Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Britrail Passes are a rip-off. Save $100's by booking online direct

My wife and I were going to buy Britrail passes from a third-party (the only way non-UK citizens can buy them). A flexible 8 day pass (Senior, Standard Class) was going to be $539 AUD each.
We had our itinerary worked out, so we decided to try booking individual journeys online.
NationalRail website
Choose your time and fare

  • Go to  
  • You can book up to 12 weeks in advance.
  • You can get an overview of the cheapest tickets possible. 
  • After you select the cheapest, you will be redirected to the local rail company's booking website (e.g. Virgin Trains, CrossCountry Trains)
  • Prices can be as low as 5 pounds (e.g. Inverness to Edinburgh). Sometimes First Class is the same price.
  • When you choose your journey, you can select seats as well. You are emailed a booking reference number with your itinerary. You simply take this number, as well as the credit card you used to pay for the trip to a ticket machine at the station. 
Tallying up the 9 journeys around England and Scotland, we saved over $400 by booking directly. 
The train guru website: has a similar topic.
Plan ahead and save heaps. Avoid Travel Agents.

Another tip. Accommodation on a Saturday night can be ridiculously expensive. Either travel on a night sleeper or check out B&B's for a fraction of the price.

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