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Travelling on a train with a 4 year old...pay extra for first class?(18 Posts)
I'm planning a long-ish (4 hour long) train trip with my 4 year old. She's reasonably easy to entertain, but the last time I was on a train with her it was packed and there simply wasn't enough room to get toys etc out (as she travelled free she wasn't entitled to a seat. She had to sit on my knee the whole way.) Is it worth the extra money to go first class? I'll get the cost of a standard ticket (£40) paid for. It will cost an extra £30 to go first class. Anyone done this with a child? I'm wondering if all the men and women in suits will huff and puff at the noise and chatter.
If you can afford it, do it. You and your DD are as entitled as anyone else to travel in first class. If anyone huffs ignore them - first class is not an office, nor should people expect it to be as quiet as one.
That being said, I expect DD to behave sensibly and be considerate of others regardless of how we are travelling, be that economy or business class and it sounds as though you are of the same mind.
My DS is 5 & we have always travelled first class on long journeys for the same reason - you are guaranteed a (spacious) seat & there is likely to be space for her to have her own seat even though you won't have to buy her a ticket - book a table seat if you can. We always take a portable DVD player for entertainment.
I'd buy a family railcard. I regularly do trips from Glasgow to London with two children, but I always book for an adult +3 so we have a table and four seats to spread out on. The seat will be booked as reserved so no-one can sit in it. With the railcard, children's tickets are about £6 each, so well worth it.
I'd pay the extra if you can afford it. You can reserve her a seat, but if its really rammed you won't be able to get near your seats.
Regarding worrying about going in first class - really, don't worry at all. We went a few times when i was little, was great! My mum (very much salt of the earth yorkshire type) got a very serious looking suit type to take a picture of us all in first class eating our free smoked salmon + scrambled eggs
dont worry about the ppl in suits looking down on u, they can be just as noisy too!! But make sure u dont do what one silly lady did once when she sat in the queit coach and put her kids dvd player on and refused to accept a kind man's offer of some headphones. The quiet coach shd be respected-but then that applies to standard or first anyway! Enjoy yr trip!
we have taken dc in 1st class before, noone has a problem with it normally and it is easier if you know you will be able to have a seat. but the rail card idea can be good too, cos it books you a seat with a table on it i think?
Thanks for the thoughts. I have a DVD player (with headphones - I would never inflict Peppa Pig on anyone under 6!) I do expect DD to behave, which she does on the whole, but she's going to be nattering ten to the dozen as she won't have seen me for a week. I'm going to shell out the extra ££££ so that I know we should have a reasonable amount of comfort.
I don't think we can get a family railcard as I don't have DC over 5 (at least that's what the rules seemed to say.)
If you can afford it then do it. Especially if it's likely to be busy.
I've only travelled off peak with my dc's so we've always been able to get seats.
I travel about 50/50 standard and first class with the children. I never buy my youngest child (under 5) a ticket if we're traveling first as it's practically guaranteed to be free seats on the day. All first class on my train line to London have tables, and they have waitress service for food which is fabulous!
Nobody has ever said a word to me about being in first class with a
loud spirited toddler.
I wish I'd gone first class the other day when I went to London with them to see the miro at tate modern - it was a flaming nightmare and by the time we got to London after being cooped up, delayed, and separated into two lots of two even though I'd asked for a table, the toddler threw the worst tantrum of her life at Kings Cross culminating throwing herself down and licking the stone platform. It would have cost an extra £70 that day though, but and I wish I'd done it.... (Actually, I wish I'd left her at home with a babysitter!)
Get a family railcard if you don;t have one, as everyone has suggested. Our's paid for itself within one journey.
Good decision. We normally travel at the weekend and always get 1st class (when it's reduced enough!)
dontrunwithscissors - you CAN get a Family & Friends railcard, you just have to then buy a ticket for your child even though she can travel free. I have a 3 year old & this is what I do - have been told by the train people that this was okay & haven't had any objections. I started doing this after I spent 4 hours on a train with my 3 year old on my lap because she didn't have a seat.
With your F&F railcard if you buy tickets in advance, you can then have reserved seats for you & your daughter HOWEVER you can't get F&F discounts in First Class, so it would cost you full price to travel 1st.
We went up to SCotland recently 1st class - there were 4 adults & 2 children, & I have never seen so many kids in one carriage. Half of 1st class was kids. I wouldn't worry about disturbing the suits.
No - of course you can get a family railcard. It's meant for children over 5. You needn't ever buy a child under 5 one really (but DO if it's two adults and an under 5 as it'll be cheaper than just two adults tickets).
On a family railcard you get reduced fares for adults and children over 5 travelling together. When DH and I had some business trips, it was cheaper to take the baby with us and pay for her too .
Reserving seats something entirely different - you just do that when you book online tickets.
London - Manchester is £70 for one adult walk-on fare.
With a F&F railcard it's £59 for one adult & one child. Bizarre but not bad.
Other thing to point out is that you probably won't have all that many suits in there with you. They generally are only on there in droves when it's rush hour, which I'm guessing you'd probably try to avoid anyway.
Just read that about the family railcard. I'll definitely get one for the next time I travel. I've just booked the first class ticket before reading those last few comments so it's a good job that you can't get the discount on first class!
If you travel on a weekend and get standard tickets using the family railcard, you can then upgrade to first class on the train if there's room and just pay a supplement (think ours is £15).
I've done that before cordy - especially if train is heaving, they'll often do you upgrade supercheap, as they want people out of the heaving carriages.
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