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Best way to get to Paris

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May 8th, 2012, 11:12 AM
  #1
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Best way to get to Paris

What is the best way to get from Barcelona to Paris in October? I've heard you could do the overning train or take a flight. After reading reviews on the airlines such as Vueling and Iberia, i am not certain as to if they would be the best options? Any words of advice on this matter would be appreciated.
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May 8th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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I've read more horror stories about overnight trains than about flying. You can be stuck on a train for hours... a flight will take, what? 1.5 hours? I'd fly.
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May 8th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Look, there are so-called "horror stories" about delayed flights, lost luggage, being stuck on the tarmac, cramped seating, nasty passengers, etc., etc.

There are people who simply don't like to fly and people here who have never even BEEN on a train so I think both methods have their plusses and minuses.

I would consider first, the TIME it actually takes. Trains are slower than planes but they run city center to city center, they don't have many, if any, luggage restrictions, there aren't the security issues, etc.

Planes are faster ONCE YOU GET ON THEM but they have luggage restrictions, you have to get to and from the airport, go through security, etc. They can also be a lot cheaper to use if you get a budget flight.

Cost: travel to and from airport vs to and from downtown station

Your comfort: for a flight of less than two hours you could probably put up with anything.

Not sure what reviews of airlines you have read but figure it out...some people will whine about anything so read between the lines.
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May 8th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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My sis and family flew one of the airlines you mentioned without problem. I would definitely fly to save time.
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May 8th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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No ritual humiliations or sexual assaults, no worries about luggage allowances, you aren't squashed up against the fat man with halitosis & a cold, you save a night's accommodation and arrive well before any flight could. What's not to like about the overnight train
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May 8th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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http://seat61.com/Spain.htm#Barcelona
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May 8th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Take the cheapest option. Don't forget that flying will also save you a lot of time and "time is money."
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May 8th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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I've read more horror stories about overnight trains than about flying. You can be stuck on a train for hours... a flight will take, what? 1.5 hours? I'd fly>

Poppycock - I've taken literally hundreds of overnight trains in Europe for decades now and I really cannot think of one single time what the above posts says was true - yes can be an hour or so late at worst IME - so just ignore that pure misinformation IMO.

Like dukey says planes indeed can be very very late and even cancelled - a volcano in Iceland could blow its top and flights to Paris scrubbed for days with resulting backlogs, etc.

And about saving time - flying takes half of a day - getting to the airport - waiting, security, waiting for bags on other end, getting into the city - much of the day shot - overnight train arrives in Paris around 9am - with a whole day of sightseeing ahead of you and you also save on the cost of a night in a hotel.

And these Elipsos Hotel trains are amongst the best overnight trains in Europe - a hotel on wheels - so check them out and you can score some sweet deals if you act far in advance online - full fare would be much more - but the cheaper deals are sold in limited numbers and can go early - early bird does indeed get the worm here.

For lots of great info on overnight trains in general and trains in Europe as well I always spotlight these fantastic IMO sources - www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com (the latter however is oriented a lot to Brits going to the Continent and back).
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May 8th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Take the cheapest option. Don't forget that flying will also save you a lot of time and "time is money."

So you agree - the sleeper train as it's cheaper overall and gets OP to Paris quicker overall
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May 8th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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flying's cost bottom line

fare
+baggage charges
+getting out to the airport
+getting in from the airport

I guarantee you the lowest airline price 99% of the time will not be lower than the overall train cost, from the cheapest possible ticket angle if you act enough in advance, on either.

No brainer - cheapest option is the train and it maximized time better as well.
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May 8th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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What's not to like about the overnight train is a lost night's sleep.

That's why we do road trips.
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May 9th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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What's not to like about the overnight train is a lost night's sleep.>

For your that is a very valid reason to eschew overnight trains but you automatically apply it to everyone else - saying no one will get a good night's sleep on overnight trains. Again my zillions of overnight train rides say that is poppycock - I have always slept well and others in my compartment seem to as well.

Light sleepers may want to avoid night trains because there is inevitably noise on overnight trains (and there are noises outside hotel windows facing the street often as well....) - so yes that is a factor to consider but to say no one will get a good night's sleep is poppycock IME.
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May 10th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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http://www.elipsos.com/en/

Check the Elipsos (name of train company operating the overnight trains Madrid/Barcelona and other Spanish cities to Paris) for really cheap fares so see if they are available when you want to go and to get an idea of how much it may cost!
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May 10th, 2012, 12:57 PM
  #14
 
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I will not vote on this subject. While I absolutely love taking the train, if someone has limited time, a 2 hour Schengen flight can be preferable to a long train ride.

One needs to compare the specific options, not the abstract notion of it all.
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May 11th, 2012, 07:09 AM
  #15
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Thank you all for your responses. All have been very helpful. Will need to discuss with the wife and finalize the plan. Ohh the joys of planning a vacation.
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May 11th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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if someone has limited time, a 2 hour Schengen flight can be preferable to a long train ride.>

missing the point - the overnight train will give the person more time in Paris not less. So if someone has limited time take the overnight train over flying which takes half a day - gain a half day in Paris and also save on hotel costs.
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May 12th, 2012, 12:30 AM
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I am flying, the overnight train experience sounds like a good idea,,IF, you actually get some sleep( some people can sleep anywhere) , and IF you can afford a top of the line private cabin,, but even then, I like a shower and a good sleep before a full day sightseeing,, and I have slept many a night in our 30 foot RV,,and thats cozy,, and I know even the best railway cabin is much much smaller!

My tickets for two people to fly from Barcelona to Paris,, all inclusive,,cost me a grand total of 97 euros,,its about 5 euros to get to airport in Barcelona( less if I take a certain bus) and 11 to get into Paris,, so total per person is less then 65 euros each.. not bad.

And the TSA do not operate in the Europeon airports,, so no sexual assault searches,, at least I have never seen any, and I have certainly seen some horrible stuff in the STates,,scary,,( let me tell you about what I saw them doing to a baby in the airport in LA,, pryings its little hands open while its bawling,,to swab them for explosives, disgusting)
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May 12th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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it makes total sense to fly at that price and with your qualms about getting a good night's rest - not getting one could mean wasting a day of sightseeing from being so tired.
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