Eurostar – the international high-speed railway service connecting London with Europe including France, The Netherlands and Belgium – has changed the way modern families travel and this year they are celebrating 25 years since it first service ran on 14 November 1994.
With a new fleet of trains many with new innovative features all aimed at maximising energy efficiency and delivering an enhanced experience for travellers – travelling by rail with the kids has never been more appealing or felt so luxurious. They have even had a makeover, Italian design house Pininfarina, renowned for its iconic Ferrari car designs, has transformed the look and feel of the trains, with elegant colour palettes and chic interiors offering more space, comfortable seating and enhanced technology to transform the on board experience for all.
There is so many benefits to travelling by Eurostar making rail travel so much easier and often a preferred way for families to get from A-B, even with a pushchair, toddlers and luggage in tow. Here is Juniors’ reasons why we often choose train over plane.
10 Reasons to travel with the family via Eurostar
- Travelling on a Eurostar train can mean a seamless city centre to city centre journey, as stations are located in the heart of each city destination. St Pancras International, London is near Kings Cross and Euston overground train stations and tube. This means there is no need for expensive and often lengthy journeys out to airports, which is a godsend when you have small children.
- Eurostars’ fast and convenient check-in is a breeze compared to airports queues, as you are only required to arrive 30 minutes before departure (or, 10 minutes if travelling Business Premier). This later wake-up call means you can hopefully set off on your holidays without feeling rushed and harassed.
- What is it about travelling with kids that means you need to take so much stuff? With Eurostar you don’t have to worry about those extra kg, paying for additional hold luggage or, worse only taking one piece of hand luggage onto a plane. Name a parent that can do that with ease? Eurostar offers each person (including children) 2 suitcases and 1 piece of hand luggage with no weight restrictions and at no extra charge. If you can carry that much, that is!
- Also, without weight and packing restrictions is means there is no rules over carrying larger beauty items, tolietries and baby essentials like formula and milk.
- If you were to name one place in the airport that causes a family meltdown – it would be baggage reclaim. The additional waiting, stopping the kids from climbing the revolving carousel, needing the toilet …the list goes on. With no baggage reclaim upon arrival – as you simply take your bag(s) with you on-board – it cuts out unnecessary queues. Yeah.
- With up to 19 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord you can also pick a travel time that suits your family – with its fastest journey travel time from London-Paris journey taking 2hr 15 minutes you can all arrive fresh and with no jet-leg or fatigue. Hell, you could even work it around nap times!
- Prices are so much more affordable for larger families – especially if you book in advance. With one-way fares starting from £29 (based on a return journey) and children under four travelling for free it can be a much more cost effective way to get to and across Europe.
- Air travel can be restrictive for some parents and children – especially if you need to move around. Even a walk to the buffet cart will entertain small children and, can help everyone stretch their legs a little. The comfort and space on board a Eurostar means you can unwind, eat and play games/colouring at the larger tables and even work (with UK and Continental power sockets at every seat, device holder, individual reading lights in Standard Premier and Business Premier and free on-board Wi-Fi).
- By connecting your mobile phone or tablet to free on-board wifi you will unlock more than 300 hours of popular TV shows and movies – great for keeping the kids entertained. With news, games, magazines, a special children’s zone and a live moving location map, this system sets a new benchmark for onboard family entertainment. Eurostar is also the first transport operator in Europe to feature Amazon Prime Video content (on board its fleet of e320 trains via the new app) for free.
- The new train coaches also feature ergonomically designed reclining seats, extendable seat cushions giving extra comfort to those with longer legs, extra storage space and touch-free glass doors that open automatically – perfect for when you’re carrying luggage, a baby or even a glass of bubbly.
NEW FOR CHILDREN: Eurostar Odyssey
Opening up the voyage of discovery the Eurostar Odyssey is the first virtual reality experience designed to enhance a journey through an immersive onboard adventure. As mini travellers make their way at high-speed under the channel, they’ll enter into the hidden depths of the sea bed for the first time, looking into a virtual world of sea creatures, sunken treasures and mysterious seascapes. This fun and unique experience will help the young children (and even adults) see their journey to Europe in a whole new new dimension.
This free adventure is accessed by logging on to Eurostar’s onboard entertainment system on your Apple or Android phone to tablet. Then you just need to take a seat as the roof of the virtual train transforms into a glass ceiling revealing the underwater world above your head. Guided by two ocean explorers, Rose and Benoit, the journey is packed full of stories from pirates’ legends of lost treasures, to meetings with mermaids and an encounter with a charismatic octopus. For the more competitive there is a gaming element that allows voyagers to count different species along the way.