Trains. One thing we (and most travelers) love about Europe is the trains. We actually considered doing the entire trip by train, but we only had 3 weeks of vacation total, so we did fly around some. I had always wanted to take the Eurostar high speed train through the Chunnel (because why not?), so we opted for a detour on our way to Italy. Where better to celebrate our wedding anniversary than Paris?
At some point in the near future, I’m going to write an article about how we manage to do all this travel on a budget. My husband calls me the “extreme couponer of travel.” This particular expense, however, is definitely not one of those examples. Also, since he’s probably reading this, I’ll warn him to stop reading right now, because I never told him how much this little jaunt actually cost us.
Knowing we have such a wish list for future trips and that we’d likely only do it once, we decided to splurge on Business Premiere for $365. Per person. So, at more than $700, let me just say that it is the most expensive breakfast I’ve ever had. Honestly, other than the food, the business class car was, well, kinda meh.
Like business class flying, there are some perks. However, we never used the exclusive business class lounge (the trip takes less than 3 hours). Nor did we take advantage of the taxi booking service (which we totally should have, but that’s another story).
Shame on me for not doing better research. I’m fairly certain we could have gone with Standard Premiere ($152-$183 pp), which also boasts “spacious seats.” The only other advantage the Premiere class has is flexibility, but I’m pretty sure that even if I had to pay a a change journey fee, it wouldn’t be nearly difference in cost between Standard and Business. Of course, next time I’ll probably just go Standard ($76-$136 pp) and spend that extra nearly $300 pp on something else!
I know, I know… I said I didn’t think we’d ever go again; however, now I say we’re quite likely to take train. While not the pinnacle of luxury, wow boy, is it ever convenient! You can get to both St. Pancras and Gare du Nord stations easily (we take taxis because I pack way too much luggage to mess with subway systems), it’s less than three hours between London and Paris, and the ride is so wonderfully smooth, even at nearly 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph). And if you’re afraid of the Chunnel, don’t worry. Even then the train goes 160 kph/100mph and the Chunnel is only 31 miles long. You’re out of it before you really realize it and back to enjoying the beautiful countryside.
Next article in this series… Paris!