Child tickets - everything you need to know!

Last updated: Monday, 24 July 2023

Whether a child is travelling with an adult or travelling on their own, there are always ways to save on their ticket price.

We’ve put together this handy guide to make sure you’re getting the best value for money on your child tickets.

Travelling with children under 5

Kids under five travel free - they don’t need a ticket and can just hop on the train with you. When you’re passing through a station with ticket gates, please always use the wide aisle gate to give you and your little ones more space. Using this gate enables you to pass through easily if you’re holding a child’s hand or pushing a pram.

Children aged 5 – 15

Child tickets, which are half the price of an adult ticket, are available for those aged 5 – 15. These offer great discounts for older kids travelling alone, or for people that want to purchase their tickets online. However, if a child is travelling with an adult on an off-peak service, a Kids for a Quid ticket will usually be the most cost effective.

Father and daughter overlooking loch

All you need to know about Kids for a Quid

If you travel on an Off-Peak ScotRail service you can take up to four kids with you for £1 return each with our Kids for a Quid tickets . They’re fantastic value and a great way to keep costs down when you’re enjoying a family day out by train.

There are the important things to know about Kids for a Quid tickets:

  • They’re valid all year round, not just during the school holidays – so they’re great to use for adventures at the weekend!
  • They can only be bought from a booking office – a Kids for a Quid ticket cannot be bought online or from a ticket vending machine. You must buy them from a booking office before you travel, or on board the train if a ticket office isn’t available at your departing station.
  • The adult travelling must have a valid Single, Return, Season, Flexipass or Club 50 ticket.
  • One child can visit selected attractions across Scotland for free with our Kids Visit Free Deals . Simply show the Kids for a Quid ticket at the attraction ticket desk when the adult buys their entry ticket.

Find out more about Kids for a Quid

Could you save more with a Railcard?

If you regularly travel further afield with the kids, a Family & Friends Railcard could help you stretch your budget further. For just £30 for one year, or £70 for three years, you could save a third off the adult fare and 60% off for the kids every time you travel off-peak. With the railcard, up to four adults and four children can travel together - there are a lot of savings to be made there!

Find out more about the Family & Friends Railcard

Family near the sea

Is your child turning 16 soon?

When your child turns 16 they can apply for a Young Scot National Entitlement Card , which gives them access to a whole host of brilliant savings! This card enables them to save a third off most rail fares and get a 50% discount on Weekly and Monthly Season Tickets. The card is completely free of charge so it’s definitely worth having!

Find out more about the Young Scot National Entitlement Card

Great value family days out

Kids love riding the train so making it part of a family day out is always a good idea. There are so many fantastic places to visit across Scotland that are perfect for families of all ages.

For help planning your next day out by rail, visit our dedicated family days out page.

Top tips for travelling with children

It can be daunting travelling with children, particularly if you’re not a seasoned train traveller yourself, but please be assured that we’re always here to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible. When you’re out and about, please always feel free to ask a member of staff, use a station Help Point or contact us on twitter using @scotrail if you have any questions.

Downloading the ScotRail App is another great way to plan your journey and check live train times when you’re on the go.

Read our top tips for travelling with kids.

Fancy taking the kids on a train adventure?
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