July 2014 – At Voyages-sncf.com (formerly Rail Europe) we do understand how stressful holidays can sometimes be. All that planning, the packing, successfully travelling from A to B without a catastrophe … it can take its toll. So, here are our top 10 tips for maintaining your sanity whilst keeping all around you peaceful and calm!
- Firstly, travel by train! Forget the long check-in queues, the increased security, the debacle over cabin baggage allowances and cramped seating and in their place, enjoy the journey, mix with the locals and admire the scenery. The kids can even get up and stretch their legs with a walk to the buffet car. And another big bonus is that children aged under 4 travel for free!
- Pre-book specific seats on board trains. You can even request family spaces with tip up tables and more space. Your train might also be a double-decker so check this when you book. In France particularly, many long distance high speed trains are double decked – very exciting for the kids!
- Travel overnight and start the holiday with a real adventure – what could be more exciting than bedding down on a train in Paris and waking up the next morning in Italy or Germany?
- To avoid the trauma and tears that come from the loss of a favourite toy, attach it to your child’s bag so that it can’t be left behind in a station or on a train.
- Keep a supply of small treats on hand to reward good behaviour and to encourage tired children to keep going just a little longer. However, beware of the sugar rush fallout and go for cereal bars, fruit, and healthy snacks instead.
- Tattoo your kids! But not literally of course – write your mobile number on their arm in case they get lost.
- A lot of European train stations have free WiFi hotspots. If you can’t tear your teenager away from their phone and tablet these can be a great opportunity to allow them to update their status!
- With older children, play the geography game in stations. Look at the departures board, and work out which country each destination is in – this is great in big stations like Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon in Paris, which have international services.
- Learn alongside your children. Aim to learn a new phrase or two every day and encourage the children to use the phrases they have learnt. Start them young while they’re less self-conscious and the local people will be delighted to hear kids making the effort and attempting the language.
10. Look for wide open spaces where the kids can let off steam. Many of Europe’s cities have lovely parks and gardens where children can run around quite safely.
Reservations and information – To find out more about taking the train with your children this summer, visit www.voyages-sncf.com. To book specific seats, call us on 0844 848 5848 or call in to the Voyages-sncf Travel Centre at 193 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EU.
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Note to Editors:
- Voyages-sncf.com was created in 2000, as the travel agent and ticket distribution outlet of SNCF (French National Railways).
- In 2013, the group sold 75 million tickets with an annual sales revenue of €4 billion, across more than 30 countries.
- The group has 650 employees of whom one third are dedicated to European operations outside of France.
About Voyages-sncf.com: Voyages-sncf.com is a key player in the European tourism industry and an expert in railway travel and French destinations. In 2012, the group sold 68 million tickets with annual sales revenue of €3.6 billion in 2012, across more than 30 countries. It employs 650 people, a third of whom work exclusively for Europe. Voyages-sncf.com has taken a comprehensive approach to its customers that include 13 web and mobile sites, five travel centres and an integrated call centre service. For more information: http://corporate.voyages-sncf.com/
About SNCF: Present in 120 countries, SNCF is a world leader in mobility and logistics. Its total workforce of 250,000 generated revenue of €33.8 billion in 2012, with over 1/5 of sales from markets outside France. A public sector group dedicated to public service, SNCF builds on its foundations in rail to offer a broad range of services, delivering seamless door-to-door mobility for transport and logistics operators, passengers and the regional and local governments that are its organizing authorities. SNCF Group targets cross-border and international markets, and has five divisions: SNCF Infra manages, operates, maintains and develops rail and related infrastructure; SNCF Proximités operates local, urban and regional passenger services; SNCF Voyages operates long-distance passenger services and distribution; SNCF Geodis provides freight and logistics services; and Gares & Connexions manages and develops train stations. www.sncf.com