Living in another city for university and still having a job in my home city means I spend a lot of time on trains. Through this I have picked up some tips and tricks for getting the best deals for cheap travel. My route is normally from Manchester to Leeds however I have been able to use the same tricks with different journeys.
1. Firstly, book in advance. This seems obvious but it actually does work. I’m planning to visit Norwich from Leeds in March and by booking now I’ve managed to get tickets for a third of the price.
2. Try from different stations. For example, when I come to Leeds from my home town it costs 16 pounds without a railcard for a month open return. However, if I depart from Manchester Victoria I can get to Leeds for just 3 pounds as a single with just one day booking in advance.
3. Look at singles instead of returns. Gernerally singles for specified times are a lot cheaper than returns, you have to make that certain train however money wise it is definitely worth it.
4. ‘Flexi-Travel’. Book singles from station to station along the way. There are websites for this and can save you money rather than a simple A to B ticket.
5. If you are a student BUY A RAILCARD. The 16-25 railcard is a life saver, each time I travel from my home town to Leeds I save 6 pounds, and when I get the cheaper train from Manchester Victoria it only costs me 2 pounds.
6. Save money for a longer journey. Direct fast trains almost triple prices to destinations. By adding an extra half an hour on to your journey you can cut prices by vast amounts, with a return from Manchester to Leeds being 21 pounds for an hour train compared to 6 pounds for two singles for an hour and half train.
I hope these little tricks help, they sure have with me especially being on a student budget.