This post was created in collaboration with Trainline.

Regular readers will know that if there’s a way to simplify something in my life, I’ll grab it with both hands. Especially if it is going to save me money. Even more so on the run up to Christmas! That’s why I was excited to hear about the new Price Prediction tool on the Trainline app.

In usual NotSoThriftyDad manner, Rich wanted to celebrate his 40th birthday with a city break but hadn’t got around to booking any travel yet. This made it a great opportunity to roadtest Price Prediction and see how much we could save.

So what is Price Prediction?

Price Prediction is the UK’s first ever train ticket price predictor. It has been launched by Trainline who are Europe’s leading independent train ticket retailer and train travel app. When train tickets are released on sale (normally with 12 weeks notice) they’re at their cheapest. Then as more tickets sell and demand goes up, so do the prices. This can be quick or gradual depending on the dates e.g. at Christmas and New Year when everyone wants to get home, tickets will tend to go up in price faster. The same applies to events held near train stations like big sporting matches or concerts.

Fortunately Rich’s 40th birthday wasn’t that popular haha! so there was still money to be saved on buying our train tickets in advance. Price Prediction gives you a really simple and quick snap shot of where the prices are, and when they’re likely to increase, in that lead up to the travel date.

How does it work?

Using huge amounts of data, the tool can predict when Advance train tickets are set to increase and help save travellers equally huge amounts of money. Price Prediction has been released just in time to save people lots of money on the run up to this Christmas. It really is going to help a lot of families at a particularly cash tight time of the year. You know the saying “book early to avoid disappointment”, well now with this tool, you can see how much time you have before the next likely price hike is forecast for your journey.

How do you use it?

Firstly we arranged babysitters! We already decided that this was a well-deserved day off without the kids 😉 Then I got to work on the Trainline app. Having used it before, I was already familiar with how easy the app is to use. I particularly love it for business use as the expensing function is super simple and sends your journey details and costs by email and can integrate with expensing apps such as Concur and Expensify.

On the app you pick your departure and destination stations, preferred dates and times as you would as normal. This is the key to how brilliant Price Prediction is, as you don’t have to do anything extra to benefit from its genius! It also means that you can check as much as you want all for free.

Once you’ve inputted the journey you’re after, you’ll spot a little arrow icon saying price tracker. This uses a traffic light system. As you can see, ours was amber at the time of booking. We knew we still had time to book before it turned red. It also lets you know if there’s not many tickets left at this price!


How much can it save?

The app works right up to the time of the journey. So even whilst stepping on to your train you can still save a ton of money. Our Advance tickets using the Price Prediction tool saved us a total of £62.60 for our full day of train travel. These savings meant we could have a lovely birthday lunch out, get some Christmas presents AND still have some money left over for celebratory cocktails. The tool is saving an average of 49% per journey for travellers!

I think my new motto needs to be:

“Save on your journey so you can splash out at your destination”

If we had booked our Advance tickets even earlier (like we will do in the future!) Price Prediction would have given us even more information about how much we could save. Even down to how many tickets were left!

Why is Price Prediction tool great for parents?

The Trainline app saves you money when you really need it like on the run up to Christmas. This means train journeys and mini adventures are possible even when you’re on a tight family budget. The app also has mobile ticketing. This means no more queuing at a machine to collect your tickets. You don’t even need internet access to be able to use it – perfect for those moments you run out of data when you really need it! The BusyBot feature is another family favourite. This uses data to tell you where the quietest places are on your train so you can grab enough seats to be able to sit together.

Will we use it again?

I honestly believe that it is such a simple add on to the already easy to use Trainline app, that it will become second nature to consult the Price Prediction tool. As many of you know, Rich, a.k.a NotSoThriftyDad is a work in progress regarding saving money. However, even he has started to use it to plan his business travel. If we can save ourselves over £60 for just a day out from Hull to Leeds, it blows my mind how much this is going to save families and businesses over the festive period when travels becomes even more important to people.

So whether the money you save gets to stay in the bank or get splashed out on cheeky cocktails, Price Prediction with Trainline will suddenly make your train travel a lot more enjoyable. You can download the Trainline app here and use this free service to make your trips more fun too.

Happy Birthday Hubby! x

*Disclosure – Although this review is sponsored, all opinions are my own.