Train Travel with Children
There are loads of discounts for children
Travelling by train is convenient and fun, for children and adults alike. Whether it’s a short hop, a day trip, or taking the family on holiday, here’s what you need to know about travelling with kids.
Depending on their age, children under 16 are able to get discounted fares – or even travel for free!
Children under 5
Children under 5 years of age travel for free on most journeys but check with your train company to make sure. Please note, children under 5 who are travelling without a ticket may only occupy a seat that is not required by a fare-paying passenger. To have a reserved seat for a child under 5 you will need to purchase a child rate ticket. These come with seat reservations (if available), and there is also a 50% discount on most tickets.
Children aged 5 to 15
Children aged 5 to 15 get a 50% discount on most tickets. You can also get further child rate discounts with a Family & Friends Railcard – see more below.
We suggest that children who look older than 16 carry a form of ID to show that they are entitled to a child rate fare. For example, a Child Rate Photocard, which can be obtained for free at any staffed National Rail station.
Children over 16
There are still ways to save money after a child has reached 16. Choose from the links below to find the right offer for you:
Family & Friends Railcard
With the Family & Friends Railcard, up to 4 adults and 4 children can travel together on one card – and you don’t even have to be related. Adults can save 1/3 and children’s tickets cost 60% less.
Children on sleeper trains
The following applies when travelling with children on a sleeper train:
Where children travel in sleeper accommodation, they must either share a room with another member of their travelling party or have sole occupancy of a room
Where they have sole occupancy of a room, there must be an accompanying adult travelling in the same coach
Where children travel in seated accommodation they must be accompanied by an adult in the seated coach
Bring the whole family
Check with your train company about their discounts for children
Play some trainspotting games
Forget to bring a snack
Be surprised if you are asked for ID if you look older than 16
Stare at your screen the whole journey – there are exciting things going on outside the window!
Quote image credit: Edis Potori