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London to Paris on Eurostar

We'd like to book a train from London to Paris on Eurostar in the afternoon, Saturday, Sept. 15. Someone in our group heard it's better not to get tickets in advance. Questions:
1. Is it more of a hassle to get tickets in advance and print them out at the station (or whatever the process is).
2. Is it likely the Saturday afternoon trains might be sold out?
Thanks!
Bill

Posted by
8889 posts

Someone in our group heard it's better not to get tickets in advance

Someone in the group is talking rubbish (censored version).
Eurostar tickets, like all other variable-price rail tickets, only ever go up in price as you get nearer the date. Buy early to get the cheapest price.
The only reason to put off buying is if you don't want to commit to a specific time. Tickets are only valid on the train listed on the ticket.

Buy direct from Eurostar: https://www.eurostar.com/rw-en
15th September is a Sunday. Tickets are currently priced from €77.

1) Is it more of a hassle to get tickets in advance and print them out at the station (or whatever the process is).

No. When you buy them on the internet, you get "self-print" tickets sent to you. This is a PDF file. You print it out at home, and bring it with you. The barcode on the ticket opens the ticket barriers.

2) Is it likely the Saturday afternoon trains might be sold out?

Yes

Posted by
3259 posts

Someone in our group heard it's better not to get tickets in advance

Oh, Good Lord, NO! That is the worst thing you can do, unless there is a valid reason for not booking early ( like taking the train the day you arrive by plane). Tickets go on sale, at the cheapest price 6 months in advance. From there the prices will only climb, and certain trains can sell out in advance. Tickets 6 months from now go for as little as $59. Tickets for Sept 15 are currently $89-134 depending on departure time. Tickets for this Sunday are a whopping $253! So if at all possible, book them ASAP, then print out the tickets and bring them with you.

Posted by
5456 posts

Don’t forget to READ and obey instructions about the arrival at St Pancras time, to allow for immigration formalities and bag inspection. Also on return train, if any.

Posted by
11450 posts

Oh I do hope you don’t take anymore advice from that person !!!

You’ve likely already missed the cheapest tickets - by day of travel they can be 3-4 times the advance buy price !

Go on official Eurostar website and buy them now .

I taken the Eurostar at least 7-8 times now . Always for as cheap as I can get them lol

Posted by
27710 posts

Agreed - the 15th this year is Sunday.

Before we roast the someone in the group counselling not to buy in advance we might want to hear "the rest of the story". There may well be a valid reason for such an expensive decision.

Are you taking the train to Paris within a few hours of landing from overseas?

Posted by
1804 posts

Buy them now, the sooner the better. We bought Paris to London for a May trip. The tickets were ~$110. Some friends who attended the same conference were going to Paris the next week. They didn't buy their tickets early. They bought them Friday for a Sunday departure. They were over $250.00!

Get the Eurostar app for your smartphone and you can put your tickets on your phone. It's very easy. For peace of mind, you'll also get an email and you can print out your tickets before you leave home.

Please don't listen to any other advice from that person in your group.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for all the replies and advice. We will definitely get the tickets now. And I will learn to read a calendar, lol.
Bill

Posted by
103 posts

As someone else said above thread. Do read the instructions about when to get to the stations before your train, and do it - especially in Paris. I don't know if there was a particular issue that day (a Sunday as it happens), but I arrived way before the recommended time, and hardly made my train.

Posted by
11286 posts

As a "belt and suspenders" person, I had the ticket on the Eurostar app and also had it printed out (same as DougMac). Very easy.

In addition to the fact that tickets will be much cheaper in advance, it's not a "hassle" to buy them online at all. It's just like any other internet purchase. If you've ever bought airline tickets online, this is very similar.

And yes, some trains can sell out at busy times. I'm not sure if Saturday afternoon is one of these, but I wouldn't want to try to get, say, Sunday evening tickets at the last minute!

Like the others, I'm curious. Did the person who had "heard" it's better to not get tickets in advance state their reasoning for this? As others have said, the only sensible reason to not get tickets ASAP is when you're not sure of your plans, such as when you're trying to coordinate the train with an arriving flight. Once your plans are fixed, your tickets should be purchased while they're still affordable!

As a "belt and suspenders" person, I had the ticket on the Eurostar
app and also had it printed out (same as DougMac). Very easy.

Oh goodness, as Harley points out above, “suspenders” has a very different meaning in British English. The things that hold your trousers up are called “braces” here, so the expression is “belt & braces.”

Posted by
1804 posts

I’m just glad harleydonski didn’t use a photo of Dr. Frankenfurter (Rocky Horror) to illustrate his point!

Posted by
30 posts

We saved over 100 euros by booking out as early as they went on sale (6months?) Buy early and just add the ticket price to the overall amount of your travel insurance coverage