Combination Travel: Train from London to Paris, then Cruising French Countryside

September 30, 2014 Reeta Laaksonen

I have written before about combination travel – combining different destinations on the same trip – and often also combining different transportation methods, either as means of getting from one place to another, or as a unique experience. Combination travel also makes a lot of sense if you are travelling to another continent: the incremental cost on terms of time and money is smaller since you are already there.

Combination travel with rail, cruising and flying

Combination travel with rail, river cruising and flying

last Spring I did a combination travel to France, but instead of flying like I normally do I finally took the Eurostar train – and it was an excellent choice! This is an experience I’d definitely recommend for overseas travellers: a return ticket cost me just £67.50, which translates roughly to $100 USD, so it’s  way cheaper than flying.

The key allure of the train travel is not the cost though, but a combination of factors: the speed: it took me 3 hours from home to the center of Paris vs. 7-8 it would with driving to the airport, parking, checking in etc (but note that I boarded in Ashford, not central London), there is no limit to the luggage (but might be a small surcharge if you bring a ton), no worrying about liquid limits and no tasteless plane food.

The train is fast, silent and clean – and has great food on offer too. The end station, Gare du Nord, was within a walking distance to my hotel vs. 15 minute walk and an hour’s bus drive it took to reach the Charles de Gaulle airport on my way to Spain after the river cruise. So train vs. airplane from London to Paris goes 6-0 for the Eurostar!

Walking distance to hotel Westminster

Romantic Hotel Westminster was only a walking distance away from Eurostar stations Gare du Nord

So train was my first leg of the journey and a great experience, which was followed by a couple of days in Paris, and then I continued to a river barging cruise in Burgundy. The last leg of this combination journey was a few days spend under the basking sun of Spain exploring a historic city: now the weather was quite sunny in Paris too, but all but the last day were still somewhat cool temperature-wise, so Spain was a welcomed final leg for this trip.

Exploring Beaune

Exploring the delicous French foods in liltle town of Beaune

This trip lived to the full expectation of combination travel as it was filled with different experiences from wine tasting and culinary journey and cycling French country lanes to sampling night life and busy tourist attractions in Paris: a great mix of fast life and slow lane and something in between! If you are interested in trying something new and booking your next adventure – possibly even a combination travel there are a few ways to go about it: do it all yourself, have a professional agency organise your itinerary, or a combination of the two.

Abbaye

Biking to a restored abbey for cocktails and canapes

If your choose do do it yourself, be aware of the stress and amount of work it takes to find the information, book, confirm and coordinate everything – so start early enough. If you decide to use a company there are many available such as Shearings Holidays , which offer a bit of everything from self-drive itineraries to rail and cruises, tours and multiple-stop flying holidays (note that Shearings is UK based but offers global destinations, so works well if you are coming from US as many people start from London their European adventures)

Night in Alcala

Ending the holiday with a high note – trying something new again: guided night time city tour, which bring a whole new perspective and of course some great tapas and wine at the end of the tour!

reeta laaksonen

I love luxury travel and bringing global inspirations to our daily life. As a mother of three, I am always in the look for best places to visit with the kids. If you like the global lifestyle as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Lifestyle weekly feed.

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Reeta Laaksonen

Reeta Laaksonen and her family are always on the move. For her, home is where her family is - which is currently near London, UK. Reeta has lived in five different countries and by the age three her twins had lived on three continents already. When this family is not planning their next move, you will probably find them hiking, visiting temples, old castles or relaxing on some secluded beach. She thinks that every day is special, with the next adventures waiting right behind the corner. Reeta loves gardening and decorating, and has a passion for good wines. Besides writing she also pours her energy on learning Mandarin Chinese and baking with her children. For more stories about travel, décor, inspiration and global family lifestyle visit Reeta’s blog House of Anaïs and connect with Reeta on Twitter @houseofanais. Check out also House of Anaïs on Pinterest.

Comments (2)

  1. You’re right, this combination travel stuff is a great way to do it. We live in Australia but “need” to visit Germany every couple of years (to see my husband’s family) – rather than go all that way and only visit the relatives I always combine it with another trip – last year it was Ireland and next year it will be Iceland – it makes sense since the biggest cost of the trip is the flights between Australia and Europe. It can get complicated to organise it all but luckily I totally love that travel planning stuff!!

    • Reeta Laaksonen

      I agree Amanda, half the thrill can be the whole planning process. I’d really love to go to Australia but it’s so far away – I think it’s time we plan and combination trip and visit few other spots in the region that way. Iceland last year for our family was an amazing experience and we hope to go back in the summertime again!

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