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booking advanced trains tickets for two under 5's

(13 Posts)
Ruthyn Mon 27-Jul-09 21:06:07

I am about to do this online, and they are asking me where I want to sit, so I can have a seat reservation for me. They ask what type of seat I would like (window, rear facing etc) but not if I want two extra seats for non fayre paying children? I think that if I get a seat reservation I probably won't use it as not suitable. It will be an exciting 1.5hour train ride that's for sure. Anyone any experience here?

Wigeon Mon 27-Jul-09 21:27:14

Surely if you want a seat for your child then the train company will say you have to pay for it? Children probably only go free if they are sitting on their parent's lap?

MissSunny Tue 28-Jul-09 04:09:08

Message withdrawn

PortofinoLovesItUpTheOxoTower Tue 28-Jul-09 08:17:44

If you have 2 under 5's I would definitely pay for another seat. It can be a nightmare otherwise, particularly on busy trains.

I travelled from Brussels to various places in UK last year with dd (then 4)and booked online. On the Eurostar the cut off is 4 yo so she was allocated (and I paid for) a seat. On the UK journeys, the cut off was 5 and she got no seat. No option (I thought) to book one either.

Of course the seats are allocated in advance, the trains were packed and there were very few spare seats. My dd is far to big to sit on my lap in an enclosed space for any length of time. One leg of the journey I managed to get a kind person to swap.

On others trains there was constant moving about, and one where they mucked up the seat allocation and I had to listen to a couple moaning at me all the way as they weren't sitting in the seat numbers shown on their tickets and it was apparently all MY fault.

With the benefit of hindsight I would have given her age as 5 and had reserved seating throughout. The reduced stress would have made the extra cost worth it. For 2 under 5 I wouldn't even consider not having a 2nd seat.

Ruthyn Tue 28-Jul-09 21:01:29

mmm that is useful stuff, I think I will need to book a second seat, as the though of two extremely wriggly boys on my lap for 1.5 hours is not an attractive one - thanks!

IdrisTheDragon Tue 28-Jul-09 21:33:57

When DS was under 5 I travelled to Liverpool with him, using a family railcard, as it was cheaper to buy both of us tickets using the railcard than it would have been to buy a ticket for me without it.

Was very useful having the seat for him as well.

runnervt Tue 28-Jul-09 21:37:42

Definitely get a family railcard and book extra seats!

Fillyjonk Tue 28-Jul-09 21:42:04

oh no unless you are booking on a busy service there WILL be seats availible. I've travelled on cross country trains a lot with 2, sometimes 3, under 5s, and have always got a seat for all kids not in slings, never any issue at all.

The ONLY time I struggled was when there was a mix up on a busy saturday morning train AND dp was with me. People are very kind IMO to women travelling with kids.

Another possibility-most trains have buggy seating. If one of the kids will sleep at this time, this prob solves the problem.

That said, do consider an upgrade to first class, you will have more legroom, guarenteed table, and they bring you tea and coffee for free! Also you have a special waiting area with a door (and more free food) on the platform. Costs me an extra £20 Cardiff-London and seriously worth it.

Also if you possibly can, travel off peak-weekday during the day. People are much nicer then!

bruffin Tue 28-Jul-09 23:01:47

Definitely buy a family rail ticket, when my dc's were under 5 the child's ticket was only £1. worth it for a long journey.

Portofino Tue 28-Jul-09 23:12:22

I can recommend first class if you can get a bargain in advance. But I think it does depend on how well behaved your dcs are. Basically people pay for first class as they want a bit of "luxury" or at least more comfort and peace and quiet. If you have screamers, you will only piss everyone else off and ths just makes it more stressful.

Portofino Tue 28-Jul-09 23:15:59

PS sometimes it's worth having a quiet word with the guard. When travelling ith dd, I asked if a carriage was really full, and managed to get bumped up for free. Once to an empty 1st class carriage on the Eurostar where I got champagne and dd clambered over all the seats unhindered.

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Jul-09 08:43:36

hmm don't agree that if you've paid for first class you get to avoid screaming kids! Just because you've paid less, why should you have your journey disrupted?

But tbh, kids and parents do have a right to travel also, the trains are not really set up to meet their needs. As parents we really do do as much as we can to keep them quiet but at the end of the day, sometimes we do have to travel, sometimes for whatever reason kids will whinge, and I don't think kids whinging is something you should be able to buy your way out of!

In scandinavian countries some trains have special children's carriages with toys, play equipment etc-kids in kids carriage, miserable gits adults who don't like kids noise can sit in a nice secluded carriage to sip their ovaltine, and everyone is happy. Esp the train companies, I think.

thehairybabysmum Wed 29-Jul-09 09:08:37

Defo get a family railcard, they are half price via this link here finally a use for the daily mail!!

I travel by train frequently with 2 u5s. The best bet is to pay for 1 adult plus 1 child. The money you save with the railcard will often be recouped in just one journey. YOu then get 2 seats which i find is ok for me and my 2 ds's. Mine are aged 3.5 and nearly 2.

Unless you are on a v busy service you will probably find empty seats anyway.

Are you travelling with a buggy??

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