whole journey in one. Rather than buying
a straight return from London to Penzance with National
Rail for £260, for example, buy four tickets –
from London to Plymouth, Plymouth to Penzance, Penzance
to Plymouth and Plymouth to London – you’ll
pay just over £50 (a saving of £210).
If you are still think plastic is fantastic, when it comes
to big meals out or hotel bills overseas then opt for credit
not debit cards to settle up. Most debit cards levy a fee,
sometimes referred to as a handling fee (typically 2.75%),
on all purchases overseas. Some credit cards, by contrast,
offer low, or no, charges for usage abroad.
Successful 48-hour destinations