Menu Close
/ Register

Top Tips for travelling by train

Travelling by train is a convenient and fast way to get from A to B

These days there are plenty of ticket options and a large choice of retailers to buy from - ranging from at the station to on your phone.

Here are some of the top tips for getting the best value ticket and avoiding the busiest time trains.

Avoid peak times

Avoid travelling during peak times. It's not only less stress but travelling outside of peak times is generally cheaper. Peak times are when there is most demand such as when everyone is going home from work or back to university. Usually trains start to get busy from 7.00am to 9.00am and from 4.30pm until after 6pm during the week. Fridays and Sundays are typically the busiest days as passengers travel away for the weekend.

Think ahead to get a 'fare' price

Train companies release their cheapest fares 12 weeks ahead of travel so the earlier you can plan your journey, the cheaper it will be. These cheaper Advance fares are available right up to 15 minutes before you travel for some companies like CrossCountry while other train companies close their Advance fares the night before travel.

All train ticket retailers have access to the same tickets

You can buy exactly the same fares at the station as you can online. The exception to this is special offers on some train ticket websites like the CrossCountry NUS 10% discount which is available for NUS extra card holders.

Take advantage of discounts

Railcards offer 1/3 off the price of your train ticket and can often be used in conjunction with other discounts like the NUS 10% discount detailed above.

Take your seat

Avoid the last minute stampede to the train by reserving your seat in advance; it will save you time and also means you can plan how to use your journey time. You can even choose which coach and seat you would prefer if you book online. For instance choose a seat near a power socket to make sure your smart phone or tablet doesn't run out of battery during longer journeys. If you want to use your journey time to do some work or studying, you can choose to sit at a table. But don't worry if you forget to reserve a seat, if you travel with CrossCountry you can make reservations up to ten minutes before departure via the website or Train Tickets app

Get app happy

Why not use our Train Tickets app? It free to download and not only acts as a no-fee booking tool delivering a ticket direct to your mobile phone for some journeys, it's an easy and fast way keep up to date with live train running information including platform details. You can download the CrossCountry Train Tickets app via your mobile app store or text WEB to 87080 - texts charged at standard network rate.

Stay alert

We know that sometimes other things are more important in life and remembering to buy your train ticket can often slip to the bottom of the pile. Signing up to Ticket alerts will give you a personal reminder to book your tickets in advance, crossing at least one thing off your list and letting you concentrate on the more important things.

Group travel

It can be cheaper to contact the train company's group travel team if there are more than 9 people travelling in your group. CrossCountry's group travel team can be contacted via the website or on 0871 244 2388 (Calls charged 10p per minute from BT landlines, calls from other operators may vary).

Look out for offers

If you want to find out more about the best deals and to stay informed, follow Student Rail Deals on Facebook for the latest rail related news, tips and discounts relevant to you.

Start your search for cheap train tickets by using the 'Find your train' panel at the top of the page or download our free Train Tickets app!

Did you find this page useful?