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Better to purchase bus/train tickets online vs at the station??

I'm heading over to Ireland in a couple of weeks. I've been checking out the bus/train schedules. I'll be taking the train from Dublin to Tralee; bus from Tralee to Galway; then head back from Galway on train to Dublin. All this travel over the course of a couple of weeks. So, better to purchase the tickets online or at the station??

Posted by
8732 posts

Unless there's a substantial savings to book on line I'd say at the station.

Posted by
1167 posts

If you book on line you will probably be locked into a specific date and time. Booking a day or 2 ahead, or even the same day, either on line or in person, will give you a lot more flexibility.

Posted by
484 posts

I realize you are talking about Ireland. HOwever in Scotland, I found the cost online to be the same as purchasing at the station in person. I do recommend looking up times online before the trip though. It helped us immensely. You can find out how long the trip will take, connections, also the cost at a particular time may be much cheaper than at another time for the same route. This helped us in Scotland. We were able to save quite a bit of money just by taking a train one hour sooner than the one we were going to take. Also, we chose a bus route in advance even though we bought tickets morning before bus trip. We chose a particular time because of fewer connections, delays, and a more straight forward trip. This made the trip shorter and we were traveling with a child. So, even if you buy tickets "on the spot" --- it is helpful to research your transportation options online before the trip.
---Barb

Posted by
392 posts

One note about trains, at least in Scotland. We tried to be save time and buy train tickets for a day trip the day before FROM THE STATION, and it was a disaster because you can buy only day-of tickets from the ticket machinethe machine didn't even say that anywhere, and we went back and looked just to make sure! The night time office person wouldn't help us and told us the tickets were not exchangeable (I guess because they were off-peak day of return tickets) but then the person there the next day wrote on our tickets and stamped them, and everyone on the trains was nice about it. But it was a hassle that should be avoided. I don't know about other places, but here in NY you can get a ticket from a machine that is good for any day/time on the commuter rail. Amtrak works differently, too. We were baffled.