Monday, October 22, 2012

Visitor Alert: Train Travel in Europe

(Whose got the "London Bridge is Falling Down" song stuck in their head after reading that ^ I bet you do know mwahaha)

I'm guessing your thoughts today are along the lines of, yay, pictures from London day! Hold your horses, it's coming. But London starts tomorrow.

What I was thinking about on the way home last night was how fun it was to be in an entirely new country with our family. I know Belgium will be new to most visitors but heading to somewhere that you've always dreamed of, (Paris, London, Rome), might be a lot easier once you're already here in Europe.

Whenever I come across an idea that I think visitors may want to take advantage of, I'm going to do one of these "alert" posts and then you'll be able to easily find them while you're planning your excursion in Europe (hopefully with us included at some point)! And I'm not saying you have to take us with you, by any means, but keep us posted either way when you start planning!

If you're going to stay with us in Belgium but wanted to take at least one trip outside of our little country to see the rest of Europe, so far the train is super fast and fairly easy albeit a little expensive. This is my list of perhaps do/don't for travelling on the high-speed ones:

Trains: booking/travelling:
- It depends on what day you travel, mid-week is much cheaper so maybe plan that instead of  a weekend trip.
- If you're travelling to/from where we are in Belgium, use the Brussels station.
- Book in advance. As in, book before you come to see us (if you decide you want us with you, let us know when cause we'll book early too).
- Buy online to book early. Start here at B-Europe's fare calendar. We booked a Eurostar train through TGV-Europe's website for London because our card wasn't going through on the Eurostar one. Same price on either though.
- Look into the Eurail site if you're planning on more than two countries during your stay. Especially if you're under 26, they've got the youth discounts.
- You can buy these tickets with your American credit/debit cards but check yours to make sure that you won't get charged those foreign transactions fees. We have one specifically for our time here in Belgium. And although the card's name would suggest otherwise, it does not pay to Discover. They're not recognized anywhere so far. But Visa actually is everywhere you want to be. Even Leuven.
- Give yourself a little time, to get to London we took the train into Brussels Midi (also known as Brussels Zuid) station and from there went through security, bag check and then customs just like one does when leaving/entering any foreign country. It was a good thing we left ourselves about 45 minutes to get to the train because that's the time we needed.

This might not be super important to you right this minute. But you never know! What if you're not even planning to come but all of a sudden you come into some money and you realize that you need to see us AND you want to travel beyond! Well, then you'll be glad this is here.

Recap starts tomorrow. See you then!


  1. This is EXTREMELY helpful information... Dave and I will need this next summer!! ;) Thank you so much for posting!!

    1. Suuuuuper excited for you guys to come to Europe, make us a stopping point if you want! Or a staying point, weeks, months, whatever :)


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