Group travel booking: all your questions answered

Managing group train travel doesn’t just involve coordinating multiple people with differing needs -- it also involves securing the best train ticket deals to .
As a travel manager organizing everything from and to and , you know that train travel is often the best mode of transportation. Plus, group travel -- whether for business or leisure -- often paves the way for discounts, easier travel itinerary management, and better seating options for travelers.
But, do you know how to book train tickets for a group of business travelers in a way that guarantees a first-class travel experience while keeping costs down? Keep reading -- our quick guide walks you through exactly how to book group train tickets, hassle-free.

What are the challenges of buying train tickets for a group?

Buying group train tickets often involves jumping through a lot of hurdles to make sure that everyone’s accommodated for. From coordinating schedules to familiarizing yourself with booking FAQs, you’ll often come up against the following challenges.

Insufficient ticket availability

You may encounter limited ticket availability when booking train tickets for a group, especially if you’re planning on traveling during peak times or on popular routes. You’ll need to decide on the best time of day to travel, and whether traveling during weekdays or weekends will help you find better ticket options for the entire group.

Lack of preferred seating arrangements

Seat reservations can be a hot topic, especially when passengers have different requests. Ensuring that all members of the traveling group are seated together or can reserve preferred seats can be challenging when booking group train tickets.

Strict ticketing and booking policies

Different train operators have varying group booking rules, including minimum and maximum group sizes, cancelation policies, and the use of railcards or travel cards. Understanding these policies while also trying to find the best routes and prices possible can be extremely challenging.

Difficulty making travel changes or amendments

Canceling trips or amending trip information can also prove difficult since train operators’ policies are usually more complicated when you’ve made a group booking. Many will also charge additional fees for amendments or have complicated refund policies.

Disjointed communication with passengers

Collecting information from all passengers can be a cumbersome exercise, as can communicating important information or ticket or journey updates to a large group.
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3 Ways to purchase train tickets in bulk

Whether you’re making business travel plans or organizing a leisure trip, there are several ways of buying group train tickets. To make the experience of buying group train tickets easier, let’s take a look at the best methods of buying tickets in bulk depending on your needs.

For business travel: Use a travel management platform

When organizing group train travel for business trips, emailing ticket offices or train companies to buy tickets isn’t practical. Not only is this method time-consuming, but you’re also unlikely to get the best deals on advance tickets.
Want to make sure you can book the best train times at the best prices? Using a to book group train tickets simplifies the entire travel and booking experience.
As an end-to-end travel management platform, TravelPerk provides everything you need for business travel in one tool. In fact, our handles the process from start to finish, leaving no room for mistakes.
With TravelPerk’s group booking solution, you can benefit from:
  • No switching between booking portals and accounting systems -- everything can be managed from the TravelPerk platform.
  • Specialized and negotiated ticket rates based on your business needs.
  • A consolidated booking and expense management process in one simple interface -- plus, train travel costs are automatically added to your expense sheet.
  • With TravelPerk group booking, all members of the group will travel on the same train, at the same price per seat.
  • Integrations with existing loyalty programs.
  • Flexible, simple, and transparent cancelation policies.
Planning a company offsite or event that involves travel?
We can help you organize the event itself. From booking a venue to arranging accommodation, our Meetings and Events team has you covered.

For leisure travel: Use a rail charter company

When traveling in a group for leisure, a rail charter company might be the best option for obtaining group discounts across different ticket types.
Rail charters can offer big groups of travelers the flexibility they need when choosing departure times, routes, and destinations. Plus, leisure rail charters can be a time-saving option, eliminating the need to make individual ticket bookings.

Buy directly from the rail provider

Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, you can also buy group train tickets direct from the train companies. There are plenty to choose from: Great Northern Trains, Great Western Railway, and Greater Anglia Trains, just to name a few.
While some companies offer groupsave tickets -- for example, National Rail offers groups of three to nine adults a “groupsave discount” for off-peak tickets -- many have stricter group booking policies. For instance, National Express also offers a group off-peak day travel card for 10 or more people that is only valid across London, while other operators have tight restrictions on discount tickets over bank holidays.
However, buying group tickets directly from the rail provider is an extremely time-consuming task, and more often than not, you’ll find that group discounts are hard to come by. Plus, you’ll need to double-check that the operator can accommodate your group booking and add each passenger’s details manually.

What information do I need to gather?

With a travel management platform, booking group train tickets for business travel couldn’t be easier. But, to speed up the process and avoid any oversights, you’ll need to collect the following information from each passenger before you begin.

The number of passengers traveling

Before anything, you’ll need to confirm how many passengers will be making the journey. You’ll also need to confirm whether all passengers will be making both the outward and return journey to ensure you’re paying for the right amount of tickets.

Full passenger names

Ask passengers for their full names and ask them to double-check that they match the names displayed on the identification they plan to use throughout the journey.

Passenger contact information

For easier communication about ticket or journey updates, collect each passenger’s phone number and email address.

Travel dates and times

Prior to making a booking, you’ll need to discuss travel preferences with your travel companions and decide on a fixed date of travel. Additionally, understanding the group's preferred time slots will help determine the availability of off-peak or anytime tickets.

Departure and destination information

If the whole group is departing from and arriving at the same places, this part is easy. However, if some travelers are planning on taking different routes and departing from different stations or arriving at different destinations -- either during the outward or return journey -- you’ll need to make a note of this prior to booking.

Seat reservation preferences

As a group, reach a consensus on seating preferences. Determine whether some members would prefer standard class while others might opt for first class. Additionally, decide whether the whole group would like to sit together or if there is flexibility in seating arrangements.

Details of any special requirements

Ask passengers about any special requirements they might have, including accessibility needs, dietary restrictions, or onboard assistance.

Payment details

Determine the method of payment for the group booking. If you’re traveling for leisure, this may include collecting individual payments from each passenger or nominating a designated person to make the payment.
Finally, if you’re traveling for leisure, some train operators offer cheaper or discounted fares for children, students, or seniors, so be sure to make a note of passenger ages.

Simplify group train travel with TravelPerk's group booking solution

As businesses increasingly turn to rail travel as a more cost-effective and sustainable option for corporate travel, travel managers need to know how to book group train tickets for traveling employees.
With TravelPerk’s group booking solution, you can benefit from negotiated rates, ensure that your passengers will travel on the same train at the same price per seat, and enjoy peace of mind with a simple, unified cancelation policy.
Book your next group business trip with total confidence with TravelPerk. and learn how to simplify group train travel with one of our travel experts today.
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