When ought to I purchase my train tickets for my europe trip?

europe train trip
by s2art

Question by Laura H: When should I buy my train tickets for my europe trip?
I’m traveling around England and France for 2-weeks visiting with friends. My british friend told me my best bet was to buy my train tickets (from london to sheffield: round trip, and from london to paris via chunnel) on some website about 2 weeks before I go. Is this the best way to do it? Any tips about cheap travel would be much appreciated!

Best answer:

Answer by tempting_butnothanks
Train travel in Europe is very regular and can often be purchased within minutes of boarding the trains. if you friend lives there, he would have the best perspective on ensuring that you have tickets. perhaps its just so you don’t miss your train while trying to deal with the kiosk. but you’ll find that it’s a pretty simple process.

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4 thoughts on “When ought to I purchase my train tickets for my europe trip?”

  1. I know that for some journeys it will be cheaper to book tickets in advance than buying them on the day of your journey, especially in Britian. Of course this only makes sense if you already know exactly when you will be travelling where.

    Please do also check out alteratives to the train, as trains are more expensive than busses (although busses are more uncomfortable, and sometimes more scary):


  2. You could play around with the rail web sites and see if there is a savings by early purchase. If you are only going to use the trains three times it won’t be that much of a savings anyway. I would buy as needed when needed. You won’t have to worry about losing the tickets and you can change plans if you want to.

  3. If these are the only trips that you are planning to make then probably best to do exactly that, but if you were planning any other trips then you might want to consider an interrail pass-see link below. But be warned, as far as I know these passes are not valid in the country you buy them in (or at least they never used to be, I havent extensively checked the website recently) so you would want to purchase before you arrived in England. Also try the STA site below for good information based on your country of origin. Listed is the US site but you should be able to link through to other country sites from there if I have guessed wrongly!

  4. Trains from London (St Pancras Station) to Sheffield run hourly and take 2 hours 20 minutes, The cheapest tickets are those you buy in advance which you can do via the train company website http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk or at St Pancras Station; buying them 2 weeks in advance should be fine. From London to Paris trains are operated by Eurostar from St Pancras International; they run frequently and take 2 hours 15 minutes. The further you book ahead the cheaper it will be. www. eurostar.com. Rail tickets to Europe can also be purchased at the Rail Europe shop in Piccadilly near Piccadilly Circus.
    You might also consider a Britrail Pass if you are doing several rail journeys in Britain http://www.britrail.com

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