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to think I am crazy to attempt this train trip with two children?

(81 Posts)
lill72 Tue 17-Oct-17 01:04:51

Am looking at going to Europe with two children alone - DH coming a few days later. The trip there involves 2 hours on first train, then a change of stations (about10 min walk away) with 1.5 hours to change trains, the another 2 hour train journey arriving at 10pm. Am I mad to attempt this with a 2 year old and 7 year old solo. With luggage and pram. Or should I pay extra in order to be able to break up the journey and stay a night to break it up? what would you do?

BarbarianMum Tue 17-Oct-17 01:07:16

What will you do at the other end? If your ds is asleep at 10pm, do you think he'll be ok to rouse to walk/find a taxi? If so, yes that sounds like a perfectly reasonable journey.

BarbarianMum Tue 17-Oct-17 01:07:58

Sorry by ds I meant your 7 year old.

Homemadearmy Tue 17-Oct-17 01:22:07

It sounds a like a relatively easy journey . Just make sure that you don't take to kick luggage

Smitff Tue 17-Oct-17 01:23:51

Are you talking Eurostar to Gare du Nord, walk to Gare de l'Est? I think it'd be fine, if so. I would spend some time checking out the access spots and routes etc, make sure you have tickets in advance and don't have to buy any. The train part is mostly just sitting. The 7yo would be fine, you'd just have to feed/entertain the 2yo. Luggage wise just take what the three of you need until your DH arrives. He can bring everything else. A stroller and big backpack would do it. Sounds fun!

just5morepeas Tue 17-Oct-17 01:43:04

Have a tablet/phone they can watch a film on/play games/watch endless episodes of Pepper Bloody Pig on in case of emergencies and I don't see why you couldn't do it in one go.

A few little snacks and drinks, colouring book, favourite soft toys, etc and you'll be fine.

Csd17 Tue 17-Oct-17 03:49:08

I would always pay extra for a hotel stay to break up the journey, only for my own sanity rather than necessity. Travel is stressful at the best of times, even more so when laden with luggage and children. Make things as easy on yourself as possible. I’m sure you could do it in one day but if you can comfortably spread the journey out a little, that might be a good thing. Or at lest it would be for me.

LAst year my family and I drove from London to ribadesella in northern Spain. We stayed over night in France to break up the journey. Completely different situation. But it was good to get some rest and breakfast the next day.

Csd17 Tue 17-Oct-17 03:51:05

Oh but seeee everyone else says you can totally do it. I’m just in the throes of life with a newborn and the prospect of travelling to Sevilla with him in a few weeks is terrifying me.. I can’t imagine travel with a 2 year old. I’m sure you’re far more competent at parenting than me.

bluetrees Tue 17-Oct-17 04:00:07

I think it depends on how many suitcases you have. The journeys themselves aren't ridiculously long but getting on/off, round the stations could prove tricky. Can you pre-arrange assistance? If you have only 1 suitcase to pull and a buggie you can push with one hand and a 7 year old that will walk with you and not be liable to dart off as you wont have a free hand to hold theirs, then probably do-able.

Orangedaisy Tue 17-Oct-17 04:05:41

I'd definitely do it all in one go but would try to do the whole thing earlier in the day. Even if I couldn't get earlier trains, the hassle of getting to and settling in a hotel just for one night wouldn't be worth it, I'd just want to get to my destination. The length of train journeys sounds pretty short really in the grand scheme of things.

TakeMe2Insanity Tue 17-Oct-17 05:59:18

I'd break up the journey when you arrive in Paris(?). It means you can do something kid friendly in the afternoon (run around in a park) which means you won't end up with over tired semi hyper kids.

ownedbySWD Tue 17-Oct-17 06:02:15

I think it's doable but not exactly easy or fun. The 1.5 hour wait between trains would probably tip me into insanity, tbh. Would you just be on the platform the entire time, or is there something you could do during the wait?

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 17-Oct-17 06:04:13

Where is your end destination - couldn't you fly?

BertrandRussell Tue 17-Oct-17 06:06:52

A lot depends on how many bags.

But the 10 minute walk between stations could easily take a relaxed hour with a stop in a cafe. 7 is easily old enough to help a bit. Looks fine to me.

RavingRoo Tue 17-Oct-17 06:53:49

If you can do it with minimal luggage or pay to have your luggage sent before you, then it won’t be too bad. Otherwise it could be miserable. Travelling with kids is bad enough without having to look after them and luggage.

FenceSitter01 Tue 17-Oct-17 07:01:14

could you fly because that's sooooooooooooooo much less stressful than having your pram taken to pieces in case its a pipe bomb, and checking in at least 2 hours before flights

Knusper Tue 17-Oct-17 07:06:16

I've done a similar journey via Paris many times with little kids. It's fine. Take an umbrella foldable pushchair not a pram and reins for the toddler. There are stairs between the two stations so you'll need to be able to fold the pushchair or check a map in advance to avoid the stairs. Get DH to bring most of the luggage when he comes.

Honestly, staying over sounds like a lot more hassle than just doing the journey.

HeteronormativeHaybales Tue 17-Oct-17 07:08:32

What? Two 2-hour journeys, 1.5h to change (presumably with somewhere to sit/shops to visit etc)? One of the children is 7?
It'll be FINE, honestly. I've been on 6h trips with multiple changes/on flights followed by train trips with changes with kids younger than that. Tbh, that trip sounds like a doddle. But Brits (and I am one) are a bit funny about trains/public transport in general.

Wintertimes5 Tue 17-Oct-17 07:26:06

No cause not, you will be fine. I have done 8 hour public transport journeys with my 3 little ones. I can't see what the problem would be with a child as old as 7.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 17-Oct-17 07:40:25

@FenceSitter01Than 3 interchanges, one of which doesn't even leave from the same station? Yes.

NotCitrus Tue 17-Oct-17 08:00:39

As long as you have a rucksack and then only a small bag to go under the buggy, maybe a carrier bag for lunch on the handles, it'll be fine. With 90 min to change trains the 2yo can walk for a bit.

You may end up in the vestibule dancing with the 2yo for some of the train journey, but apart from that...

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 17-Oct-17 08:28:20

I handled similar trips within the UK by using a big rucksack so I had hands free. And at 7, my eldest got her own little pull along bag, which she handled fine. But you do need to know that the 7yo won't wander off.

The 1.5 hour connection time is good as you won't have to rush.

Wallywobbles Tue 17-Oct-17 09:00:10

We used a wheeled soft suitcase and had small backpacks, DDs were 5&6. For the walking bit I wheeled suitcase and they held a handle each. There car booster seats were strapped to them.

Walked from gare st lazare to opera, caught the Roissybus to CDG. It’s always been a great way to travel.

Its definitely doable

lill72 Tue 17-Oct-17 13:09:12

Just to preface this - I have taken them on a few trips on my own. Mostly DH has been on plane but them had to leave . We have also been to Australia a few times. So I am not new to this. I am a bit scarred by a trip to Parma involving 3 changes. I nearly did not survive as we could not miss the connections. I was in tears.

The 7 year old is fine, on her own. But the 2 year old runs away, is very unpredictable and the tow of them fight. Took them to Lille on the Eurostar a few months back and this was exhausting in itself. It all seems so simple on paper but it never is. Yes is is Gare du Nord to Gare l'est Eurostar can only help to Paris, then SNCF have to help. I coud bring a backpack but it is just the stress of getting off train wit a whiny 2 year old who is over it and the been so distracted and trying to fine where to go. I would catch a cab. If it was with DH Id be fine, but on my own with 2, this a big day. No amount of entertainment or food keeps my young one happy for this long.

I have tried to catch the train as it is easier. ha than the plane. Also the plane is now too expensive

lill72 Tue 17-Oct-17 13:11:40

The only problem is the 1.5 hours is only for the late trains that day early ones only have 1 hour 8 mins. Which adds stress to the journey if there is a delay in eurostar, then a delay with my children..... ah.

It will cost about £90 extra in fares to break it up

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