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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Rail connections from Rotterdam and ease of boarding train with luggage

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In trying to put together our fall trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and France, we've discovered (or confirmed prior comments on this forum) that automobile rental companies charge a $500 "Drop Fee" if we pick the car up in Amsterdam and drop it in Paris. However, if we drop it in the Netherlands then train to France and pick up another car to drop in Paris, no fee will be due. Even factoring in the higher daily rental rate for the two shorter rentals and the cost of the train, we would save around $200 by taking this approach.

Two questions: We will be staying in Bruges the night before we would return the car. I did a quick search and found we could train to Lille from Rotterdam in about two hours. Anyone have a better idea of a an origin in the Netherlands or a destination in France?

Second, and most important: my spouse and I are around 70 and, while I've got no physical disabilities, she does, and she is worried about getting our luggage and ourselves aboard a train. We visited northern Italy around twenty years ago by train and at times this was a problem because the trains at times did not stop for long, the steps to the train from the platform were quite high, and no one was there to help with the luggage. This is the main reason we are renting a car rather than taking trains for this trip.

My spouse can handle train trips without luggage, and had no trouble with the Caledonian Sleeper a couple of years ago--but that one originated at Euston Station so we had plenty of time to get aboard. Any thoughts on this?

I realize we could probably avoid the "quick boarding interval"problem by returning to Amsterdam and getting a train originating there, but that would be at least another hour from Bruges (where we will be the night before). Any thoughts?

Thanks for any help;

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