Insider tips for smarter train bookings

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With rail fares set to rise above inflation from January, could you benefit from some insider tips on keeping ticket costs down? Here are Capita Travel and Events’ essential dos and don’ts for saving money on rail travel:

Do specify your outbound time of travel
Business travellers generally know the start time of a meeting, so it’s relatively simple to fix the outbound time of travel. However, they don’t always know what time the meeting will finish. If you’re not sure what time you’re coming back, book a single advance ticket for your outbound journey, and a separate, flexible ticket for the return leg. You could save up to 40% on the total journey price.

Do move meetings off-peak
If a face-to-face meeting is required, could you rethink the schedule? Kicking off a meeting a little later, and avoiding having to travel there in peak time could save up to 13%. On weekdays, off-peak is generally after 9am and after 7pm. But be warned: this varies by operator and they do occasionally change their off-peak cut-off times so check and change travel choices accordingly.

Don’t leave it to the last minute to book rail fares
Advance rail fares can now be bought as close as 10 minutes before departure on many routes. But not every train operator will be making advance tickets available on the day. And there are still only a limited number of advance seats available on any given train. These can sell out well before the day of departure on certain services. Again, the biggest advance savings are available when you stipulate the exact time and date of travel. Booking a specific train could save you 44% on the cost of a full anytime single.

Don’t automatically add a Travelcard when you buy a rail ticket to London
We’ve looked into the ins and outs of which London public transport ticket is best for business travellers – read our analysis here.

To read the rest of Capita Travel and Events’ tips,

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