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Tips on Traveling by train in France and Europe

tgv paris lyon barceloneA driving holiday offers you more flexibility and freedom - whilst travelling by rail offers you a ‘piece of mind’ with no worries about getting from A to B, especially for long Journeys.
French trains are considered some of the best in the world for their speed with the TGV going over 300 KPH, its frequency and punctuality (when not on strike, which is rare!) and its comfort especially in 1st Class.
Eurail Passes are very economical and offer a range of Passes from just 1 covering France to France/ Italy and right through to the Eurail Global Pass covering 24 countries.
Passes are based on buying just the number of days rail travel you require. You will receive discounts for travellers with 2 people (saver pass) or if your are 60 years of age and over (Senior) on some Passes.
This Eurail Pass is not recommended for short trips of up to 1 ½ hrs as an individual ticket would cost less than the average pass cost being approximately $115.00.
At the time of purchasing your Eurail Pass and if you can commit to dates and times in advance, we would recommend you to secure your seat reservations if travelling on TGV Seat reservation being compulsory on all TVGs.
As there is a restriction on the number of seat reservations sold to rail-pass holders — which means trains can "sell out" for pass holders, you would then be required to upgrade your tickets (with seat reservation) at a much higher rate. So early seat reservations are recommended.

Comments from Robert P.

Booking train travel in France has become similar to booking any air ticket on line. If you can lock in your dates and book ahead you can take advantage of discounted pricing which can be 20% of the full fare. Bookings can't be made outside 90 days. Recently I booked two second class tickets for travel from Paris to Avignon and booked the day that date was available and paid €25 each. Friends  in our group later paid €158 for the same travel. The difference between first and second class is sometimes immeasurable particularly if travelling during non peak hour times. For long journeys, and those departing at or at night then 1st Class has its obvious benefit.  


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