How to Find Cheap Train Tickets
Want to find out how to get the best deal on train tickets? No need to go anywhere else – our top tips will help you save
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You can book up to 90 days in advance.
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Train operators can only release tickets for sale up to 90 days in advance.
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Finding cheap train tickets can make or break the booking of your next UK holiday or fun day out. Whether it’s a business trip, a last-minute day out to your nearest city or a longer trip to stay with friends or family, finding the right fare can be tricky. At CrossCountry, we have some great tips for how to get the cheapest train tickets, quickly and easily. Check them out below!
1. Book early
You can buy your Advance Ticket up to 12 weeks ahead and save up to 60%* on your train fare. Fares usually increase right up until the day of travel, so the earlier you buy the more you could save!
2. Get cheap ticket alerts
If you’ve got somewhere you know you want to go in over 12 weeks’ time, you can create a ticket alert and be one of the first to know your tickets are available to purchase. All you need to do is tell us your train route and when you want to travel and we’ll email you as soon as tickets become available.
3. Be flexible
If you’re flexible with the day and time you travel, you are more likely to find cheaper tickets. There might be a greater allocation of cheaper tickets still available on different dates and times, so it’s always worth having a look. If you’re searching for a CrossCountry train, use the ‘I’m flexible’ option when searching.
4. Travel off-peak
Whenever you can, avoid travelling at peak times as this is when fares are most expensive. Travelling Off-Peak means cheaper tickets and quieter trains. Off-peak times vary per route, but usually avoid the busy rush-hour commute times in the mornings and evenings.
5. Compare Singles
Another hack to finding cheap train tickets is to check whether two single tickets are cheaper than a return. It’s not always the case but when it is, it can be a nice little reduction on your train ticket cost.
6. Save 1/3 with a Railcard
You could make great savings on your train travel with a Railcard, but Railcards are only available to people who meet certain criteria. Browse our Railcards to find out if you’re eligible and start finding cheap train tickets now.
7. Student perks
We know it can be tough being a student and trying to save money. That’s why if you have a TOTUM/NUS Extra card you can knock a further 10% off your CrossCountry Advance rail fare. Find out more about student train tickets here.
8. Avoid booking fees
Some booking websites may add a small booking fee to each journey you purchase with them. Whilst small, it is an extra charge that can be avoidable when booking elsewhere! At CrossCountry, we have never added a booking fee onto our train tickets, so when booking directly with us, the price of your ticket is the final price you’ll pay.
9. Buy a season ticket
If you’re making the same journey regularly, for example to commute to and from work, it may work out cheaper to invest in a season ticket. Season tickets are available on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis, and can result in huge savings for customers. It also means you can avoid the queues at ticket machines.
10. Benefit from CrossCountry offers
We regularly have great deals and discounts on offer for our train services, but you've got to be in it to win it. Register today and get the best deals direct to your inbox.
How to buy cheap train tickets online
If you want to find cheap train tickets online, follow these five simple steps:
Step 1: Search online or download our app.
Step 2: Add your departure and arrival station.
Step 3: Choose your date
Most Advance Tickets go on sale 12 weeks before the date of departure, so the earlier you book the cheaper your tickets could be.
Step 4: Don’t forget to add your Railcard, if you have one, to get an even bigger discount.
Step 5: Book!
To find cheap train tickets for your journey with CrossCountry, simply enter your travel information into our journey planner and search for the time and date that suits you.
*Applies to CrossCountry journeys only. Average saving calculated by comparing Advance standard single ticket prices, purchased before the day of travel, for 4,973 CrossCountry journeys to the equivalent price of an Anytime standard single ticket. Advance fares are subject to availability, terms and conditions apply. Please see website for full details.