Tips on booking train travel for your business
Rail travel is extremely important to many businesses, as employees often have to attend meetings in other cities, visit sites, do work remotely, or network with potential clients or customers. Therefore, if your business sees members of staff using the train a lot, it is worth taking note of some of these tips for booking business rail travel.
Book 12 weeks prior to journey
The best time to book your train ticket is 10-12 weeks before the journey. Rail companies release their timetables three months in advance, so this is when the cheapest seats are available.
You can make significant savings by being savvy with your booking. For example, you can buy a ticket from Leeds to London Kings Cross for £14,60, reduced by £82.20.
Split your tickets
Save money by buying tickets for parts of your journey, instead of the whole thing. Sometimes, it is significantly cheaper to purchase tickets for separate legs, even if you are travelling on the same train. For instance, if you buy a ‘split ticket’ from Bath to London, you can make a saving of £82.70.
There are many websites that split the tickets for you by finding the cheapest combination of tickets for your journey. They make sure you either do not have to swap trains or the change is very simple.
Similarly, if you book single tickets instead of a return or only pay peak prices for the part of the journey that is during commuting hours (and not the rest of your trip), you can save a lot of money.
Getting cheap first class travel
Business travellers often opt for first class carriages, as they offer a more spacious environment for you to work in, with more legroom, tables and plug points available. You can also usually receive free WiFi – perfect for staying connected during working hours – and complimentary food and drink, so you can expense fewer costs to the business account.
The trick to getting first class travel is to book ahead, as these tickets are sold in ‘buckets’ of 50 at varying prices. Therefore, you could get lucky and purchase a first class ticket for the same price – or even less – than a standard rail fare.
You may also be able to upgrade your ticket to first class on the day of travel by just paying a standard upgrade fee. Depending on the rail company, this may be cheaper than the difference in price for a first class ticket.
Use business rail travel accounts
While there are no relevant rail cards for business users, you can open business accounts with various booking websites, as these offer flexible payment options and cheap fares.
They also enable you to track your rail costs, book your tickets on credit, view your payment reports and receive quick and easy delivery of your tickets.