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To Book A Train Seat For Toddler

(51 Posts)
bushtailadventures Thu 24-Nov-16 05:54:03

I think it is a reasonable thing to do. She won't be able to sit in the buggy like she does on a bus, and having her on my lap for the entire journey would be a nightmare. In her own seat she could at least look at books or do some colouring, and, if she does want to sit on me, I will have somewhere to put all of her stuff.

It's been a long time since I travelled by train and all I remember is how cramped it was. This seemed like a good idea when I was buying the tickets, but everyone else here seems to think I'm being silly. Am I?

Somersetlady Thu 24-Nov-16 05:58:47

Its a good idea as far as I am concerned having a toddler on your knee and someone next to you isnt the most enjoyqble scenario. Like you say it will make ot easier to get her activities food etc. Best of luck woth your trip

Orchidflower1 Thu 24-Nov-16 06:01:21

Some companies don't charge for under fives anyway x

Mirandawest Thu 24-Nov-16 06:14:01

How long is the journey you're doing?

I would get her a seat of her own - it's true that she wouldn't be charged for but then she wouldn't have a seat either.

What's the cost for both of you? It might be cheaper to buy a friends and family railcard as that will give you a discount on your fares. You'd need to take into account the cost of the railcard, which is £30.

cheminotte Thu 24-Nov-16 06:22:25

Sounds like a very good idea to me. Let her have the seat reservation as her ticket and she'll think its great.

daisiesinherfootsteps Thu 24-Nov-16 06:25:51

I always do this. If you have get a friends and family railcard then it's actually cheaper to buy two seats than one as your discount is more than the child fare.

If you are doing a long journey the second seat makes things much more manageable with a toddler. (And then essential once you have 2 under 5 to fit in the double seat with you).

Another point, it is in the railcard t&c that you are allowed to pay for a ticket for an under 5, however I have encountered station staff who don't know this! I ended up keeping a screenshot of the t&c to show them. Conductors all know though.

Also, use the train company's own website not trainline when booking and then most of them have a facility to choose own seat (I always pick 2 airline style without restricted view close to the accessible toilet) I find airline far better to block toddler in!

canwestart2016again Thu 24-Nov-16 06:26:49

I always do. Did you know you can use a family rail card with a child if any age if you buy them a ticket? Saves you a third off most rail fares.

Bonywasawarriorwayayix Thu 24-Nov-16 06:32:14

We do it. It's so much easier knowing you all have space.
We travel regularly by train so bought a 3 year family railcard when DS was 1. Fares are always cheaper that way.

Catsize Thu 24-Nov-16 06:47:16

orchid, the 'free under fives' tickets means they are on your knee.

We have a family card. Works out cheaper to buy 2x adult tickets and 1x child ticket than just the adult tickets.

Catsize Thu 24-Nov-16 06:48:14

Probably cheaper/the same for 1xadult and 1xxchild too.

Kittykatmacbill Thu 24-Nov-16 07:52:15

We always do (2 under 4), get a family rail card it works out cheaper!

ChocChocPorridge Thu 24-Nov-16 07:58:03

You're not mad. I went to the South of France when DS was 2 or 3 (and I was pregnant with DS1) - he was on my lap the whole way because the train was full and it was a nightmare.

Flights now that they are old enough they have to have their own seats are 1000 times better too.

Get one of those power blocks so your phone has charge the whole way (if there's now power at the seat that is) is my second tip.

Hoppinggreen Thu 24-Nov-16 08:00:02

Perfectly reasonable and remember if the train is full you've paid for that seat so you don't have to give it up just because someone is glaring at you!!!

SocksRock Thu 24-Nov-16 08:01:20

I always do with a family railcard, it's cheaper than an adult on their own. I went 5 hours with my 3yo last weekend and was very glad she had her own seat that I could keep for her as I had paid for it.

Colby43443 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:45:45

Be aware that if the train's full staff can and will ask under 5's to sit on your lap, so if it costs a lot and you're travelling on a really busy route I wouldn't bother.

Colby43443 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:47:02

Regardless of how much is paid. This happened to me with dd several times even when travelling 1st class.

Meadows76 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:51:26

Be aware that if the train's full staff can and will ask under 5's to sit on your lap, so if it costs a lot and you're travelling on a really busy route I wouldn't bother. and if you have paid for a ticket you can say no.

viques Thu 24-Nov-16 09:51:48

Re the cost of a family railcard. If you have tesco vouchers you can use them to buy railcards, I think the last one used about £15 of vouchers which I think of as free money anyway, I know, I am easily fooled!, but if the vouchers are there in my cupboard and I would have bought the food anyway........

daisiesinherfootsteps Thu 24-Nov-16 09:57:28

I can't fit a 2 year old and a 4 year old on my lap in a single train seat, hence paying for the second seat. Defintely couldn't have managed when DD2 was smaller either as needed to feed her. I've never been asked to move from our reserved seats (although I often have to politely ask someone else to get out of them when we board).

Colby43443 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:59:27

Meadows76-not on busy Virgin, East Midlands Trains, Cross country, C2C routes. The thinking is that adult tickets are double/triple the price so if the child can sit on your lap they should if an adult needs it. I kicked off a couple of times but to no avail.

Colby43443 Thu 24-Nov-16 10:00:56

I travel into london a lot for dd in peak times so maybe that's why. Have the same problem in 1st class.

Meadows76 Thu 24-Nov-16 10:02:35

I travel regularly up and down the east and west coast and my children have never been asked to give up a paid seat for an adult. It doesn't matter how much you pay for the child ticket, if you have bought and paid for a seat they are perfectly entitled to sit in it.

- obviously we would give up a seat for someone who needed it.

blueturtle6 Thu 24-Nov-16 10:04:02

If you are going on virgin check if one first class ticket would be cheaper, there are more places to put the buggy, carriages are usually quieter and seats bigger if need her on lap

Colby43443 Thu 24-Nov-16 10:05:07

Lucky you Meadows76.

Andrewofgg Thu 24-Nov-16 10:16:04

Reserve as many seats as you pay for tickets. And refuse point-blank to put a child with a paid ticket and a reservation on your lap.

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