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Cheaper business travel

Advice for finding cheaper train fares often focuses on booking up to 12 weeks before the date of travel and travelling at times when trains aren’t busy. Advance train tickets can indeed be up to 80% cheaper than the cost of tickets bought on the day, but they simply aren’t practical for most business travellers who can’t be flexible with travel times and may be travelling at very short notice. So what can business travellers do to reduce their costs?

In a sentence, split their train tickets! Split ticketing savings can be found both fixed time advance fares as well as walk up anytime and off peak fares and so are ideal for business travellers. What’s more, if you’re already a rail commuter and hold a season ticket, you can book split tickets in conjunction with a gold card to lower the price of your journey even further.

So what do we mean by splitting train fares? Split ticketing is the term used when someone uses a combination of two or more tickets for a train journey - a ticket from your departure station to an intermediate station where the train stops and a separate ticket from the intermediate station to your destination station – instead of a more conventional through ticket.

Split ticketing might mean buying two single tickets rather than a return if it’s cheaper. Similarly if you’re making a longer journey starting in the peak time period but part of the journey falls into the off peak period, it will often work out cheaper to split the ticket so that you don’t pay a more expensive peak time fare for your entire journey.

Split tickets are available on lots of key business routes. For instance a standard class anytime return London to Manchester anytime return would normally set you back £329.00 but when the fare is split it can cost as little as £226.40 saving your company £102.60 . Alternatively if you need to get work done during the journey a split ticket may make it feasible to upgrade and travel in first class.

Splitting tickets used to involve hours trawling through fares and train times to find out stopping patterns. Even if you did find a split you’d then need to go away and book each leg separately, running the risk of making a mistake and potentially incurring a penalty fare. Thanks to sites like trainsplit.com, this is a thing of the past. The site automatically searches for splits and books the correct tickets automatically and will only offer splits for stations where your chosen train is scheduled to stop.

If you prefer you can of course split tickets yourself or buy them at the station but be warned, split tickets aren’t routinely offered by ticket offices unless you specifically request them and ticket machines cannot sell them either.

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