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Planning Euro train holiday for 2020/2021...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by slingshotsally, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Please could tessers advise me on this endeavour..

    I ask because I'm thinking taking the boys on holiday in 2020/ 2021, but for 5 weeks during the summer holidays. The boys will be around 11 and 7 then, so it might be interesting for them.

    I'd like to start planning a rough route across Europe using a rail, and family rooms in hostels as well as sleeper compartments as far as possible.

    Has anyone done anything similar?

    Do you think I should hold off until the youngest is 8 or 9 (but then the eldest will be a teenager and that might be make the experience a little different)?

    EDIT- I'm planning early so I can start a holiday fund now- it will take me that long to save for it, so I might as well make it a cultural safari for the kids... (travel broadens the mind etc)

    Are European train tickets less expensive if booked in advance?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    slingshotsally likes this.
  3. MonMothma

    MonMothma Lead commenter

    What kind of holidays do your children want? I know my son (11) would prefer a nice relaxing holiday with theme parks, beaches and swimming pools! It sounds fun - but you need 'the right children' :)
  4. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Would they and you want to be on the move for 5 weeks. Could you mix in some stays on campsites - ready erected tents or caravans on sites with pools for chilling out between all the travelling

    It might be your idea of hell of course but travelling from town to city from hostel to hostel sounds v hard work. If you are staying in towns and cities it could get expensive too whereas being on a campsite for a few days you could spend less. We just had three nights in Amsterdam and spent a blooming fortune - think London prices!
    slingshotsally likes this.
  6. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    SSS., Don't know if something like this might fit in with your plans.
    Year before last we took the Eurostar to go skiing. It was the easiest trip I have had onto the continent. We caught the train at Ashford International. There is a long stay car park that cost us about £40 for 8 days, right next to the station so no problem lugging over our luggage and kit. Our bags had to be checked before we got on the train, but nothing like at airports. The train hardly had anybody on it because it was late in the evening. A friend of mine who went to Paris at peak time said that it was very crowded though.

    However, just realised you want to take 5 weeks, so the parking would be a bit silly for a start. However, I've left my comment anyway.

    Have a good time!
    slingshotsally likes this.
  7. wecanbeheroes

    wecanbeheroes Occasional commenter

    Lonely Planet's forum is the best place to look for advice of this kind.
  8. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    @lindenlea @TCSC47

    I am open to lots of ideas at the moment and thank you for your posts.

    I was hoping to spend about 4 days at each stop allowing for rest, relaxation and reconnoitring might be a good idea.

    The tenting sounds a great idea, @lindenlea.

    @TCSC47 - I can't ski!! I wish I could, but I'm not able to stretch for the lessons or ski equipment even for renting. BUT it is a great idea if you already have experience of skiing!
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'd also think about booking accommodation via Airbnb - can be cheaper than hotels.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  10. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    I last went inter-railing years ago, but I plan to do some more of it.

    Have you looked at the website seat61.com which is run by a rail fanatic and goes into huge detail about the best routes. Worth a look.

    There are some great hostels around but you can also book university accommodation - look at universityrooms.com - good for trips to London, and even places like Falmouth, as well as mainland Europe. There are some larger rooms available.

    Travelling through Germany or France to Northern Italy and staying at Venice Lido could be one option.

    http://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm#London to Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples
    slingshotsally likes this.
  11. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I have friends in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Granada who have kindly offered couches to sleep on for a couple of nights (I think combining staying in a hostel whilst there would be better as I wouldn't want to inconvenience them for longer than a couple of days).

    I will look into AirBnB too,
  12. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Ooh I'm getting excited for you now!
    TCSC47 and slingshotsally like this.
  13. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter


    That's a great link!! WOW, I could do that with the boys and it would be such a simple adventure!!

    (I'd have to ensure they were kept busy on the journey though!!)
    frangipani123 likes this.
  14. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I can't really go on holiday every year at the moment- last year we went to Pevensea caravan holiday park and the car broke down! After having the wind howling and rain lashing down, spending ALL the time wearing wellies and wondering what the heck happened to the sunshine...

    These next few summers will be spend doing local activities- farm visits, camping in grand parent's garden, sporting clubs, learning tennis/golf (there are some deals for summer courses for the kids £5ph) etc..

    BUT the train -safari will be the biggie!!!
  15. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Well, my kids have only ever experienced beach holidays along the British coast in summer time and believe me, they didn't enjoy the last one... please read the post about lashing rain and wind...
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    We've trained around Europe quite a bit in the last few years. I absolutely love it, but it's not cheap. Going from Paris to Barcelona is lovely but it's a long way and so it costs a fair bit, and if you're thinking of multiple journeys that'll all add up. And there are three or four of you. I think if I were wanting to give my children a foreign holiday I'd camp or caravan or gite in one or two locations in northern France, and I'd take the car. The ferry is very exciting in itself and you'll find plenty of new things to show them.

    I can thoroughly reccomend the Man in seat 61. You get all the best information, including the best websites to book your tickets. Some trains abroad are no cheaper when booked ahead, but for the best deals on Eurostar book early.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  17. gargs

    gargs Star commenter

    I took my boys camping in France and Spain about 10 years ago (they would have been about 8 and 10 at the time). I used the Camping and Caravanning Club to book campsites. We went by ferry to Calais, then three campsites in France, one near Barcelona and then two more in France on the way back - 5 weeks in total. It wasn't entirely without incident (the car developed a fault that could not be repaired so I had to abandon it!). Fortunately, the breakdown cover provided a replacement car for the rest of the holiday so all was not lost.
    It was a great holiday - the weather was mostly fantastic (and there is something very exciting about being caught in a thunderstorm in a tent!)
    slingshotsally likes this.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

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  19. MonMothma

    MonMothma Lead commenter

    Sounds exciting. The idea of a multi centre holiday via train is exciting.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  20. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I had forgotten about the visa thing!!:oops:

    But travel insurance I already factored for (approximating) in the budget.

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