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Train travel and bckpacking in France

Dunedin, Otago, New...
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Train travel and bckpacking in France

Hi there,

I will be in France in a few weeks time for a one week hoilday, and will be travelling around a bit by train, and staying in backpackers accommodation (i.e. I am on a low-budget)

I plan on doing something like: Paris (1 day) - Nice (3 days) - Lyon (2 days) - Annecy (1 day) before heading to Les Houches (where I need to be for the following two weeks). (other itinerary suggestions welcome...)

I already have my Paris-Nice train booked, but I was wondering whether the others need to be booked in advance, or whether I can do it when I am there? Similiarly with the backpackers accommodation - is it wise to leave it and book it as I go, or should I arrange it in advance?

Thanks for your help!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

If you wait until you get there, you will pay top price. Tickets go on sale 3 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer. You are already much too late to get the best prices.

You can get train times and costs, and make bookings, in English at en.voyages-sncf.com/en but use Antarctic as the "Ticket collection country" in the first screen to avoid the possibility of being transferred to RailEurope USA, which has higher prices and does not list all the trains.

If you don't book accommodation, you risk spending significant amounts of precious holiday time looking for somewhere to sleep. There are still many tourists around in September.

Dunedin, Otago, New...
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2. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

I am currently booking train for Nice to Annecy. On the website you have linked above, the cheapest price is 85 euros (about $NZ144), but for the same seat on the same train through the Rail Europe website the price is $NZ114 - is it ok to book through this website instead?

Also, if I book an under 25 fare (I am 23), do I need any special ID for this?

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

Sorry, I didn't pick that you are from NZ. Outside the USA, RailEurope generally matches SNCF's prices. However, there are usually booking and handling fees that add several dollars to the headline price.

Dunedin, Otago, New...
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4. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

As far as reliability goes though, is RailEurope OK? I noticed that their tickets seem to be non-exchangable or refundable, whereas the other website allows exchanges up to the day of travel (I think...)

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

RailEurope is partly owned by SNCF, so it is reliable. I don't know about its T&C, as I have never used it.

With voyages-sncf, the T&C on changes depend on the kind of ticket you buy. They are clearly stated right next to where the ticket price is shown.

australia
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6. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

SydneyNick why do you recommend people select Antartic to stay on the sncf site. I have always selected France and never get re-directed.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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7. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

Force of habit. It used to be that when I selected France, I was taken to the French-language version of the site.

Dunedin, Otago, New...
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8. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

Great, thanks!!

9. Re: Train travel and bckpacking in France

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