Saturday, 25 October 2014

Why Cant Travel Be Cheaper In School Holidays?

When the kids break up from school, there is nothing better than wanting to take them out of town and doing something for fun. We live in the corner of Kent that is actually closer to France than it is to our own capital city of London.

So unfortunately there are many local families that never have the chance to take their children to London due to the constant rising costs of UK travel! Many years ago I used to be able to take my three children to Edinburgh for less than £50, Now that would only just cover a weekend away in London for me and one child.
I still like to take Tilly to London on the train at weekends and in the school Holidays, but sometimes it can be so pricey. We can of course wait until after 10am (meaning dont get to London until nearly 1pm and half your day is over!), use my Network card and travel for just over £14 but its on the SLOMO (our nickname for the slow moving train)

But its £25 to go on the highspeed. SLOMO takes over 2 hours for us to get to London, which is a very long time with a 4 year old in tow, you don't have plug sockets and its pointless to go first class as you get no benefit from paying the extra money on your ticket. But for parents on a budget its often the only choice of ticket. Going Highspeed however is a completely different experience! You have the newer trains and can get to london from my home town in an hour and 20 minutes, the trains are cleaner and they have plug sockets to charge up your laptops or games consoles. To get to London so fast is much easier when you have a child with you.

So I have to wonder why Southeastern cant do more to benefit the parents of children that cant afford to go to london all the time and use the convenience of the highspeed. Yes you could buy a family railcard to get a year worth of discount on a train but you still have limits and restrictions with that and you have to find the £30 for the Family railcard in the first place.

You have to be a very savvy shopper when you shop these days and there are many ways to reduce the price of a train ticket. For instance if I have to be in London before 9AM, then I will buy a ticket to Birmingham for the cost of about £32 instead of having to pay £69.60 on the highspeed. I just don't use the birmingham part of the ticket (this works with buying any long distance train ticket.) You do have to wonder why its half the price to travel twice as far! We do love the highspeed and as I am travelling to London on Monday, we will probably travel Highspeed for convenience - but again its only if the budget allows it!
You do also have to wonder why you cant travel until on a 940am train from my town, yet if you get the same train from another station 20 minutes later, you are able to travel on the train at quite a discounted rate using railcards and getting special offer price tickets.

So come on train companies, lets look at the profits you make, the bonuses you give your management and find a way to get more families to London, open up the world to them!

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