Cheap Rail Fares: How to Book Them and Other Tips and Tricks
Planning Cheap Rail Fares
Rome2rio – Allows you to research how to get to your destination by plane, train, bus, ferry and shows you all the combinations. Then it gives you a link to the relevant website to find schedules and to book cheap rail fares.
Rome2Rio showed me it was cheaper to get a flight from London to Edinburgh for £12 than get a train.
Global Metro Subway Information
UrbanRail.net – Information on underground railways, trams and metros all over the world.
For Free Travel Map Apps and a fantastic city route planning app that shows you how to get across big cities using public transport.
Book Cheap Rail Fares
In the UK, you can buy advance tickets online that are much cheaper than buying the ticket on the day, up to 70% cheaper than buying your train fare on the day.
Cheap Rail Fare Tips
Return tickets to some destinations are cheaper than buying a single! It is worth checking especially in Scotland where I have seen this happen a few times. The train conductors know about this and will sometimes offer you a return journey instead of selling you a single. If you book online you wouldn’t know about this so best check first.
Cheap Rail Fares with Rail Passes
Trains are one of the best ways to travel over land because no navigation is needed. Depending on the country, some offer tourist deals or rail passes. Travellers visiting Japan can buy a JR pass for seven, 14, or 21 days with unlimited travel on JR brand trains and bullet trains like the one in the picture.
These can’t be bought in Japan, and have to be bought before you arrive from your country. Japanese bullet trains are definitely the coolest trains I have been on. Spotlessly clean, all the seats facing the direction the train is going and the best service in the world.
If you want to learn more about Japan read my Japanese culture intro article.
European Rail Passes
In Europe, you can buy a Eurail pass if you live in Europe or an Interrail pass if you don’t to tour different countries across Europe.
The Germans have a great website which lets you search train times across all of Europe Bahn.de. I have linked to the English version for you.
A great train travel website is Seat61 see this page for a lifetime of advice about train travel.