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Train with a 3yo, what do you do about booking seats?

(13 Posts)
MiniCracker Sat 15-Feb-14 16:57:39

Am I right that they don't need a ticket?

You only get one booked seat then and obviously it is likely to be next to another booked seat?

What does everyone do? Just hope you can knab two together?

stikmatix Sat 15-Feb-14 21:30:20

I always buy a ticket for any under ticket age kids on long distanc trains where you can reserve a seat. We've got a family and fiends railcard which makes it cheaper. It's far more comfortable and on busy popular routes there is little chance of random spare seats, so it's worth every penny for me. Of course on some commuter trains or short distance routes you can't reserve seats for anyone so you have to take a chance, an put the child on your lap if it is busy.

TheScience Sat 15-Feb-14 21:34:59

Depends how far you are going. I often go two stops (25 minutes) on a busy line that eventually goes to London and depending on the time of day sometimes there is a free seat for 3 year old DS, sometimes not.

If I am actually going to London (2 hours) I would book and pay for a seat for him too. 2 hours with a 3 year old on your lap rammed in with loads of other people is not fun.

MiniCracker Sun 16-Feb-14 00:17:19

You wouldn't exactly recommend 5 hours then?!

I can't afford another ticket, its £87. Oh well, fingers crossed Angry Birds hypnosis is still effective by then.

LadySybilVimes Sun 16-Feb-14 00:23:20

If you get a family and friends railcard it can be cheaper to buy 2 tickets than just the adult ticket.

AGoodPirate Sun 16-Feb-14 00:24:05

Family and friends railcard knocks a third off your ticket price and the child travels for one pound and gets a seat. I think!

TheScience Sun 16-Feb-14 00:24:24

Are you likely to be going at a busy time? I wouldn't want to spend 5 hours with a 3 year old on my lap if I could avoid it, but if it's not a busy route/time you could well find a seat and only have to put her on your lap if it gets busy.

teenagetantrums Sun 16-Feb-14 00:28:20

you don't have to sit in your booked seat, im sure you will find two together unless you are in rush hour.

BobbyGentry Sun 16-Feb-14 00:30:06

Family & Friends card pays for itself www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/ (30 pounds a year - mahoosive savings!)

Wingdingdong Sun 16-Feb-14 00:32:19

Family & friends railcard and book a child seat here too.

Though that didn't stop one bloody annoying woman from telling me that children under the age of five 'weren't allowed their own seat' and that DC1 should move onto my lap (where 10m DC2 was already sitting), so that she could sit down. I took great pleasure in pointing out the reserved labels and telling her that under-fives do get their own seat if you've paid for one!

The railcard's £30 or so and saves 1/3 on adult fares and I think 60% on child fares. So if your adult ticket is £87, you're basically breaking even on the railcard purchase. Then you'd get 60% off the child ticket (5-15), which would be less than the £87 to start with - unless you were saying that £87 is the child price. If so, your saving on the adult fare will be greater than the cost of the railcard, and you'd then save just over £50 of the £87, so in total you'd pay less than £37 extra to secure your child a seat for the five hour journey. Worth checking out!

BobbyGentry Sun 16-Feb-14 00:32:56

Right now card www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/social/

From the site: ' Buy a Family and Friends Railcard online from 28th January-24th February 2014 and you will get £10 off the usual price of £30. So for just £20 a year you will get a year's worth of rail savings for you and your friends and family.

Simply enter your promotional code when you order your card to get this great saving - SOCIAL10'

MiniCracker Sun 16-Feb-14 22:01:16

Thanks for all the info guys.

Really useful to know but unfortunately I've already booked it inbetween posting the op and this. So its too late this time but I'll remember for next time.

mummymeister Sun 16-Feb-14 23:36:10

might be worth speaking to someone in person to explain that you would have bought the railcard had you realised (and if they let you change you will give them a lovely plug on MN!) 5 hours with a 3 yr old on your lap is not going to be fun for any of you so definitely worth a try tomorrow. good luck.

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