After several months of health restrictions, many French people intend to take advantage of their newfound freedom by taking a few days of vacation. But the price of tickets can dampen the enthusiasm of travelers. If you plan to travel by train, here are some tips to help you pay less for your trip.

Have a discount card

One of the best solutions to save money is to invest in an SNCF reduction card. Knowing that since June, the railway company has offered a new unique “Advantage” card for all customers, still at the price of 49 euros for one year.

With this new card, customers benefit from a 30% reduction on the second and first fares in France and Europe and another of 60% for three accompanying children aged 4 to 11.

opt for low cost trains

To discover France at low prices, consider booking a ticket on Ouigo, the low cost offer from SNCF. For an adult and for one trip, the train ticket is from 10 euros. And for children under 12 accompanied by an adult, the ticket is at a fixed price of 5 euros or 8 euros, depending on the departure and arrival stations.

Knowing that Ouigo serves no less than 41 destinations, including Lille, Marseille, Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Lyon, Nice, Grenoble, Nîmes, Antibes, Cannes, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Strasbourg.

Take a look at private sales

When vacation time has struck, it is not uncommon for certain sites, such as Showroomprivé.com or Veeppee (Venteprivée.com), to offer train tickets at discounted prices. Some flash sales can give you the opportunity to save up to 70% on your train trips.

In addition to tickets, these platforms regularly offer hotel room reservations in France, or abroad, at reduced prices. Note that in order not to miss out on good deals, it is possible to create alerts through the application.

Buy tickets online

Another tip to save: buy train tickets on Leboncoin.fr. Indeed, many individuals who have not been able to cancel their trip, resell their tickets on the internet at attractive prices.

At the moment, several return train tickets Paris-Bordeaux, Paris-Montpellier, Paris-Marseille, Valence-Montpellier, or even Lille-Perpignan are for example available. Most of them are sold between 20 and 50 euros per person (round trip).

However, the schedule and the day are sometimes already fixed, it is necessary to be able to be free on specific dates.

Leaving outside school holidays

If you don’t have children, it is best to go outside of school vacation periods. In this way, you benefit from discounts on journeys, as demand is less strong, but also accommodation.

Not to mention that you will thus avoid the hordes of vacationers who swarm in the most touristic areas. And to spend even less, and whenever possible, opt for a weekday departure and off-peak hours.

Reserve in advance

Another tip, and certainly the most famous: book in advance. By purchasing tickets several weeks or even months before departure, you can easily pay half the price for your trip.

In addition, given the health situation, SNCF recently simplified the conditions for exchanging and reimbursing tickets. Thus, customers can postpone or cancel their trip free of charge up to three days before departure.

Since June 17, customers have also been able to see, for each destination, the minimum and maximum prices charged by the group.

or Take a ticket at the last minute

Conversely, if you’re more of a go-getter type, consider checking out last-minute deals. With Ouigo TGV tickets, it is possible to reserve a train seat up to 1 hour before departure.