Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

I am up to train bookings and would like some help yet again!

I am up to train bookings and would like some help yet again!

Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:41 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,820
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
gosh you have yet to meet train door knobs, they vary all over the place from simple buttons to up and over types, just watch the locals.

Yes the doors may try and close on you, just punch back, you will find other people will help get you out if you get stuck
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 07:57 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Getting on and off trains in France requires that you be quick and nimble. There are no porters. You're totally on your own with the luggage. If you can't manage it and two toddlers efficiently and fast, you're going to be in trouble. PACK LIGHT! If you can't jump up fairly steep steps quickly with your kids and bags, then get the luggage stored quickly on overhead racks or luggage bins at the end of the car, you're in trouble. Best to practice ahead of time with the bags. Lift them up and down, over your head, walk up stairs quickly with them - you'll get the picture.

Getting stuck in a door, or opening a door, on a train is the least of your worries. It's the bags that could be problematic. You should not be carrying anything large or heavy.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 07:58 AM
  #43  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Booked seats tonight on

https://ventes.idtgv.com

great site! Could choose my seats and was extremely user friendly! Hope this site is ok to use. I got to pick four seats that face eachother with a table and the luggage hold is just behind the seats. As is the toilets and baby change table. Cheap seats too!

Thanks everyone!
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 08:00 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One less hurdle and stress causing item.. You are almost on your way..
amer_can is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 08:01 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The steps to get on the train are high and there is usually a gap between the steps and the platform. You are going to need to lift your 2 year old into the train.
Goldens is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 08:14 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could learn to say "Can you help me" in French and hope someone is generous..It worked for me in Spain with 2 large suitcases and 2 helpful young men. Also the conductor asked if I needed help and it turned out one of the young men was his nephew!! Small world and big rewards..If you don't ask you don't get!!!
amer_can is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 05:43 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But you really need to be prepared to do it all on your own. The time it takes to wait for help can make the difference between catching and missing a train and getting convenient luggage storage on the train.
michele_d is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:03 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might try putting a bag up on the step by the door and then grabbing the little ones and get aboard. The bag might give you a little leeway as the door can't close. You can do it..You can do it. I'm sure you've read The Little Engine That Could to your kids..Keep that in mind!!!
amer_can is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 06:10 PM
  #49  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am only catching one train with the children and luggage without hubby! I am sure it will be fine but thanks for your advice!
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2013, 08:02 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trust me - I've taken about a thousand trains in Europe - you're going to be hyperventilating getting on that train, but you'll probably do OK if someone helps you.

PACK LIGHT, REALLY LIGHT! You will be SO incredibly sorry if you don't.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 04:37 AM
  #51  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
stcirq, why!!! what's wrong with that train???
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 04:51 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is "that" train that everyone is describing to you--the TGV. It has steps, a gap between the platform and steps and it doesn't stop for long. Pack light and few pieces of luggage. You have children that in this case are like pieces of luggage--they will have to be lifted onto the train steps to get on.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 05:15 AM
  #53  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oh . . should I not travel with tgv? is there another train that is better?

Also best way to barcelona from Carcassonne . . hire car?train -from where, fly? The flight is 340euros.

thanks, Claire
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 05:26 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
TGV is what you want, almost all trains have the gap and steps. TGVs are the fastest with in almost all cases, the fewest stops.

What are you doing after Barcelona? That has an impact on train vs car.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 05:33 AM
  #55  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
catching the ferry over to italy we can put the car on it and do the lease for 21days if you think that would be good idea . .we are going to hire a car in italy if we don't . so we will hire a car for france and hire a car in italy or lease the car in france and drop it off in italy before we fly to prague
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 06:41 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not about the train - they're all configured roughly the same as far as getting on and getting off - it's about YOU and LUGGAGE. It is a HUGE pain to get on and off trains with toddlers and luggage, and you've admitted you have large bags. It is going to be very stressful unless you pack very light. But then, you seem to thrive on stress, so maybe you'll be fine.

You haven't arranged for car hires yet? Sheesh.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 06:47 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,615
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Nor booked the ferry? Double sheesh.

And you still haven't said how big your big bag is. Most of us manage with 21 or 22 inches. Maybe 24 inches if you're strong.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 06:56 AM
  #58  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
StCirq . . thanks about that! We haven't done the car hire because we still don't know what works best . . .21day car hire will cost us $3000 . . or we pay for trains and 2 weeks (one week France, one week italy) Just don't know what will be cheaper and more enjoyable. So that is why we haven't done the car hire.
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 07:01 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
$1000 a week for a car? Wow. What the heck are you renting?
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2013, 07:08 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You just have to get quotes on cars and work the numbers. You should factor in dealing with and parking cars in large cities.

Carcassonne to Barcelona will involve a train change. If you don't keep the rental car, drop it in Perpignan and take the train from there with no changes to Barcelona.

The drive from Carcassonne to Perpignan is about an hour, 15 minutes, allow of course extra time to drop the car, etc.
Cathinjoetown is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -