Book Eurostars first - or wait?
Eurostar tickets to Paris and Brussels can usually be booked up to 180 days before your return travel date. However, TGV trains can only be booked 90 days in advance. This is particularly pertinent for families booking for half term – where the Eurostar is already on sale but TGVs aren’t.
Here’s question that people often ask: is it better to book the Eurostar part of the journey in advance, and then book the TGVs separately as soon as they go on sale?
The answer is no. It’s better to wait until the whole journey goes on sale. Here’s why:
- Journeys with Eurostar and TGV combined are known as ‘through journeys’ and the combined fare is lower than when the trains are booked separately. Although you are booking the Eurostar portion later than you could have done (if booking it separately first) its still better vale to wait and book together.
- Booked together, the Eurostar and TGV count as one journey. If one train was very late and you ended up missing a connection, your ticket would be valid on the next available train.
- You’ll be sure of choosing trains that connect well, and won’t be a victim of any timetable changes.
The booking window for dates beyond 7th January 2019, opens sometime in the first part of November. But SNCF hasn’t disclosed when this will be yet.
You can book though rail-booking agencies – who in some cases can hold Eurostar’s for you and then add on the TGV to create a ‘through journey’ when they go on sale. Details of these agencies are below, from our Train Travel Booking Guide
Ffestiniog Travel was established in 1974, owned by a Charitable Trust and with profits going to support the world-famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. There is a booking fee for all ticketing arrangements made, charged as a percentage of the total booking cost, up to a maximum charge of £30. As you can imagine, its expertise and understanding of rail ticketing means that they are able to advise clients on, source and take advantage of cheaper ticket prices – they know when reservations should be made to secure the best possible prices, offers and upgrades on your behalf.
Phone: 01766 772 030
Husband and wife team Phil and Jacky have been helping people book train travel to the Alps and other destinations for many years, with their small Canterbury-based booking agency. They charge a fee for booking, but are hugely experienced.
Phone: 01227 450088
Switzerland Travel Centre
The name suggests only travel to Switzerland, but Switzerland Travel Centre can book almost all journeys into European destinations.
Phone: 0207 420 4934
Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm; Saturdays 9am - 1pm; closed Sundays.
If you’ve got questions that this blog post or the train-travel booking guide doesn’t answer – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.