Travelling by Eurostar with kids | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Travelling by Eurostar with kids

This time last week, Daisy and I were on the Eurostar, making our way from London to Paris for a bit of an adventure! (You can read all about it here).

We've travelled on the Eurostar as a family before and I honestly can't recommend it highly enough. It's super fast (the non-stopping service takes just two hours and fifteen minutes!) and return fares for adults start at just £69 so it's very, very affordable.

Although infants and toddlers under the age of four travel for free when sat on an adult's lap, if you can afford it I would recommend buying a separate seat (prices start from £49 return for children aged four to eleven). It just makes the journey a little more enjoyable and means they can sleep comfortably if they're tired.

The best thing about using Eurostar rather than flying when you have little travelling companions is that there are no baby/toddler equipment restrictions and you are free to take liquids on board. Each train also has family friendly coaches with excellent baby changing facilities which we found an absolute godsend when we visited Disneyland with Evie earlier in the year.

But this trip was just for me and my biggest girlie - and we had so much fun!

Having such a lovely and relaxing journey (both outwards and on the return) really made it for us. We, perhaps slightly crazily, decided to do Paris in a day so it was a real treat to be able to breeze through check in at St Pancras half an hour before departure (and then again at Gare du Nord in the evening) rather than having to wait around for hours before jumping on a plane. 

Aside from the fantastic, child friendly facilities, it's the personal touches that we've experienced whilst travelling on the Eurostar that have really made a difference. This time, as with all other journeys in the past, we were very well looked after by all the Eurostar staff; both at the station and on the train. Not only did they help us on board, they also made Daisy feel incredible special by giving her a lovely breakfast - complete with hot chocolate, yum! - teaching her little bits of French and letting her have some colouring pencils and puzzles to keep her entertained en route.

We were lucky enough to travel standard premier on the way out (hence the breakfast), and then travelled standard on our return which was great because it meant I got to compare the two. My honest thoughts? The free meal and drinks that form part of the standard premier package are lovely but not essential, particularly when travelling with children, and I really didn't notice any difference in the seat sizes or amount of leg room in each class. The buffet carriage for the standard passengers is brilliant, and not at all expensive, and stocks all sorts of goodies from Waitrose, so we happily spent our leftover euros on sandwiches, crisps and a miniature bottle of red wine (for me!) on our return journey. Also, although travelling with Daisy in standard premier was absolutely fine, I think if I'd had a wriggly, noisy twenty month old Evie with me, I'd have been stressing about disturbing other passengers that had paid a premium for their travel.

The best thing about the Eurostar is that it makes even a day trip to France so easy (for us, living in Surrey, at least). There's no hiding my love for Paris, and now that I know it's doable in a day, even with children in tow, I fully plan to do it again.

Tickets are available online here or by calling 08432 186 186. 14th November 2014 is Eurostar's 20th Anniversary and over the coming months customer can expect lots of surprises in order to celebrate! 

DISCLAIMER: We were given return tickets from St Pancras to Gare du Nord in exchange for this honest review.


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