I created this resource page to easily list recommended services, products, and companies that I use and/or those I know are valuable. This way you can quickly find great products and services all in one place.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Traingenius.com is accredited by National Rail and enables you to save up to 80% using advanced fares. You can easily change the search criteria trying different times and dates to get the cheapest fare. It’s a great tool to check that you are getting the cheapest rail fare and you can even earn Avios points. Don’t forget that it is free to reserve a seat and this can be done through Traingenius.com at the time you buy a ticket. You can easily check which train companies you will be travelling with by selecting the info button next to any service. If more than one Train Company operates on your selected journey, you can choose the service which suits you best. Sometimes a slower journey will be cheaper and if you can be flexible you can save money.
Railcards are a fantastic way to save money when you travel by train. Most people will be aware of the family railcard and a young person’s railcard but did you know there is also a ‘two together’ railcard. Two named people travelling together can get 1/3 off Standard and First Class Anytime, Off-Peak and Advanced fares. Costing just £30, you could save money on one journey alone!
When I’m travelling by train I can usually get everything I need for a short trip into a small suitcase. I have found that Antler suitcases stand up to a lot of use. I like the four wheels on this case as it makes it easy to manoeuvre on platforms and bridges. It’s light enough to be carried up stairs if necessary. It also has a handy pocket on the front for that all important ‘Steam Railway’ magazine!!
I never carry full size toiletries as they take up too much space in my bag and just add to the weight. However I think buying ‘travel sizes’ of toiletries is rather costly! Instead I decant my regular shampoo etc into travel size bottles which I find is enough to last about a week and I just carry what I need for that trip.
You’ve probably surmised that I like to take a lot of photos when I’m out and about! I use my phone for these. Sometimes I can charge my phone up when I’m on the train but I also like to carry a power bank to charge for when I’m not on the train. I like one beefy enough to charge the phone fully.
Travelzoo is my favourite way to get great deals on travel both in the UK and abroad. Voted Best Travel Deals Provider 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 at the British Travel Awards, Travelzoo deals regularly include a 40-50% saving and a 99% Feefo Service score, the highest in the travel industry. Whether I want a week in the sunshine to relax and recharge, a weekend break in a swanky hotel or a delicious afternoon tea as a treat, Travelzoo is the website I go to for a great bargain.
Booking.com their search facility gives me such a great choice of accommodation from swanky old 5* railway hotels to cheap and cheerful B&Bs. Best of all I can type in an attraction such as a heritage railway that I plan to visit then display the accommodation in order of the distance from the attraction. As I travel to most places by train, it’s great to know I can walk from where I am staying to where I want to be the following morning.
My favourite railway hotel is the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. There is actually a railway hotel at each end of Princes Street and at the time two railway companies competed to finish their hotel first! The other hotel is the Caledonian, Edinburgh. The clock at the Balmoral actually runs slightly fast so that travellers can be encouraged to be a little bit early for their train!
Railway books and DVDs
Ebay: Ebay is a great place to find railway books and DVDs at bargain prices. It’s also very useful when you are trying to source that hard to find item. You can even set up a search and Ebay will notify you when an item is listed which is great if you are looking for something specific which is hard to find. Use auction sniper apps to bid at the last minute. Check for mis-spellings on item descriptions as these will attract less bids. Check for local listings eg for bundles of railway books as anything requiring collection will automatically go at a lower price. Finally, link your Nectar card to your Ebay account to collect points on all your purchases.
Amazon: It’s always worth checking prices on Amazon before you buy anywhere else. Remember that Amazon don’t just sell new items but they act as re-sellers for other dealers and private individuals. They can also be a great place to look for rare books. Sometimes you can buy items for as little as 1p plus postage! Click here for the best selling railway books of the moment.
Hornby have the most fantastic model locomotives. Their attention to detail is amazing and I think the fact that they have stood the test of time says a lot about the quality of models that they produce.
Model Railway Scenery have a great selection of card scenery for model railways. Once you have purchased the scenery you want and downloaded it, you can print it as many times as you want yet you only pay once. I love being able to select scenery and then work with it straight away without having to wait in for the postman – I’m just impatient I suppose! We have a great free offer to try them out. If you sign up for their email then they send a sample pack of scenery by email. This includes a garden shed, brick paper and a small factory. You have nothing to loose!
Cartridge People have been supplying ink and toner cartridges to consumers via the web since 2001. They have recently extended our product range to include stationery and LED bulbs – lasting up to 20 times longer than traditional bulbs, switching to LED bulbs can save up to 90% on lighting electricity costs.
Go Daddy host my blog. I find them reasonable on charges and very easy to upgrade if I need to. I also like the fact that I can call them at any time if I have any hosting issues and they are happy to sort things out for me.
Awin are the best site to use for affiliate marketing. They operate with a huge variety of merchants and have all the creative you need to drive affiliate sales. The website is very easy to use with helpful tutorials if you are a new blogger. I wouldn’t be without them!