Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (https://www.fodors.com/community/)
-   Europe (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/)
-   -   Using the "Family and Friends Railcard", Liverpool, Beatles Tours (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/using-the-family-and-friends-railcard-liverpool-beatles-tours-967088/)

Jinky Feb 16th, 2013 11:30 AM

Using the "Family and Friends Railcard", Liverpool, Beatles Tours
 
Traveling with husband and 15 year old. We are spending a few days in London and would like to train up to Liverpool for the day to do a Beatles tour. We will only be in London for 3 full days (2 full days, since one will be spent in Liverpool)..

I read about the Family and Friend Railcard - would this be a good idea? How is it used?
Since we cannot purchase the card online from the USA, and have to wait until we get there, we cannot get the advanced ticket fares.

Or do we just buy our tickets at the station on that day, or the day before? That seems like it would be much more costly. Any other ideas are much appreciated.

RAIL INFO: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/servic...10413/1915/dep

ALSO - Can you recommend a great Beatles tour? I know that the Fab Four taxi tour, the Casbah Coffee Club and the Pool of Life Beatles Day Tour are highly recommended on Trip Advisor. Any word from you Fodorites?

Thanks!

sofarsogood Feb 16th, 2013 12:01 PM

The Family and Friend Railcard costs £28 and gives 1/3 off adult and 60% off child fares www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk

Whether it's worth it depends on the cost savings you find compared to buying "normal" advance fares and how often you use it. You will need to give a UK delivery address to buy online. Maybe could buy the fares at "family and friends" prices online, then buy the railcard from a station when you arrive.

I see the link you provided was for trains to Liverpool from Marylebone - trains to Liverpool start from London Euston - virgin trains www.virgintrains.co.uk

A great Beatles tour would be to visit the childhood homes of John and Paul
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes

Jinky Feb 16th, 2013 01:21 PM

>>><i>You will need to give a UK delivery address to buy online. Maybe could buy the fares at "family and friends" prices online, then buy the railcard from a station when you arrive. </i>

As I stated above in my post - "Since we cannot purchase the card online from the USA, and have to wait until we get there, we cannot get the advanced ticket fares. Or do we just buy our tickets at the station on that day, or the day before? That seems like it would be much more costly. Any other ideas are much appreciated."

sofarsogood Feb 16th, 2013 02:34 PM

Something you don't understand?

To reiterate, you can buy the railcard from the US but you need to provide a UK delivery address. Whether you can provide this is unknowable from your post, but this information was given to help you decide if this was possible.

You can buy cheap tickets online in advance and opt to collect them from the station. You also have the option of buying the tickets online at the railcard prices, You would then buy a railcard at a station to prove you're entitled to the railcard prices and show to the ticket inspector. Or of course you buy tickets at the station on the day - choice is yours.

Trying to help…..but simply repeating your post doesn't help us to help you.

janisj Feb 16th, 2013 02:47 PM

"<i>Since we cannot purchase the card online from the USA, and have to wait until we get there, we cannot get the advanced ticket fares.</i>"

AFAIK you CAN buy the discounted train tickets in advance. It is just that you must buy the Family & Friends (after you are in London) before collecting the train tickets.

Jinky Feb 16th, 2013 05:15 PM

>>><i>Something you don't understand?</i>

Yes, actually. I thought by saying that we could not purchase it online, you would know we couldn't purchase it online.. :(

I should have been more clear and said, "Since we cannot purchase the card online from the USA, (AND BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A UK ADDRESS AVAILABLE FOR THEM TO SEND US THE PASS) and have to wait until we get there, we cannot get the advanced ticket fares."

I did not know I could purchase them in advance and then buy the rail card *after*.. I thought you had to show the pass to get the discount when buying the tickets.

Thanks for the help, and sorry that I was not clear in my original post.

We will be using the train to get to Liverpool for that one day - does the pass also include getting around London? I apologize if these are stupid questions, I'm just trying to figure out how to save a few bucks as far as transportation is concerned.

indy_dad Feb 16th, 2013 10:54 PM

We have the F&F railcard. You will need it by the time you are on the train and they inspect your tickets (or perhaps if you pick them up at a manned window). So, to confirm, if you know you are going to have the card by then, you can order the tickets as if you had the card. It would be an awkward and expensive moment if you didn't though.

I would be surprised that it would pay off for just one trip, but looking at the prices, I was surprised to see that it did. You can do the same on www.nationalrail.co.uk by going a few months out and comparing prices with and without. You can essentially make that decision when you buy the tickets.

Looks like weekend travel would be cheaper if you can swing it.

Note: max age is 15 so make sure your daughter is still 15 when you travel.

Minimal benefit for the Tube. However, you can get a discounted OFF PEAK 1-day travel card for &pound;2 for your daughter with the F&F railcard. (The off-peak is more restrictive than you think though). You might still want to supplement with a Pay as You go Oyster Card (and then you have to ask yourself if it is worth the hassle).

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx

flanneruk Feb 17th, 2013 10:12 AM

To clarify this.

You must be in possession of the F&F card either:
- before you get on the train, if your ticket is an e-ticket or one you've collected from a ticket machine, or
- before or as you buy the ticket if you're getting it from a manned ticket office at a station.

Buying a discount card at a ticket office is slightly more time-consuming activity than buying a ticket, and London termini ticket offices are deliberately a bit undermanned these days to encourage people to use the machines (at which I've not seen a queue of any sort for years). So you MUST, for safety, be at a manned office at least 30 mins before departure to get the F&F card.

Just book an Advance ticket online about 12 weeks before departure, and collect the tickets from the machine when you're here - or from the ticket office when you're buying your F&F card, unless you're booking on Virgin (there are cheaper, but slower, options on London Midland), who do e-tickets. Make sure you've got the booking reference AND the card you used to make the booking .

It's easier to get cheap tickets AND get to and from Liverpool in a day if you travel on Saturdays or Sundays. Restrictions on when the cheapest weekday tickets may be used can be a right bugger if you're planning a tour of Liverpool.

starrs Feb 20th, 2013 11:02 PM

With only 3 days for London, I wouldn't spend a day traveling to Liverpool for a Beatles tour. Enjoy London instead.

Rubicund Feb 21st, 2013 12:42 AM

starrs, how true. Although I might do a day trip to Manchester, I think that Liverpool will be a bit of a let down. When will they stop trying to trade on a band that was good 50 years ago?


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:40 AM.