You all know that I love everything to do with Christmas, and once the lights have been switched on in London, I’m always desperate to take a trip to go and see them. Mr E works really hard and we don’t get much opportunity to do things as a family, so I thought we’d plan a lovely festive trip up to London on the train to go and see the lights (and maybe grab some dinner and a cocktail or two) while we’re there. While we were planning our trip, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try Trainline’s new Price Prediction tool to get the best possible ticket price. Here’s how we got on.
Wait, there’s a Price Prediction tool?
Yup, the lovely chaps at Trainline, Europe’s leading independent train ticket retailer and train travel app, have launched the UK’s first ever train ticket Price Prediction tool. Using the app, you can work out when Advance train tickets are set to increase in price and bag yourself the best deal on your tickets.
And why do I need this magical thing?
Well, recently, I was due to meet up with my besties, Laura and Erica for a long-overdue catch up. Erica lives in Edinburgh and Laura lives in Leeds, so we don’t get to see each other very often. Erica was travelling down to Manchester for business and we decided it would be a great opportunity to meet there for a day of shopping, lunch and cocktails. I looked at the train tickets and they were coming up as a quite manageable £30. However, a couple of months later, by the time I got around to booking it, exactly the same train journey had leapt to £80. I wish I’d had the Price Prediction tool then.
Why does this happen?
Well, rail ticket pricing is a complicated business. Most train companies release advance tickets around 12 weeks before the day of travel, and once available to buy, they pretty much always increase in price as the date of travel approaches. Price Prediction gives you the likely dates this will happen and helps you get the very best price for your journey. Simples.
How do they do it?
It’s complicated, but the Price Prediction feature uses billions of data points from customer journey searches to predict when the tickets are set to increase in price. A quick glance on the app will show you how much time you’ve got before your ticket is set to increase to give you the best chance to save your money.
So, did you book?
Yes, we did. And we got our tickets from Milton Keynes to Euston (the app works on single journeys on popular routes, but will continue to increase its reach) for the bargain price of just £6! We persuaded Sam to join us and spent a lovely evening wandering Oxford Street and Regent Street, we pottered around the Christmas Shop at Liberty and went for some delicious Caribbean food and a couple of lovely pineapple and rum cocktails at The Rum Kitchen inside beautiful Kingly Court in Carnaby Street. And then we were whisked straight home on the train again.
So, if you’re booking to come and see the Christmas lights, visit relatives over the Christmas period, or planning travel for next year, now you know how to get the best deal. You’re welcome!
To make use of the Trainline Price Prediction tool just download the app here.
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