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How to get the cheapest train fares home for Christmas, according to experts

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Hollie Richardson
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Christmas train tickets home

Looking to book the cheapest train tickets you can get to go home for Christmas? We’ve found out the best time to do it. 

Is it too early to say the C word yet? Well, not if you want to make sure you get the cheapest train tickets home for this year’s festivities. Yes, Christmas is less than three months away. That means you’re no doubt already trying to work out your annual leave and decide where you’re going to be opening presents on Christmas morning. But first, those tickets need sorting…

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Thankfully, Martin Lewis’ financial website Moneysaving Expert has given some very helpful tips on how to get the cheapest train tickets. 

When is the best time to buy Christmas train tickets?

We all know that the earlier we book train tickets, the cheaper they tend to be. But, to be more specific, it’s worth noting that rail companies tend to push their cheapest tickets 10-12 weeks before the travel date. As demand is so high in the run up to Christmas, these tickets sell like hot pies.

That means that you should probably get booking now. Seventeen of the 30 UK rail firms have already released advance tickets up to at least Saturday 21 December and a few companies have released tickets for the whole of December.. 

Booking a train home for Christmas? You should probably get it done soon.
Booking a train home for Christmas? You should probably get it done soon.

What type of train ticket should I buy for Christmas travel?

The article also recommends checking to see if the price of two singles beat a return (which it usually does). You can also often save by bagging a pre-Christmas advance single as soon as they go on sale and then a post-Christmas advance single as soon as they’re released at a later date.

Should I get a railcard? 

With many rail fares due to increase by up to 2.8% next year, train travel is a very costly expense, is sometimes more expensive than flying (although greener, of course). More Christmas travel hacks to beat the costs include getting the 26-30 Railcard (which saves you a third on off–peak fares over £12) and potentially splitting any long journeys into two. 

To get you a little bit more excited for Christmas, we’ve already started getting into the spirit of things at Stylist

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We’ve rounded up the best beauty advent calendars, including Charlotte Tilsbury and Jo Malone. We also made a case for taking some festive gin home for Christmas. And these are some of the funniest Christmas cards out there.

So, surely it’s OK to officially start the countdown to Christmas?

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…