The Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield Branch’s newsletter Last Orders has published some incredible reports of how much can be saved by split ticketing. http://www.lstcamra.org.uk/newsarchive.htm
Some people will think how marvellous it is that so much can be knocked off the price of a day out but I have a curmudgeonly resentment to spending time doing such research.
For shorter trips I don’t always look into split ticketing but it’s daft not to for a more distant Proper Days Out.
For not far, such as Birmingham, Macclesfield or Stockport, I haven’t saved a couple of quid by booking in advance as I can’t realistically predict the hour at which I conclude that I’ve just about had enough beer for the day.
For longer trips though, such as Oxford or London, I do plan ahead.
So much has changed over the years. I remember when East Anglia meant across country having changed at Nuneaton as via London was prohibitably expensive but now, especially booked in advance, it’s far far cheaper into and out of London.
There are now many reasonably priced off peak tickets to and from London. With my railcard I, for example, could a month from now have London Midland tickets for £17.20 (£6.95+£10.25) giving me nine hours in the capital ( 9.37am to 6.49pm ) while it’d be nearly double at £32.85 (£19.45+£13.40) by Cross Country for a similar nine hours ( 9.41am to 6.39pm ) in Oxford which is only about two-thirds as far away.
The little known or publicised Rover tickets also offer excellent value for money. I had a great four days in Wales ( the boundary is Hereford, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Chester ) in April, before my knee failed, for just £65 which would have been £99 without a railcard.
And around the winter the “Club 55” ticket for us older travellers gives a return anywhere in Wales ( including for Birmingham or Manchester ) for £26 and there’s the same in Scotland ( northwards from Carlisle and Berwick ), which I used four years ago, for just £19 return.