All you need to know about ski holidays by train

How much cheaper are child fares?

Mon 29 September, 2014


Daniel Elkan

How much cheaper are child train fares to the Alps than adult fares? It's an important question for families considering train travel.

Train companies often say fares are around 25% cheaper for children aged 4-11, but I was wondering what the real answer is, and whether there is a consisten pattern.

So I spent a hour checking and comparing adult and child fares on the daytime Eurostar Ski Train for every date of the ski season.

Using the excellent Loco2 train-booking website, I looked up return prices from London to Bourg St Maurice to see what the real difference betweeen adult and child fares is. 

My conclusions:

1. The normal discount for children aged 4-11 seem to be 30%

2. Since on some peak dates the child discount is not currently available (see Easter below) I assume that Eurostar has a certain number of child discounts that it makes available, and then once these are sold only adult prices remain. 

3. I don't have a third conclusion, but good things come in threes. Hmm. 

Outbound date Return adult price Return child price Child saves
Sat 20th Dec £339 £238 30%
Sat 27th Dec Sold out    
Sat 3rd Jan £239 £167 30%
Sat 10th Jan £239 £167 30%
Sat 17th Jan £254 £178 30%
Sat 24th Jan £269 £189 30%
Sat 31st Jan £239 £167 30%
Sat 7th Feb £179 £142 20%
Sat 14th Feb Sold out    
Sat 28th Feb £174 £122 30%
Sat 7th March £209 £146 30%
Sat 14th March £189 £132 30%
Sat 21st March £179 £125 30%
Sat 28th March £339 £338 0%
Sat 4th April £299 £244 1%

It is also worth noting that if you have children aged three or under, they can travel on the train for free, but without a reserved seat.

I hope this serves as a useful guide for calculating travel costs - great that the consistent 30% discount exists to encourage what is a very lovely journey for children to enjoy.