Brits can now book train tickets across any UK rail operator without paying a booking fee, all on one website – as leading online travel agent, Expedia.co.uk, moves into rail.
Expedia Trains launches as new research shows an expected spike in UK leisure rail travelers in 2017, helped by the growing popularity of the staycation. The findings from Expedia.co.uk reveal the rail network can expect to see more than 2.5 million more Brits planning to take the train as part of their staycation compared to this year.
This trend is partly driven by the rise in people planning staycations next year, but the research also lists factors such as ‘less stress’ and ‘enjoying the scenery’ as the top reasons to use train services more for getaways.
Expedia.co.uk’s new rail booking service – the first from an online travel agency– complements an already broad offering which includes flights, hotels, car hire and activities available through the website or app, making it a one-stop-shop for travellers.
Ease of use:
Expedia is applying its 20 years of expertise in making travel search simple to rail. Expedia is bringing together all the UK rail operators in one site and next year rail bookings will be rolled out internationally. This will mean that customers will be able to use the familiar Expedia.co.uk search functionality to book rail travel in other countries with confidence.
There is no booking fee and customers are eligible for discounted offers on hotels when you book rail travel on Expedia.co.uk.
With the launch of Expedia Trains, both holidaymakers and those visiting friends and family stand to save even more by benefiting from discounted hotel rates when they have booked their train travel through Expedia.
For example, booking two return tickets from London to Manchester along with a double room at the Townhouse Hotel Manchester (4 star) generates a saving of £58 per couple, which allows guests to stretch their holiday budget to include a spa treatment, golf lesson or dinner.
And with UK holidaymakers expected to spend significantly more on UK trips next year (£335 per person per trip on average compared to £205 this year) – the savings are set to be greater.
Speaking about the launch, Greg Schulze, senior vice president, commercial strategy and services at the Expedia group said: “Our vision at Expedia is to be able to provide whatever combination of travel and hotel that consumers want and we’ve moved one step closer with the introduction of rail.”
When questioned, more than a third of holidaymakers (36%) revealed the reason they have chosen a staycation over travelling abroad is because the UK has so much to offer.
Greg continues: “The UK also offers a vast array of amazing locations and routes that perfectly suit rail travel, and with staycations predicted to boom next year, Expedia Trains will provide the perfect opportunity for Brits to explore their own country.”