When we start working with a new client, reducing their spend on rail tickets is usually one of the quickest and easiest things for us to, just through years of experience of booking rail.
Avoid “Anytime” tickets
Anytime tickets offer you the most flexibility in your journey, but are also the most expensive type of ticket. Anytime tickets come in both single and return flavours, and the latter are the easiest to avoid because most business travellers know what time they need to get somewhere - they just might need a little flexibility on the way back in case their meeting overruns.
The key is to buy an appropriate amount of flexibility; for example you could buy a cheap Advance single for the outbound portion, and a flexible Anytime single (or Off-peak single if suitable) for the return portion of your journey.
Advance tickets are available from 12 weeks prior to your departure date until 6pm the night before, but keep in mind there are typically lots of different prices for Advance tickets. The further in advance you book, the more likely you are to get the cheapest Advance fares.
Singles can often be cheaper than returns
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a return ticket should offer better value, but with UK train tickets it’s often not the case. The cheapest Advance tickets are always singles, hence it’s often much cheaper to buy two singles (one for each direction of your journey) than it is to buy a return.
Split your tickets
It can sometimes be cheaper to split individual journeys - for example if you’re travelling from Manchester to London it can be cheaper to buy a ticket from Manchester to Stafford, together with a ticket from Stafford to London.
Consider a Season Ticket
If you have travellers who are making the same journey on 3 or more days within a week, a Season Ticket is likely to offer better value than daily tickets. Season Tickets are valid for 7 consecutive days or for any period from a calendar month up to a year.
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