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Great days out are closer than you think when you travel by train. Make sure your trip stays on track with our top travel hacks for travelling by train and exploring the North.

1. Plan your trip

From bucket-list adventures to buckets and spades, there’s plenty to see and do on a Northern staycation. Get inspired by our great days out and make a weekend of it with our itineraries (coming soon!) and walking routes.

2. Get connected

Somethings you can survive without, but Wi-Fi isn’t one of them. Free on-board WiFi is available to all passengers on new or refurbished Northern trains – so there’s no need to sit by first class to pick up the WiFi signal. A number of Northern stations also allow access to public Wi-Fi hotspots completely free of charge for service users.

3. Download maps to your phone

Getting lost is a lot easier to do than you might think, especially if you’re going to somewhere mountainous like Cumbria and the Lake District. There are lots of mobile apps (like Google Maps, Waze, etc) that let you download maps directly to your phone before you go travelling, so you can find your way around without having to rely on intermittent phone signal.

Downloading a Google Map: Before you lose signal type the name of the place you’re visiting and tap search. At the bottom, tap the name or address of your destination, then select ‘More’. Select to download offline map.

4. Try Rangers and Rovers

See more of the UK by train with Ranger and Rover tickets perfect for hopping on and off. With a Day Ranger just hop on and off the train as many times as you wish. It's the perfect way to make the most of your car-free day - and your money.

Rover tickets are perfect for longer trips, allowing you to travel on four out of eight consecutive days within your chosen area, or on seven consecutive days covering the North East or North West.

5. Get cheaper train tickets

There are lots of ways you can save money on train tickets, from travelling in pairs, to booking in advance. In fact, you can save over 60% on some fares just by booking a Northern Advance ticket. You can even book advance tickets on the day up to 15 minutes before departure to bag yourself a last-minute deal.

6. Scan your railcard or ID

Although many ticketing services have gone digital, like Northern’s straight-to-mobile tickets, there are still some physical documents that you simply can’t go without, or run the risk of losing. Keeping your railcard, passport, driving licence or ID safe is integral to a stress-free trip, so make sure to scan all documents and email them to yourself before you travel – you never know when they might come in use.

7. Pack your own lunch

Don’t start spending all your trip money before you get there. While buying a sandwich and a packet of crisps en-route can be convenient, it’s not necessarily cheap. Packing your own meal(s) can require some preparation and forethought, but it means you’re sure to have something to eat that you enjoy and you can save precious pounds and pennies in to the bargain that soon add up to the price of a great day out in the North.

8. Buy a portable charger

As we’ve established in a few of the points above, having your mobile phone handy can be a real benefit when your travelling, but what happens when it runs out of juice? Charging and packing a portable charger is a good way to ensure you never run out charge when you really need it.

9. Stop leaky bottles

It might seem an obvious one, but if you need to pack cosmetics, shower gel, or any other already-open bottles for a weekend away, then make sure to place a piece of clingfilm between the bottle and the cap. It’ll save your clothes and electrical goods, trust us.

10. Get real-time travel updates

The real time information on the Northern app comes fresh from National Rail Enquiries and lets you check any train service in Great Britain, including ours. You can see the departure times, platforms (for most places), and check how trains are running at any National Rail station.


Got a nifty travel hack to share? Tell us at @NorthernOffers