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How to Find the Cheapest Train Tickets for Family Holidays

Dreaming of a fun-filled single parent family vacation exploring new cities and soaking up new sights? Train travel can be a comfortable and scenic way to get there and can massively reduce your carbon footprint when travelling. But with kids in tow, the train ticket prices can quickly derail your travel budget, especially if you are a single parent. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, this guide will be your train ticket to savings. It will show you how to find cheap train tickets for your next family holiday, so you can spend less on travel and more on making memories.

Compare Prices

Comparing ticket prices across train operators using online platforms, such as Trainline, Rail Europe, and National Rail Enquiries can help you snag the best deals for your journey. Another money-saving hack is split ticketing – buying separate tickets for different legs of your trip instead of a single ticket. It takes a bit more effort to plan, but the savings can be well worth it. Websites like Split My Fare are your best friend for finding the most cost-effective split ticketing options. With a little research and savvy ticket shopping, you can keep more money in your pocket while still enjoying a comfortable train ride to your destination.

Book your family holiday in Advance

Booking your train tickets well in advance can lead to substantial savings. Most train operators release advance tickets up to 12 weeks before the departure date. These tickets are often much cheaper than buying closer to the travel date. To ensure you don’t miss out on these bargains, consider setting alerts on ticket booking websites. These alerts will notify you when advance tickets for your preferred dates become available, allowing you to secure the best prices early on for your upcoming single parent train tickets online

Be Flexible with Travel Dates and Times

Being flexible is crucial when hunting for the cheapest train tickets. Travelling during off-peak times, like weekdays or weekend lulls, typically slashes costs and can make for a more stress-free holiday. Peak times, including early morning and late afternoon on weekdays, as well as bank holiday weekends, usually hike prices due to spiking demand. By tweaking your travel schedule to off-peak periods, you can significantly shrink your travel expenditures. Additionally, consider journeying during shoulder seasons – those stretches just before and after the peak holiday hubbub, for even juicier deals.

Use Railcards and Discounts

If you’re looking to beat the rail fare rises and save some serious cash on your next family holiday, railcards are the way to go. The Family and Friends Railcard is a total game-changer, slashing 1/3 off adult tickets and a whopping 60% off kids’ fares for groups of up to four grown-ups and four little ones. Talk about a budget-friendly holiday! But wait, there’s more – seniors, students, and folks with disabilities can also score sweet deals with their own special railcards.

Check for Special Offers and Discounts

Regularly scouring for unique offers and discounts can help you snag stellar deals on train tickets. Train operators often run exclusive deals on their websites, so it’s worth peeking periodically. Additionally, hunt for online voucher codes or promotional deals that can be applied at checkout to slash your ticket costs. Signing up for newsletters from train operators and travel websites can also keep you looped in on the latest offers and train ticket

Consider Alternative Routes

Sometimes, taking a less direct route can be more economical. Instead of opting for the fastest or most convenient train, investigate alternative routes that might take a bit longer but cost significantly less. Local train services, as opposed to high-speed or direct trains, can also offer lower fares. While these options might add some time to your journey, the cost savings can be well worth it, especially for budget-conscious travellers.

Travel in Groups

If you’re adventuring with family or a crew of friends, capitalize on group travel discounts. Numerous train operators offer reduced fares for packs of three or more roaming together. These group discounts can make a major dent in the overall cost of your journey, making it more affordable for all involved. When booking, ensure you select the option for group travel to access the best deals.

Buy Return Tickets

Snagging return tickets over two solo ones often proves the thriftier choice. Train operators frequently dangle discounted rates for round-trip voyages, so if you’re planning a there-and-back jaunt, it’s worth eyeing the best ticket price for those return tickets. This straightforward tactic can translate to beefy savings compared to purchasing separate one-way tickets for each leg of your holidays by train

Use Loyalty Programmes

Many train companies offer loyalty schemes that shower frequent travellers with points or discounts. Enrolling in these programs allows you to rack up points for every journey you take, which can then be cashed in for future travel savings. This perk is especially sweet if trains are your regular ride, as those points can rapidly snowball into substantial discounts on upcoming trips. Look for loyalty programs offered by your preferred train operators and sign up to start earning rewards.


With a little planning and these clever strategies, you can turn your dream family holiday into reality. Remember, the most scenic views aren’t always from the train window – sometimes, they’re found on your bank statement after scoring amazing deals! So, put these tips into action, watch your travel budget blossom, and get ready to create lasting memories with your family on a fantastic train adventure.

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