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Travel expert reveals the biggest mistake commuters make on the journey to work

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Don’t get caught out next time you travel. (Picture: Getty Images)

While some commuters love to read a book or admire the scenery on the train journey to their 9 to 5, others are glued to their phone or laptop, already hard at work.

But if you’re travelling for hours, you might find your device running out of battery and in need of a charge – which is a big issue if your ticket is on your phone, or you don’t know the area you’re going to. 

In this day and age most trains come equipped with plug sockets, so as long as you’ve got a charger to hand, you’re sorted.

However, according to train travel experts, it would be a big mistake not to also bring a fully charged power bank along for your journey as well.

Mark Smith, the man behind popular train travel site Seat 61, explained to Metro.co.uk why this is crucial – and what to do if there is a plug socket by your seat, but it isn’t working.

Make sure to take a power bank with you. (Picture: Getty Images)

Mark, who has previously worked for British Rail and the Department for Transport, said: ‘Most newer trains have power sockets but some older ones like the local trains on my local line don’t, so a power bank is key as our phones are now our tickets, camera, camcorder, notebook and even on occasion a phone.’ 

So what do you do if that all-important plug socket isn’t working?

Mark continued: ‘It’s worth asking staff as sometimes it’s just tripped out and can be reset.’ 

The expert’s other top tip for train travel is to try and book ahead for inter-city rail tickets to get the best deals, but he claims that you don’t want to book too far ahead. A month or two, or even a few weeks out should suffice.

He adds: ‘It’s often best to book directly with the relevant operator as there’s then no booking fee added and sometimes there may be extra features such as seat selection from a seat map.’

There are a number of ways to get cheaper train tickets. (Picture: Getty Images)

This comes after we shared several top tips for saving money on train tickets, including a little-known GroupSave hack.

Many people are unaware of this trick, which allows groups of between three and nine people to get a third off the off-peak price.

Ticket machines may not show you this, so it’s best to book these at the ticket office or online. While you don’t need a railcard, one passenger does need to book all the tickets – just ask for GroupSave.

On Trainline, four separate off-peak returns from Cardiff to Bristol would set you back £128.80, yet with the GroupSave option, the total falls to just £84.80, representing a decent £44 saving.

If you’re travelling in a group of more than 10, contact the train company directly to see if you’re eligible for a discount.



How to save money on rail travel

Metro.co.uk spoke to the pros at Trainline to find out their insider secrets for booking tickets.

A spokesperson for Trainline said: ‘Don’t make a mistake you regret when buying your ticket: book early for the cheapest prices, as a recent Which? survey found that ticket machines at stations can charge more than twice the price of online tickets.

‘Look into getting a railcard — they save one-third and can pay for themselves in just one long-distance trip. And decide whether your priority needs to be maximum flexibility or minimum price, as you can save significant sums if you can commit to one specific train.’ 

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