It turns out there isn't just one secret to finding cheap train tickets – there are five! With decades of rail industry experience, here’s the ultimate insider’s guide to affordable journeys, from our own 'Dr Fare'.

Dr Fare’s top 5 tips to finding the cheapest train tickets

1) Book in advance

The cheapest tickets are usually 'Advance' fares. Generally, they're only available weeks ahead, but if you're lucky you might find them up to 10 minutes before you travel.

2) Use ‘off-peak’ services

If you can't book an Advance fare, remember that journeys have different (and more expensive) peak travel times - so make sure you check yours.

3) Use a Railcard

There are many kinds, so check around to get the best one available for your journey type, and the number of people you're travelling with - you could save a bundle!

4) Break your journey

Get two trips for the price of one. Just check your train to see if you can stop off mid-route - maybe meet a friend? - before arriving at your destination. You only need to buy one ticket to your final stop. Bear in mind you can't break your journey with an Advance ticket.

5) Expand your search

This sounds odd, but sometimes you'll find a cheaper fare by picking a ticket with a longer journey! Expand your search to include stations that start before, or end after, where you want to go – then just skip the parts you don't need.

* Bonus tip

Children under five travel free – if you've got a toddler, take ‘em along.

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Children aged 5-15 years old

Booking for 10 or more? to make sure you get the best possible price for your journey, go to our group travel page.

Groups of 3-9 people can save by using our group tool.