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Paris to Barcelona by train. Anyone done this....with a toddler...

(6 Posts)
queenrollo Tue 11-Aug-15 08:38:43

We've booked, so we have to do it anyway! Just wondering if anyone has done this journey at all - with or without children.

Flying is not an option for us, and it's a trip I need to make for family reasons. Feeling nervous about it.

DH and I did it pre-children but on the overnight train. I have no idea how we are cope for 6 hours with a 2.5 year old....

OldRoan Tue 11-Aug-15 09:14:20

I've done it without children - seem to remember the train being quite warm so wear layers.

Is it gare d'austerlitz you go from? There's a shopping centre at place d'italie with a really big supermarket (obviously there are smaller supermarkets all around, as well as lovely bakeries and independent grocers). If you have time, get yourself a nice picnic together (supermarket is good if you have a fussy toddler - and the shopping centre has those little cars you can push toddlers round in).

I think it will be easier than on a plane to be honest - more to look at, and more space to move around. The train was fairly quiet when I did it.

Do you have a tablet? Load it up with distractions in case you get desperate.

queenrollo Tue 11-Aug-15 09:25:52

I think we leave from Gare de Lyon this time. We did Gare d'austerlitz when we did the overnight train.

We do have tablets, and DS loves doing stickers so we'll take sticker books. We do an 1hr15 min trip to London with some regularity so have become well practiced at keeping him amused. Stickers, ipad and food are our usual tactics - but 6hrs is a whole different ball game. He may well sleep for some of the journey.

We're getting Eurostar first thing (so that's 2hrs on the train already!) but have spaced it so we have a few hours in Paris before going on to Barca.
DH is much more relaxed and excited about this than me, but he's great with DS and happy to walk up and down a bit with DS if he gets very restless.

We're going in October so we have a bit of time yet to prepare and DS is now showing interest in sitting and watching films, so by then that might be a real help.

OldRoan Tue 11-Aug-15 11:02:48

The trains have a top deck (if I remember correctly) so that might be quite exciting?

There are a couple of stops along the way (from memory they are quite spaced out). If you were quick you could maybe step off the train (staying by the door) holding DS for a look up and down the platform just to provide a change of scenery.

Janek Tue 18-Aug-15 17:33:34

If he still has a daytime sleep, don't be afraid to find somewhere to put up his pushchair for him to sleep in on the train - the motion if the train will rock him off to sleep and you can read a book in peace...

Some kind of playmobil123/ toy cars for dh to play with, with him, while you read, yes to games and stuff to watch on the ipad.

We often get the overnight train to italy with our dds, and have done since before dd2 was born, the children love the train, and the people and the scenery and the excitement of going on holiday and walking endlessly up and down the train, it will be fine. And if it's not, it'll get easier as he gets older...

queenrollo Tue 18-Aug-15 21:13:01

We're not taking a pushchair, as we've preferred to babywear. He's a tiny 2 so I can still get him on my front and persuade him to sleep if he is tired, then he will transfer to daddy's lap for a cuddle.

I think we will just need to really work at keeping him occupied.

I have joked to DH that if it's dreadful going there then we'll be living in barcelona for the forseeable future!

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