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Am I mad? Train London to Vienna with kids

(22 Posts)
MsInterpret Mon 02-Jan-17 22:30:50

We (me, DD7 and DD4) are going to Vienna at half term (yay!) to see DH who is working there.

Looking at trains and thinking how it's greener, about the same price...and fun? But trying to figure out if I'm still in a post-Christmas love-in with the family and that taking two girls at the end of term on a 15hr train journey is NUTS.

Has anyone done it? They do get on well mostly and are happy to do seat-based stuff (colouring, reading, audiobooks, then iPad and films) ......for a while. And they've done longish train journeys (to Scotland) before.

DH able to be with us on return journey so that'll be easier.

Thoughts?

NicknameUsed Mon 02-Jan-17 22:44:21

That sounds exciting. I would love to do that. No advice from me though.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 02-Jan-17 22:46:45

oh now that sounds fab! ...I love the train! Esp if you manage a no change journey!

I am off to google!

user1483387154 Mon 02-Jan-17 22:49:34

15 hours is a very long time to be on a train for a 4 year old and a 7 year old.
I personally wouldnt do it especially when flights are only 2hrs 20 minutes.

Reality16 Mon 02-Jan-17 22:52:06

God no way. Far too long for them when you can fly so easily.

NicknameUsed Mon 02-Jan-17 23:01:56

I have had a quick look at the Seat61 website and it would involve changes in Brussels and Frankfurt.

I think a journey like this might be a bit much for such young children, and it will cost you a fortune in food and drink.

Northernlurker Mon 02-Jan-17 23:04:32

I think you will all find it desperately dull and tedious after about 7 hours - with as much to go again. What about flying part of the way and doing train for the last bit -Frankfurt to Vienna say?

glorious Mon 02-Jan-17 23:05:31

Could you stop over on the way to break it up?

Having said that, I've flown for longer than that with DD twice when she was 1 and 2 and it was absolutely fine. Can you do sleepers or are they not available/ too expensive?

elQuintoConyo Mon 02-Jan-17 23:07:51

Sounds like a blast! People take children on longer flights for a holiday!

Changing at Brussels and Frankfurt would be a welcome break- stretch the legs etc. I'd recommend taxiing to the hotel once you get there and as dh to have food prepared!

You could note down some interesting places you pass or funny things you see - then the dc could point them out to dad on the way back.

Friends of ours took their dc age 2 and 5 from Barcelona to Florence by train (and back) said it was fabulous and the dc loved it.

JudithTaverner Mon 02-Jan-17 23:08:39

why wouldn't you fly? I've done really long train journeys with my children and it's pretty tough. Night time ones better as they find it really exciting to sleep on the train. But still, flying much easier! My 4yo just won't entertain herself and it gets pretty exhausting after a while (they just aren't interested in the views!).

MissSmiley Mon 02-Jan-17 23:28:58

We did Paris to Verona last summer with 5 kids (13, 11, 9, 9 and 6) but the youngest was 6 and there were two of us. As it was we split into two carriages. The main problem you've got is neither is old enough to be left on their own even for a short while - what if one of them needs the loo in the night? And with luggage you'd struggle to hang on to them both in a busy train station.
It was a great experience but I think you'd be mad to do it until at least one of them is a bit older.

mummymeister Tue 03-Jan-17 12:04:33

sorry just wouldn't attempt this until they are a bit older. if they were 10+ then definitely would do this rather than fly but at this age no.

you cant leave one whilst you go to the loo or take the other one to the loo. it means also taking your bag along with you. they will be tremendously bored after a few hours. just try sitting them in the living room this Saturday for 15 hours. even as an adult I would find this a bit of a trial and I love train travel. if you are going to do it then break it up with 1 or better still 2 stops. if you are worried about the green issue then look up some of the payback schemes where you pay a voluntary "levy" towards a green activity to off set your carbon footprint from the flight.

MsInterpret Tue 03-Jan-17 23:29:05

Sorry for going awol. Thanks for all the feedback. Food for thought!

One of the reasons not to fly is environmental. Seat61 says we'd be saving 200kg of CO2 emissions.

The other is cost - it's looking a bit cheaper to train when all costs factored in.

I also thought it might be fun and a couple of people IRL have said it worked ok for them BUT take on board the comments about it being boring/going to the loo etc.

I will keep thinking. Further comments welcome. Thanks again all.

NicknameUsed Wed 04-Jan-17 06:16:10

Is it cheaper when you factor in all the meals and drinks you will need?

HermioneWoozle Wed 04-Jan-17 06:25:15

I would do it, if you think the kids can manage it and if the train journey is interesting. Perhaps you could set off early in the morning so they might fall sleep for some of it? Or at night- is there a sleeper train you could get? That would be so exciting.

HermioneWoozle Wed 04-Jan-17 06:30:28

Apparently option 2 on the Seat 61 site does involve a sleeper from Cologne to Vienna. Start at lunchtime in London and arrive in Vienna the next morning. Very exciting!

FreddoFrog Wed 04-Jan-17 06:34:22

Can you go on sleeper trains? We did this recently in Vietnam (overnight train journey, leaving 10pm, arriving 6am). It was the highlight of the DCs' trip (ages 6, 4 &2). Load up the iPads, lots of colouring in and lego/Playmobil, stickers etc., mine would really enjoy it.

NotCitrus Wed 04-Jan-17 06:46:12

If you slept half of each journey it would be OK. Mine were that age when we went to Inverness and it was great (had to escort kids to loo in the night but still got lots of sleep).
Or fly one way? Or spend a day in Frankfurt or somewhere.

ememem84 Wed 04-Jan-17 06:53:48

We looked at going st Malo to Florence on the train in the summer. Ended up flying because it actually worked out only a bit more money. 15 hours on the train each way. Overnight. Basic seats. Would have to upgrade to a sleeper (basically just reclining seats in our case no cabin like on the movies as I'd imagined). Versus 2 hour flight. The price was only about £100 different.

goldangel Wed 04-Jan-17 07:00:22

I wouldn't do it, 15 hours is far too long for me never mind for a 7 and 4 yo. Fly and have more time in Vienna as a family!

Brokenbiscuit Wed 04-Jan-17 07:00:53

I travelled to Austria by train as a child of about 9. I loved it! We had couchettes, it was so exciting! I wouldn't hesitate to do it if there were two adults. However, if you're on your own, I think people do have a point about leaving the kids to go to the loo etc.

Kids can manage long journeys very well though in my experience. Took dd on a 12 hour flight by myself when she was about 7, and she loved it!

sashh Wed 04-Jan-17 08:30:11

My mother would not fly so as kids my dad would drive us to Spain, France, Italy.

We once did train from Northern France to Nice - car went on the train with us.

I've also done sleeper to Cornwall.

Depending on the sleeper you might have a berth to yourselves, if that's the case and there is a sink you could just take a potty for night time. Obviously not for a poo.

As for baggage at changes check out what help is available, you should be able to book a porter service.

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