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Have you ever taken your dcs across Europe on a train?

(10 Posts)
puffling Mon 18-Aug-08 21:32:24

I've been having romaNTIC NOTIONS OF TAKING DD ON 'GRAND TOURS' BY TRAIN WHEN SHE'S OLDER. Anyone done it? Tell me about it.

snickersnack Mon 18-Aug-08 21:34:39

Well, we've been to Brittany by train, and the Alps by trains, with children of various ages under 3. And, by and large, it's been very lovely indeed. I would consider a cross-Europe odyssey with slightly older ones who were:

1) old enough to carry their own day pack, at the very least
2) old enough to be vaguely impressed by scenery
3) old enough to reliably eat whatever the buffet car sold, rather than relying on us to carry their bodyweight in snacks

Children love trains, I think. And they are much more fun than airports...

puffling Mon 18-Aug-08 21:44:31

cheers snickersnack, I think we might do it in a few years. I think I fancy London to Athens and then a boat to an island. We did this, sort of, with my mum when I was a child, except we went by coach with something called Olympic Bus and it was appalling (for a child anyway). Don't want my child to travel in squalor like I had to.

SqueakyPop Mon 18-Aug-08 21:59:52

We were thinking of doing this this summer, but chickened out.

We figured that we could only do it if they could carry their own luggage.

DH & I have both Interrailed (separately) and it was hard work with backpacks, but owuld have been easier with a bit of money.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 20-Aug-08 15:50:46

This sounds interesting - am intending to do with the Dc next or following year to South of Italy. At Easter we we to Egypt ad pared the luggage down to 1 20k bag between us (3) which included snokeling equipment and sleeping bags, so I think baggage-wise we are now about ready... grin

branflake81 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:11:04

We used to do this when I was a kid and I HATED it. I hated being cooped up in a train for hours and hours and there is a lot of waiting around.

I was/am a very impatient person though.

racingsnake Sat 23-Aug-08 08:14:56

Not sure about older children, but great way to travel with a 1 / 2 year old. We travelled overnight to Spain by train. Loads of corridors to run down, people with children to visit, beds to bounce on ...

sinclair Sun 31-Aug-08 18:02:09

We have just come back from a month of interrailing and we loved it! It was actually 2 x 10 day passes with a week in a s/c with DH's extended family in the middle. I was on my own for the first stretch (well, apart from the DCs 8 and 6) and then DH joined us for the s/c onwards.

We did a few overnights which the kids loved and tried to intersperse beach/pool days with sightseeing. We pre-booked hotels and b&bs and took faster trains that require reservation wherever poss to cut down on journey time, but all of that added to the overall cost. SNCF was a bit ropey but Italian, German trains were amazing.

Thinking about Turkey - Greece and back by train via Italy next year.

I would try the train for a regular break first to see how kids cope, and resign yourself to hours online planning in advance (tho that is definitely part of the fun)

sinclair Sun 31-Aug-08 18:07:28

Re luggage - we got everything for 3 of us into a wheelie case - bit but not so big that I couldn't haul it upstairs where necessary. we decided against the one bag each thing - fearing they would easily get left on trains - and it was an advantage whenever we did left luggage which is often 'per piece'.

2toddlersandme Tue 02-Sep-08 11:44:42

Just wanted to say we used to do this as children all the time (my dad worked for BR so we got free European rail travel) and I absolutely loved it and would love to do it with my 2 when they are a bit older. My parents managed with 4 children and we went all over Europe. I take mine a lot on UK trains and we travelled around Italy by train this Summer with no problems. For a longer trip I'd want them to be a couple of years older though I think (they are twins aged 2).

Go for it!!

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