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Using miles, points, and hotel deals to get to and stay in the United Kingdom for our upcoming trip was only the beginning of the process. Since we don’t plan to just sit in our hotel room once we arrive, we also needed to do some research and planning for how to get out around once we arrive without breaking the bank.
If you are flying into London Heathrow, as we are, one of the first ground transportation decisions you will need to make is whether you will take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington station. You certainly don’t have to take that route as there are many other ways to get into London including just taking the Tube, but in some cases the 15 minute express train will be the best option for a travel weary crew ready to get where they are going. I have taken the Heathrow Express Train in the past and really enjoyed the speedy experience.
Like with many things in the travel world, prices for the Heathrow Express Train can range pretty dramatically from £5.50 for a 90 Day Advance Express Saver Bank Holiday or weekend one-way ticket to £27.00 for a one-way ticket purchased on-board. If you need tickets for a whole family that price difference for the exact same seat can be massive before you ever arrive at your final destination. When talking about families, do keep in mind the very family friendly policy that children aged 15 years and under travel free on the Heathrow Express Train.
How to Save Money on the Heathrow Express Train to London
As is common with train travel around the world, the number one key to saving money on the Heathrow Express Train is to plan in advance. Prices are generally lowest if you purchase your tickets at least 90 days out, or as soon as your plans are firm. Generally speaking, the further in advance you purchase your tickets (up to 90 days), the less you will pay.
The price for the Heathrow Express Train jumps at the 90, 30, and 14 day windows. Again we aren’t talking about a dollar or two increase, but almost a 5x price increase from the least to most expensive ticket for the same 15 minute ride, so really keep this on your radar if you plan to get into London via the express train.
Another great option this summer to save on the Heathrow Express Train, if you are in need of round trip transportation to and from Heathrow, is via their summer sale where round trip tickets are just £25 from July 18 – August 31, 2016. This sale does not require the 14/30/90 day advance purchase windows the way the normal fares work. You can purchase the tickets online even for same day travel at the £25 round trip price, though keep in mind that tickets purchased through Heathrow Express staff and ticket machines are not valid for travel between 7am-10am Monday to Friday (tickets bought online are valid on any service at any time of day).
If you do book the Heathrow Express Train (or any similar transportation in Europe), remember to use a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and preferably one that pays out a bonus on transportation or travel charges such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Citi ThankYou Premier Cards!
What’s your preferred method of getting into London from Heathrow? Do you use these or other methods to save money on the Heathrow Express Train?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.