As a student, we know that your money is tight. You will be trying to budget using your student loan, wages from your part time job and/or money already saved. We also know that money runs out. You think you’ve left enough to pay for your train ticket home at the end of the term but suddenly you find yourself phoning mum and dad for a loan.
So that was then. You’ve done it once, now to plan for the next journey home. In advance! You have your timetable, you know when the holidays are. You know if you’re going home, or going to Glastonbury, or you’re off to try surfing in Newquay with your mates. Book your train ticket in advance and not only will you have organised your travel ahead of all the other draining expenses being a student brings but you will make considerable savings if you play the game right.
It also means you can reserve your seat in many cases, so you can choose what carriage you want, whether you’d like a seat with a table for your studies, or a power point for your tablet to charge.
First up, if travelling by train is a regular thing we would recommend investing in a rail card. This will save you 1/3 on all fares if you’re aged between 16 and 25 or any age if you’re in full time education.
Use our best fare finder widget to book your trip. Be flexible, try putting in earlier departure times or later arrival times to see what a difference it can make to the cost of your ticket. Consider splitting the ticket on longer journeys. You still travel on the same train, you don’t have to get off, but by splitting the ticket to cover the shorter legs of the journey you could well make considerable savings!
Similarly to spilt ticketing you should always check the cost of buying a single ticket as opposed to a return journey. In some cases it can be cheaper to book your tickets as two singles tickets in advance, so it’s always well worth the time checking.
Did you know that by booking in advance it is also possible to upgrade to first class for the same cost as a standard ticket, sometimes even cheaper. What could be nicer than spreading out, a bit of Wi-Fi and some food thrown in on your long journey home?
The best piece of advice we can give you to make the savings you need, is to be organised, flexible and persistent. Leaving you enough money to buy mum a huge bunch of flowers for doing all your washing…