trains in France and Belgium

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Jan 27th, 2007, 09:12 PM
  #1
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trains in France and Belgium

Hello,

I will be in Paris in March then taking train to Brussels. Then take train to Amsterdam. I am travelling with my soon to be wife. I am wondering if most people check baggage on trains or do you take it to your seat, or is there a little stand in the front of the rail car like some buses?? It's our honeymoon so I imagine she will have two suitcases. Also late march/early april is still slower season do you recommend I purchase rail tickets now online or buy them in person. 230 bucks for two to take train from paris to Brussels doesn't sound correct. She is under 26 also. Thanks for any help!!
jasontallica is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2007, 09:41 PM
  #2
 
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Trains are expensive, but USD230 may be a bit too much - about USD200 or - if you get lucky - USD130 for the both of you - see below. Or less if you find some specials.

No checking of luggage, you bring on board the train whatever you can handle. You stash it where you can - on many trains there is a rack near each end of the carriages, and space between the seatbacks (they lean together back-to-back and leave a triangle of space at the bottom), and some overhead storage for smaller things.

For two for a short trip like yours, you should not have more than a wheel-away each that (in the US) is small enough for cabin carry-on, and a small knapsack each, or - better - a slingbag that you can turn around in front without having to take it off. Real handy for sitting down and for getting something out in a hurry, and pickpocket-safer if in front of you. That configuration leaves you a hand free at all times - very important.

No need to book trains ahead of time, just buy them when you get into Paris (seat reservations are mandatory and included in the fare on the fast trains, so pick the train carefully, once you have the ticket you are locked in).

But if you want to save some money, go to www.voyages-sncf.fr and learn your way around the site. Sometimes there are PREMS - advance-purchase specials.

I'm there and I'm seeing these regular fares:

A ticket from Paris to Brussels on the super-train Thalys, one way, in 2nd class (mighty nice!), for under 26 of age, should cost €38.50, or €78 full adult fare.

Paris - Amsterdam €50.50 or €72.90 depending on time - if you want to make a stop-over you have to tell the agent because of the reservation.

You can book these at www.voyages-sncf.fr - leave the country of pickup/delivery as France, ignoer the insurance, and you can print out your own ticket or pick it up when you get to France at any station. Bring the same credit card you used online with you.
WallyKringen is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2007, 11:16 PM
  #3
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Thank you, that was very helpful. This is my second trip to Europe, her first. I took planes last time and I wanted to see a little bit of country side, plus less pollution. I think it will be worth the higher cost and not having to deal with airports outside of cities. I hope she enjoys it. We will be there 11 days total.
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Jan 28th, 2007, 04:26 AM
  #4
ira
 
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Hi J,

The best fare from Paris to Brussels is the 15E PREMS on the THALYS from Roissy (Charles de Gaulle Airport TGV station).

See www.voyages-sncf.com.

You don't check baggage on trains, you shlep it with you.

>It's our honeymoon so I imagine she will have two suitcases. <

Start your marriage off right. Tell her she has to carry her own suitcase.

Happy Honeymoon.

Enjoy your visit.

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Jan 28th, 2007, 05:55 AM
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To introduce you to training around Europe http://tinyurl.com/eym5b is good.

I agree with Ira, let her carry her own stuff. They do have laundries over there so she doesn't need 11 days of clean clothes.

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