Christmas is almost three months away but rail travellers are being urged to book their festive train tickets early to make big savings.
Research by comparison website Travel Supermarket reveals that rail users can save up to 89% by booking early.
Train tickets in the UK typically go on sale 12 weeks in advance, meaning those looking to travel home on peak Christmas dates can buy their tickets in the next week.
Some tickets may even be available now – Virgin Trains has already released Christmas tickets for stations on the West Coast Main Line.
A journey with Virgin Trains between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly at 6pm on Friday 22 December will cost £169 if you buy an anytime ticket on the day. Book in advance and tickets are available for £27, an 84% saving.
A trip on Virgin Trains between London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street at 7.07am on the same date will cost £159 if you buy on the day, compared to £17 for an advance ticket. This represents a saving of 89%.
Advance tickets also come with seat reservations, which are not guaranteed for tickets bought on the day.
Emma Grimster, spokesperson for Travel Supermarket, says: “While Christmas might still seem some time off, it really is worth making the effort to get organised now to avoid stress and added expense on your rail travel nearer to the time.
“The purchase window and availability of advance tickets does vary between train operators. However, early birds who keep a close eye on when the cheapest tickets become available will not only get the best price but also those all-important seat reservations on busy pre-Christmas services.”