Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Train travel - booked

I bought our train tickets for travel within France yesterday on Rail Europe's website. They offer a few "cost saving" options such as the Anywhere Anytime France Pass and the France SaverPass....however, after looking at the options of buying our tickets indivually or booking through the pass options, I realized I had to pay a reservation fee for certain rides (almost all) and that those passes ended up being more expensive or at best, break even but with less freedom on travel times (only certain trains are covered, I suppose?). I was rather surprised, because we're going from Toulouse to Bordeaux, Bordeaux to St. Emilion, Libourne (bigger station by St. Emilion) to Dijon, and Djion to Pairs. We're really seeing a good amount of France and taking some long rides so one would think we would be the ideal people to save on these deals. But nope. I even checked on the 1st class AND 2nd class options - still the same outcome.

In the end, we purchased our tickets indivually with the long rides in 1st class and the short rides in 2nd. The ride from Toulouse to Bordeaux is a little over 2 hours and the ride from Libourne to Dijon is a total of 5 1/2 hours (3+ hours to Paris, then has a 2 hour stopover, then to Dijon in about 2 hours) - both those are 1st class. The difference between 1st and 2nd class? Reclining roomier seats with armrests - and the price difference was between $15-35 / person depending on the trip. I can handle a short ride being uncomfortable, but I don't want to spend5 hours on a seat that doesn't recline and is little, you know? But since I'll be riding both 1st and 2nd class on a variety of trains, I can let you know if 1st class is worth it.

Either way, happy to cross one more thing off the list.

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