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Taking the train at a lower cost:14 tips and tricks to pay less

Taking the train at a lower cost:14 tips and tricks to pay less

If you travel often and have a small budget, you can take the train, which is a safe, comfortable and generally inexpensive means of travel. On this subject, did you know that there are many ways to pay for your trip even cheaper ? We will explain everything to you here.

1 - Compare all train ticket prices

First of all, if you know your travel destination, go online and compare all train ticket prices existing on the subject. You will quickly realize that by being flexible on the dates, you will save a lot of money.

2 - Advance booking

If you know the date of your departure well in advance, then you can already buy your train ticket. Indeed, whether you are going to France or Europe and whichever train company you are going to use, you will find that train tickets reserved well in advance are cheaper than the others.

3 - Off-peak hours

Be flexible and adapt to off-peak hours to find a cheaper train ticket. Indeed, note that train tickets at peak times are the most expensive as well as those issued during school holidays.

4 - Loyalty cards

The loyalty card is an excellent way to travel for less thanks to this SNCF program. You can find two kinds of cards like:

The traveler card free allowing you to access multiple information in real time and the dematerialization of your ticket

  • The IDPass allowing you to facilitate your round trips
  • The 10% voucher after your first 10 journeys in less than a year
  • The 20% voucher after the first 20 journeys cannot be applied to the prem’s card
  • The frequent traveler card issued with the first 20 journeys in less than a year and the accumulation of points thereafter
  • The travel card
  • The club traveler card

5 - Ouigo the pink and blue train

The pink and blue train or Ouigo of the SNCF offers extremely interesting prices. Each ticket is discounted up to 30% off the normal price and some rides are only worth €10. For children under 12 traveling with you, only pay €5 which is a single rate regardless of the destination in France. Remember to book your ticket as soon as possible, because even on this train you will pay even less.

6 - The last minute offer

The last minute offer is still very interesting if you book your trip at the last moment . This way of doing it is risky, because you may not have a seat depending on your destination, date, time and departure of your train. On the other hand, when you find one, you realize a significant saving. The last minute offer is only available on the Internet. Payment can only be made online and the ticket is neither refundable nor exchangeable.

7 - Redeeming used tickets

With the Internet, you can second-hand train tickets sold on the net. Some individuals have purchased a non-refundable ticket and cannot complete their journey. They therefore sell them on specialized sites such as Ector, Kelbillet or Le Bon Coin. Be careful though, because these tickets should not be used nor nominative . Pay attention to these two criteria before buying one.

8 - The annual leave ticket

The annual leave ticket is a very good plan to travel by train and save money. By being a company employee or being in a professional category allowing you to benefit from this annual leave ticket , you can have a reduction on your trip of up to 50% of the normal price. You can benefit from it alone or with your family, but only once a year.

9 - The group trip

By traveling in a group, you can still pay less for your ticket, because the group rate is decreasing . You must have purchased at least 4 tickets for the group rate to be applicable. The SNCF Tribu Pack allows the group to have their fourth ticket free.

10 - The Interail pass

If you decide to cross borders by train, the Interail pass is for you in 30 European countries . You will be able to travel to each of these countries at an economical price. There are several Interail pass formulas and you should choose the one that best suits your travels.

11 - Trainline

Trainline is a young start-up allowing you to use SNCF tickets at reduced prices thanks to its cards and various discounts. This platform allows you to view the fares and timetables of 270 rail and bus companies in 45 countries . Thus, you can see all the prices displayed as well as the timetables. You can compare and find a cheaper ticket than others.

12 - Happy Hour

Happy Hour offers 177 destinations at 50% off discount on your ticket. You don't need to plan too far ahead. All you have to do is travel on the Intercités network and buy your ticket online between 5 and 2 days before your departure. Happy Hour is only available online.

13 - TGVpop

TGVpop is a new SNCF formula offering tickets between €25 and €35 .These are 100% online last minute tickets where you will only pay between €25 to €35 for your ticket as a Paris-Angoulême, a Paris-Marseille or a Paris-Lyon among many other destinations. If you add €5, you can even travel in 1 era class. This formula is still risky, because to be sure that your train leaves, you have to vote on the Tgvpop site. You will then know if your trip is maintained and if the TGV leaves in the afternoon or in the evening. At the end of the reservations, you will be notified for the final timetable and you will not be able to buy your ticket until three days before departure.

14 - Discovery rate for seniors

If you are over 60, you can also benefit from a reduction with the SNCF senior discovery rate . Thus, during the blue period, you automatically benefit from a 25% reduction on your ticket for your Intercités and TER journeys.

This list is not exhaustive, as there are still tips that can help you pay for your train ticket cheaper than the full price. Always look online for new proposals from SNCF and specialized travel agencies.