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Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

NG
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Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

This coming easter, 22/3 until 27/3, I will be travelling with my sis to southern France.

I am wondering should I buy all the train tickets online, which means I can't change the plan in the last minute, or it's better to buy on the spot?

Is there any difference in price if one buy the ticket earlier than at that departure date?

If we are under 26 years old, is there any special offer for us? Do we need to own a ISIC card or youth card? Or we can just prove with our passport?

Thanks for every answer in advance.

Have a nice day!

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France
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Bordeaux, France
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1. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

In general, the earlier you purchase your tickets, the more favorable the price. The problem, as you've noted, is that you are locked into the time and dates you've chosen, and changing travel plans can entail the loss of some or all the value of the tickets.

As for special offers for travelers under 26 years of age, SNCF has a program for those 12 to 25 years old that involves purchasing a card for 49 euros which entitles you to discounts from 25 to 60 percent off the standard price of a ticket. There seem to be a lot of strings attached, so you would want to look carefully to see if this is worth your while. The details are here, in French:

<http://www.12-25-sncf.com/carte/avantages/default.aspx>

NG
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2. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

Thanks for the info. But too bad, I don't understand French. But with 49 euro, I think is better if I am a frequent traveller in France.

Is there any possibility of buying the ticket in the station and request for a under 26 fare by proving my age with my passport?

Thanks again!

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3. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

There is always the rail pass issued by the International Student Travel Confederation. You can find out more here (in English, this time):

<http://www.istc.org/sisp/index.htm?fx=static&page=student_travel/student_travel_train_bus_ferry.html>

NG
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4. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

Thanks a lot.

I will apply one of this card and get those offers for youth.

Thanks very much again.

Paris
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5. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

The disadvantage with buying tickets at the station at the last minute is that they can be VERY costly. I'd recommend that you get them as soon as you can.

NG
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6. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

Do you know the official website to check the train schedule and price of the ticket for French Train Service?

I would like to go to Pont Du Gard from Nimes, shall I take a bus or train?

Do you have any website for the bus services too?`

Because we might go to those small villages, which I am not sure, can we get there with train.

Thanks again

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Pont du Gard
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7. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

For the train schedules and prices, go to the SNCF site:

<http://www.sncf.co.uk>

I'm not sure about bus lines, however. Most long-distance buses in France are really not long distance at all, since they tend to serve points within a department or region (funded, in part, as they are by the respective government bodies).

You could try a long-distance bus company like Eurolines:

<http://www.eurolines.com/index.php?id=113&L=0>

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8. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

I have done a fair amoujt of travel in southern France over the years.

The trains around Easter will be busy; book ahead for long-distance journeys if you can. I once had a problem at Bordeaux, as a late change of plan ended up with me not being able to get a train out of the city as they were all fully reserved and booked!

You cannot reserve seats on local TER and Corail trains but, except at rush hour, these are empty.

There are very few long-distance bus lines in France - they cannot compete with the trains or cars on motorways.

You will have problems if you do not understand French. There are a number of websites with local transport information but these are all only in the French Language.

Using Google, try typing something like 'autocars toulouse' or the name of a department and you will get listings of bus companies in that area. The information varies a lot between departments; some eg Languedoc-Rousillion and Midi-Pyrenees have full timetables but many have nothing.

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NG
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9. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

These are the places where i wish to go:

I will be arriving in Montpellier Airport, while my sister arrives in Nimes Airport. Then I will meet her at Nimes city, then go to Marseille, Nice, Eze(maybe), and Monaco then back to Nimes with day trip to Pont du Gard.

Here is my plan. I will buy the train ticket with from this website <http://www.sncf.co.uk> and if for bus, I will buy the ticket on the spot.

From Montpellier to Nimes: Train

From Nimes to Marseille: Train

From Marseille to Nice: Train

From Nice to Eze :can't find any connection from this www.sncf.co.uk but from www.ter-sncf.com I know there is a connection, but all in French.

From Eze to Monaco: Same case as above.

From Monaco to Nimes: same case as above

From Nimes to Pont Du Gard: Bus

Does it sound logical?

One more question :)

Can I take a direct train from Montpellier Aiport to Nimes city? Or shall I take a bus to city then take train to Nimes?

Thank you so much.

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Herault, France
Nimes
Nimes
Gard, France
Marseille
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Eze
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Tahoe
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10. Re: Should I buy the train tickets online or on the spot?

I agree with dmjwineworks-Eurail or other similar train passes have proved, for my travels, to be the best choice. Pre-purchase rail pass online...many web options---try Rick Steves Eurail pass he also provides current European updates on train passes, as well as related links---via google search.