It’s a doddle now, booking train tickets to European destinations innit. No more need for Portillo’s much loved Bradshaw ( would love to receive one for my birthday btw. 1 July for those who don’t know the date ). We have T’internet, we are in the EU, English is most people’s second language. Perfecto.
In other words, travel agents are out and do it yourself online is in. Print at home tickets! We have the amazing Seat 61 train travel guide for comprehensive information, we can cross border book through many websites such as Loco2: Europe by train made easy and Voyages-SNCF European train tickets , there are apps galore to help you when are you en route. And for the serious traveller you can buy the old school timetables IN A BOOK! Marvellous. Country maps too ( died and gone to heaven ) European Rail Timetable
Train delayed ? Click on the relevant app and look for alternatives. SNCF-TER is excellent for this in France. Learn what Cercanias are in Spain ( important! ) . I’ll give a plug to EE here. Whilst there is a lot of free WiFi in European stations being able to go online on your phone when it needs to be NOW can be a godsend. I get 500mb from EE for £3 a day. Sorted. Good deal.
So there we are, plan your route, go online, book it, print your tickets at home. Done & dusted. Sadly no. Eurostar tickets can be booked 120-180 days in advance. SNCF 90-120 days, RENFE (Spain) 62-90 days ( or when they feel like it. Mañana… ). Almost always, the earlier you book the better fare you get quoted. So to get the cheapest Eurostar ticket to Paris, you must book long before you can book Paris-Barcelona, and likewise Barcelona-Alicante. These websites do offer booking alerts by email which are useful. However, it will take you MONTHS to book every leg of the journey ( the longer your holiday, the longer the process will take ). Not only will you struggle to book the outbound leg on one day, you probably won’t even be able to start on the return leg. Part of the fun, right? A point of view some would say.
Isn’t this the sort of thing the EU should have sorted out long ago ? PAGING HERMAN VAN ROMPUY. Common booking windows, anyone?
Do me favour. EU. Piss up. Brewery.
Stress levels went through the roof but finally I had booked my itinerary.
OUT:London – Paris – Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains – Latour de Carol – Barcelona – Valencia
RETURN:Alicante – Barcelona – Paris – London
Like to join me on the outbound journey? Well, just wait patiently for the next post 😀
A bientôt people.