Our family trip to London and Paris included many “firsts” for our family, including riding the train from London to Paris together via Eurostar and Rail Europe. There is something so romantic about train travel. Steeped in simplicity, I think about the history and many generations of travelers and families who traveled before me on those same train tracks. For this trip, we worked with Rail Europe, the largest North American distributor of European rail products to set up our itinerary. Rail Europe believes train travel should be part of any authentic European journey and I definitely want to spend more time seeing Europe by train.
Disclosure: Rail Europe provided us with one complimentary train ticket for purposes of editorial review. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.
Booking Europe Rail for a Family of Four
For more than 75 years, Rail Europe has been working hard to help North America travelers experience the culture and pace of European life from the windows of a train car and make it easy to book. When we first started researching our Europe trip, I wanted to maximize our time (and budget) and stay a little longer to see as many countries as we could by train. Trying to plan a Europe trip by rail for a family can be EXHAUSTING. So many questions to consider including, “What type of pass should I buy?” “How many countries should we see?” “Should I book standard or comfort class?” “Is it cheaper to fly, or take the train to see all the countries we want to see in Europe?” The whole rail planning process felt maddening. It’s no wonder that European travel expert Rick Steves has an entire site dedicated to planning Europe vacations by train. Our itinerary ultimately led to us flying into London Heathrow, taking the train through the Channel Tunnel from London St. Pancras station to Paris, and then flying home from there. After spending hours researching a mind-boggling amount of travel scenarios, I reached out to my Rail Europe contact who instantly made the process quick and painless. I also loved the online itinerary builder that allowed me to pick the length of time I had to travel and easily search fares and schedules. One and done!
London to Paris by train with kids
We love taking the train here at home, so the kids are skilled in navigating the platform, finding their seats and the experience of getting on-and-off a train. At London St Pancras International, we grabbed some coffee and snacks for the 2:15 hour train ride. They had an impressive selection of treats for the trip.
The kids were super excited about riding the train under the ocean in the Channel Tunnel to Paris. This also provided a great opportunity to share the history of the Channel Tunnel, and Eurostar’s onboard magazine, the Metropolitan provided for fun tunnel trivia.
Planning your next Europe trip by Train
I think it would be particularly dreamy to do a European train trip during the holidays. To help you plan your trip, Rail Europe has several offers right now for train travel in Europe including a first-class France to Switzerland trip that includes a First Class France-Switzerland Deluxe Pass with free entrance to over 400 museums, and discounts on many mountain railways, cable cars and city passes in Switzerland, as well discounts on castles, shows, attractions, museums and city passes in France. Visit Rail Europe for a current list of all offers, including an opportunity to sign up for their upcoming Cyber Monday deals!
What is your favorite European route to travel by train?