Special offer: There are no booking fees between 29 July - 31 December 2020. Read COVID-19 updates on European train services here. Sonderregelung: Vom 29. Juli bis 31. Dezember 2020 erheben wir keine Buchungsgebühren. Lies Coronavirus-Updates über Zugverbindungen in Europa hier. Offre exceptionnelle: Pas de frais de réservation entre le 29 juillet et le 31 décembre 2020. Lisez notre page dédiée aux nouvelles sur le Covid-19 et les conditions de circulation en Europe ici. Offerta speciale: Non sono previsti costi di prenotazione nel periodo tra il 29 luglio e il 31 dicembre 2020. Leggi gli aggiornamenti COVID-19 sui servizi dei treni in Europa qui. Oferta excepcional: No hay gastos de gestión entre el 29 de julio y el 31 de diciembre de 2020. Lea las actualizaciones sobre COVID-19 y los servicios de trenes europeos aquí. Oferta especial: não há taxas de reserva entre 29 de julho - 31 de dezembro de 2020. Leia as atualizações sobre o Covid-19 e os serviços ferroviários europeus aqui.
University open days by train

University open days by train

University open day season is coming up, and we recommend booking your train to get cheap tickets now. Also, it’s really best not to go by car. The cities are on student shut-down for these ones.

Just as you think the school year is coming to an end, the university open day circuit kicks in, with a bamboozling array of courses, campuses and careers to consider. They also all tend to come at once, most in the month of June with more to follow in September and October. Whether you are travelling to Edinburgh or Exeter, London or Loughborough, Cambridge or Cardiff, one thing is for sure - there are trains to take you there.

University open day season can be an expensive time with travel and, in some cases, accommodation adding up. However, if you plan in advance, you can really save a lot of money. Parking in the cities will also be very stressful, as the number of visitors on open days is way up there with festival frenzy.

In the UK, you can book train travel up to three months in advance and the sooner you do so, the cheaper the tickets. If you are being really organised and booking way in advance, you will have an option to set a booking alert for those dates, if the tickets haven’t been released for purchase yet.

It is worth noting that if you get a bargain fare for an early morning train ticket to the university city of your choice, bringing you back that same day, you may not need to book a hotel. We also recommend giving yourself some time to wander in the city after all the talks and tours and book a train back as late as possible. The advantage of booking early is that you may be able to get a flexible ticket at a great price, giving you plenty of freedom on  travel times.

It is also important to buy a railcard for the university open day circuit. It’s a bit of a wake-up call for many parents when they realise that their potential undergraduates are now too old to travel on their Family and Friends railcard. However, you can buy a 16-25 Railcard to get a third off rail fares costing £30 for a year or £70 for three years. You will often cover the cost of this on one trip alone if you are travelling a long distance. 

Another lesser-known railcard that is perfect for open day season is the Two Together Railcard which costs £30 per year. With this card, two travellers are named on the same card and you must always travel together to get one-third off the normal ticket price. Note that you can tick the railcard box when you book with us, although, top tip, you don’t actually need to buy it in order to get the discount. You can just buy it nearer the time and, therefore, extend the validity period of the card. As long as you have it to present on the days of travel, you will be fine. Just a bit of living and learning from us.

Photo credits top to bottom: Trinity College Dublin iStock ©Lukas Bischoff,  Student group iStock ©AndresR Bridges of Cambridge iStock ©MarioGuti, colourful library books iStock ©olaser

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