How to save money on train fares

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Travelling from country to country, or city to city, is a truly amazing experience and voyaging by train is one of the best methods to do this. European train fares are based largely on the distance traveled, however, many European rail companies have now moved to a dynamic pricing system — like airfares — in which a fare can fluctuate depending on demand, restrictions, or how early you purchase. Whether you plan to travel Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, or Italy, a little research before your train journey could really help stretch your budget. Here are top tips on how to save money on train fares during your travels.

Book in advance

To save money it is important to organize your transportation as soon as possible. Decide precisely when you would like to travel and book your tickets. Depending on the train you wish to use and your destination, there may be cheaper seats if you book in advance.

How to save money on train fares

If available, advance train tickets typically go on sale 6 months ahead of the traveling time. However, booking even just a couple of weeks before could still save you a sufficient amount of money, so don’t waste any time!

Be flexible with the time of the year you want to travel

Being flexible with when you want to travel can often result in great savings. Train ticket prices rise during peak holiday season in some European countries. This is typically around the summer months, particularly in July and August.

If you have the option to travel outside of these months, the tickets can be much cheaper to purchase. Also holiday times such as Christmas and Easter, these are peak times – check when school holidays are on and try to avoid these.

Rebook your ticket – save money on train fares

Have you ever booked a train ticket only to see that the fare dropped soon after you made your purchase? Train ticket prices tend to fluctuate – often within the same day. Depending on the company’s cancellation policy, you should typically be able to cancel and re-book your train at a lower rate if you act within 24 hours of your original purchase.

How to save money on train fares

Some train companies are more flexible than others with their cancellation time period. In some cases, you can cancel your ticket outside of the 24-hour window. It is important to check out your carrier’s website to read up on its policies before purchasing another ticket. Make sure to keep a lookout for new train prices and save money by rebooking your ticket at a lower rate.

Take advantage of discounts – How to save money on train fares

Some European train routes offer significant discounts for children, students, and seniors. Children from the age of three to eleven generally get a good percentage off, while children under the age of 3 typically travel free.  Students and senior discounts may be available depending on the trains and destination you are traveling to. It is important to have your student or senior card on you at all times if you purchase a discounted ticket.

There are plenty of discounted fares available throughout different European rail networks. Make sure to always keep a lookout for the latest discounts by following our facebook and twitter pages.

Thinking of taking a train to your favorite European city? Go online to check out all our exclusive fares and start planning your next adventure!

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2 Comments on "How to save money on train fares"

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The tips sound very useful. Will use it while booking my tours. Can you also share which the train names that we can book using the above tips?

Aparna @ Elementum Money

These are handy tips to be kept in mind while booking train tickets. Will check it out again when I am booking my next tickets 🙂