Eurostar deals 59

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European train tickets . . .

Purely for research purposes, naturellement… You can take three friends with you at a reduced rate. Please book at least seven days before you want to travel and have the following details to hand: Call our agent concession line on to confirm the booking and pay. Bookings must be ticketed within one week of being held, any bookings not finalised may be subject to cancellation. End the PNR and take a note of the Elgar reference and ticketing time limit. Please call to find out more about agent fares. Terms and conditions Travel agent concession fares must be booked at least seven days in advance.

Concession fares for agents are only available to employees of companies who have a contract to sell Eurostar tickets. Destinations served by Eurostar. Services on board Eurostar trains. Check-in at least 30 minutes before departure All travellers must be able to produce the required travel documents for Customs and the Police passport or identity card and visa if required. These rules also apply for children!

Train offers and travel deals

Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to travel on Eurostar unless accompanied by an adult. Frequent questions about Eurostar Questions about Eurostar. The main international trains at a glance: Exception for Thalys seasonal services: For Thalys Sun to the south of France, booking possible from the end of the winter for the whole summer season date to be specified each year. For these periods, the date of the early bird sale is to be specified each year.

But unlike the other trains mentioned, there are no restrictions on the various fares on these "conventional" trains, so these are available up to the last minute. Contact the Eurostar luggage registration service at Paris Nord: If necessary, your 'Connection' ticket can still be added to your booking file at a later moment. Please note, terms and conditions apply. Most international trains allow reservations to be made from 3 to 4 months before the date of departure or from 6 months for Eurostar and ICE. Orders made on this website involve payment obligation.

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Whereas local people buy train tickets as part of their daily life, to visit Granny, attend a meeting or go shopping, planning their lives and buying their tickets days or weeks ahead, not months. There's no rush, wait till bookings open! See the How far ahead can I book? If you need to book hotels or accommodation at your destination before train bookings open, no problem, you can hold accommodation risk-free at www. I strongly recommend waiting until onward train booking is open so you can confirm the actual times of your onward train for that date before booking a non-changeable non-refundable Eurostar ticket.

You cannot stop off with these tickets as they are only valid on the specific train you have booked. If you really need to, you can get off short of your destination with these tickets this is fine in mainland Europe, but not in the UK , but the unused part of your ticket is then worthless.

On local trains and long distance trains without compulsory reservation, you can often stop off if you have a flexible ticket which allows stopovers. There is one useful exception: When booking a journey to, from or within Germany at the German Railways website, www. Just enter a city and a specified number of hours in the 'hh: Or Berlin to Prague with a stopover in Dresden. Finally, of course, if you are making a long multi-train journey such as London to Malaga where each train is ticketed separately in any case, you can naturally arrange stopovers simply by booking each leg for whatever date and time you want.

Senior fares, my advice in a nutshell: They find lots of conflicting information about passes, railcards, discounts, and get confused. Just go to the relevant train operator website, book 2 or 3 months in advance, find a cheap advance-purchase ticket, pay, print, travel. Do not concern yourself with being 'senior' as 9 times out of 10 it's irrelevant. You can pretty much say the same thing about youth fares.

A guide to buying cheap

A senior or youth fare will be offered automatically if there is one and if it's the cheapest option: Most websites ask for your age when you run an enquiry and it'll then show any senior or youth fare if there is one and if it's the cheapest option. So don't waste time worrying about it, just run the enquiry and buy whatever ticket is cheapest. If you are offered a senior or youth fare in the search results merely because you entered your age, then no special railcard is needed, just carry proof of age when you travel, for example your passport.

The senior or youth fare is often irrelevant Many international train fares work like this: Only if you needed to travel at short notice when the cheap fares were sold out would there be any point in buying the senior fare. So again, forget being senior, just buy the cheapest ticket. Railcards for seniors or unders: Useful for regular travellers, but often a distraction for foreign visitors: Some countries have their own senior or youth railcard schemes.

You buy the railcard for a fixed fee and it is then valid for a year, giving discounts on tickets for domestic journeys within that country, but not usually international journeys. In most cases you can only buy these railcards when you get to the country concerned, not online and not from abroad.

How to buy cheap European train tickets | Read this advice first!

However, 99 times out of a foreign visitor will not be making enough trips to make such a card worthwhile. In general, you only need to consider such a railcard if you are planning to make multiple journeys in that country during the course of a year. Most holiday travellers can forget this distraction, just go online in advance and nab a cheap deal, don't worry about railcards. They are National Railcards, the clue is in the name! To find out more about senior or youth railcards in a given country Go to the relevant rail operator website, see the list on the links page.

In Italy, the senior fares shown on Trenitalia. In Spain there's the Tarjeta Dorada. The golden rule when booking is, don't select any strange brand-name with the word 'card', 'carta', 'carte' etc. However, it has now been withdrawn, no great loss as it wasn't valid on any of the 'globally priced' international trains in western Europe, which now means almost all of them!

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Child fares Infants under a certain age go free on trains, no ticket required Spain is an exception, see here and so is Russia , just bring them with you. Forewarned is forearmed, so here are the two key pitfalls to keep an eye open for when booking children online: A child can travel on an adult ticket of course, just not the other way round! The solution is to spot this and manually re-run the enquiry with 2 adults selected.

Just keep your eyes open and book with brain engaged! Most notably, due to technical limitations French Railways-based websites including oui. It's a particular problem when booking Paris-Germany trains as French Railways apply their own 'under 4s free, under 12s child rate' policy when the German Railways website Bahn. A key rule is that if you have kids and the train is German or to, from, across or within Germany, use the German Railways website not the French!

Incidentally, when my son was 5, if I took him on a TGV from Paris to Munich he wouldn't need a ticket according to the German Railways website as he's under 6, but as he's over 4 he'd be travelling illegally if I didn't buy him a child ticket according to the French railways website. It all depends which website I didn't use to not buy him a ticket. How does the conductor know which site I went to and didn't use? Is this the railway equivalent of one hand clapping? I knew a philosophy degree would come in handy for rail ticket booking Railpasses give unlimited flexible travel around one country, several countries, or most of Europe.

If you want to be free to explore Europe, see the InterRail pass page if you live in Europe or the Eurail pass page if you live outside Europe. Contrary to overseas railpass marketing, railpasses are most definitely not a way to save money, rather an amazing freedom to experience Europe for which you pay top dollar. If you simply want to travel from A to B cheaply, just pre-book an advance-purchase ticket a month or two ahead as shown on this page and forget about passes.

Railpasses may sometimes save money over expensive long-distance full-price tickets bought on the day of travel, but almost never against the cheap advance-purchase fares that you can now get on most routes. For a blow-by-blow account of the classic 'Should I buy a railpass or point-to-point tickets?

Eurostar: getting the best deals

The most important piece of advice I give time after time, when people find booking systems won't handle say Avignon to Pisa all in one go, or won't give a cheap fare for say Zurich to Florence, or the Italian Railways website won't book an indirect train to Luzern: Some booking systems can only handle direct trains, for example Spain www. The Italian railway sites www. The French systems at en. Very few sites can handle complex multi-leg journeys.

The solution is to break the journey down into bite-size chunks, then book each chunk of the journey or if necessary, each individual train in turn at the relevant operator's website. It's often helpful to start by finding a suitable end-to-end journey using the German Railways all-Europe online planner at www. As an example, none of the train operator websites can book a journey from Amsterdam to Benidorm near Alicante in Spain all in one go. The French Railways website en.

A local ticket from Alicante to Benidorm can then easily be bought on the day at the station, so no need to worry about that. A bit of creative thinking is sometimes required! If I'm unfamiliar with a ticket selling website, the first thing I check is the ticket delivery options.

For example, the Italian railways website trenitalia. On the other hand, the Austrian Federal Railways website gives print-your-own e-tickets for this same route in either direction, so can be used to book Vienna-Venice trains in either direction. I take this into account in recommending the right website to use for any particular journey. If there's a persistent glitch with the online systems, or none of the systems seem to book what you want, pick up the phone!

People forget you can still do this. See the advice on who to call here. You may also need to pick up the phone if you have a specific requirement, such as a specific seat or a seat in a specific carriage.