Family friendly

Sat, 24/09/2011 - 16:23 -- admin

For families, train travel to ski resorts beats flying hands down. Children love train journeys, and once on board they have the freedom and space to stretch their legs and move around. There is always something new to see out the window.

Read our first-hand account of taking the overnight train to the Alps with children.

Families can book groups of 4 seats around a table - ideal for playing games, watching DVDs or drawing. Children under 4 travel for free on all trains in Europe, including Eurostar, although they aren't allocated a seat. Under-11s get a discount on the adult fare.

On overnight trains in France, you can request child safety rails to prevent small children falling out of the couchettes. It is also possible for families of 4 or more to reserve full occupancy of a 6-berth couchette, for a surcharge.

Some TGV services in France have family spaces and nursery facilities in standard class. The family space is 4 foldable seats around a foldable table with a games board. The nursery area for babies and toddlers is located nearby. These family spaces must be booked through Rail Europe's call centre (08448 484 064). There is currently no option to book them online.

On Eurostar it is possible for families to book seats in a dedicated carriage close to the front of the train and baby-changing facilities. An example of Eurostar's online booking pages - indicating the location of the family section - is shown below.