You could save up to 84% by booking your train ticket home for Christmas now, according to Which? research.
With eight weeks to go until Christmas Day, many of the cheapest advance fares are beginning to sell out, so it’s a good idea to book your journey as soon as possible.
The table below illustrates some of the savings that can be made by booking now versus buying tickets at the station on the day.
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Advance train tickets
Advance train tickets are typically released around 12 weeks before the date of the journey. The earlier you buy your ticket, the cheaper it’s likely to be, but you can make decent savings even when booking the day before you travel.
The Christmas train fares in the table below are all singles and tie you to a particular service. They’re also non-refundable, but this is often a far cheaper option than any other type of ticket.
|Christmas Eve train ticket savings|
|Walk-on farea||Advance fareb||Savings||% saved by booking now|
|Aberdeen to Edinburgh||£33||£10||£23||70%|
|Birmingham to Edinburgh||£103.40||£31.70||£71.70||69%|
|Bristol to Glasgow||£153||£58||£95||62%|
|Cardiff to Liverpool||£71.30||£23||£48.30||68%|
|London to Edinburgh||£128||£20||£108||84%|
|London to Glasgow||£134.10||£30||£104.10||78%|
|Manchester to Bristol||£49||£26.20||£23||47%|
|Manchester to London||£81.40||£22||£59.40||73%|
|Swansea to London||£46.50||£19||£28||59%|
|York to Birmingham||£61.80||£17.90||£43.90||71%|
aThe cost of buying an off-peak ticket or anytime ticket (whichever is cheapest) on the day of travel. bThe cheapest available advance ticket to travel on Christmas Eve. Prices gathered on 27 October 2016.
More cheap train ticket tips
If buying your advance tickets online, do so through nationalrail.co.uk or the website of the train company you’re travelling with, as they won’t charge booking fees. They may also include advance fares not available elsewhere.
It’s also worth checking whether you’re eligible for a national or regional railcard. These cost up to £30 but will entitle you to a third off the ticket price (or 50% for those aged 60 or over living in South Wales), even on advance tickets.
If you’re making a lengthy journey, it’s also worth seeing if you can split your ticket.
Find out more: 10 tips for finding cheap train tickets – how ticket-splitting works, plus other ways of saving money