While many travellers are really comfortable with booking flights, there is still a certain amount of uncertainty about booking European train tickets. At Voyages-sncf.com they want to take the mystery out of booking rail travel and show people the easy way to do it. They are the one stop shop for booking tickets and passes and their experts have put together some top tips for how to get the best fares and when to book your summer holiday travel.
The golden rule in booking rail travel is to book as early as possible. The lowest cost fares always sell out first so it pays to be organised. Train operators have different booking horizons or windows and it’s important to check how far in advance you can book if you want to benefit from the lowest cost fares.
Rail prices do not rise automatically because it is the summer holiday period. Ticket rates are linked to availability rather than date – as the availability reduces, so the price increases. As soon as you know when you’re travelling and can commite to dates – reserve your tickets.
The major European carriers. These are some of the major train services in Europe and Voyages-sncf.com have confirmed details of when their services go on sale for the summer (2015):
|Eurostar||Inter-Capitals services to Paris, Lille and Brussels||Book up to 6 months in advance of travel|
|New Lyon-South of France service||Currently available up to 12th December ‘15|
|Disney Direct service||Currently available up to 11th December ‘15|
|Alleo||High speed services between France and Germany||From 17th March, tickets will be available for travel until 30th August ’15.|
|TGV France Spain||High speed services between France and Spain*|
|TGV France Italy||High speed services between France and Italy|
|TGV Lyria||High speed services between France and Switzerland*|
|Thalys||High speed services from France to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands||Book up to 3 months in advance of travel.|
|SNCF||All domestic services in France, including high speed TGVs.||From 2nd April, tickets will be available for travel until 30th August ’15.|
|TGV Paris-Freiburg||High speed services between France and Freiburg, Germany|
If you’re thinking of heading to France during the summer holidays, you’ll be able to book your tickets from Thursday 2nd April. Destinations included in this new longer booking horizon are Paris to Nice, Marseille, Avignon and Aix en Provence and in the south west, Toulouse, Biarritz and Lourdes.
Reservations and information – To book or for more information, visit www.voyages-sncf.com, download the free app, call 0844 848 5848. Anyone can call into the Voyages-sncf Travel Centre at 193 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EU or book through hundreds of appointed travel agents throughout the UK.