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Advice on Train Ticket Time

Hi forum friends-
I have a question, we're landing at 10:40AM at CDG in Paris and taking a train to Caen from St Lazare. Do you think that we can make a 3PM train? That gives us ~4 hours to get through immigration and cab to the station. Any thoughts or advice...the other option is just to buy our tickets the day of but it will cost more.

Thank you!

Posted by
5714 posts

4 hours is the rule of thumb and with luck you will have time to buy snacks for the train and get coffee; if the plane is a little late and immigration is a little slow, you should still make the train.

You always take a risk with an onward trip on a separate ticket the day of arrival. We once had a plane come in 5 hours late. BUT your odds with 4 hours are good and it is IMHO worth the risk for the cheaper tickets. You will almost always have plenty of time with that schedule. It is a risk, but a low risk.

Posted by
7180 posts

Late arrivals are not the only obstacle to possibly thwart your plans. Protests, riots, strikes, traffic snarls, lost luggage - can all be an unwelcome situation. Low risk...I’m not sure about that. In Switzerland or Germany I would say low risk...but Paris is not quite so forgiving.

Maybe the low cost ticket is worth the gamble - but only you can make that decision.

Posted by
15587 posts

The walk up price is 40.70 EUR. If you can get them for 15 EUR, that is a big enough discount to take a chance on it. Whats the worst that can happen? You loose 15 EUR per person.

Posted by
94 posts

Thanks everyone...I think I'll take the risk. Like Sam says, worse case we buy a new ticket.

Posted by
3283 posts

I tend to not prepurchase tickets for my arrival date. If your plane is early or you breeze thru immigration, etc., then you are loosing vacation time waiting. You also risk your plane being late/cancelled. You could consider, paying the full fare ticket when you arrive, staying overnight in Paris and leaving the next day on a prepurchased ticket (I know some people hate packing/unpacking, but you could consider a night in Paris, a fun little bonus) or take a train a short distance (thus cheap ticket) day of your arrival, and spend a night in Vernon or Rouen or a place that would have a train to Caen the next day.

I would evaluate the potential savings and go from there.

Posted by
94 posts

Thanks jules!
We're pushing on day one to start in and around Normandy for 5 days, then returning to Paris for 10 days before returning home.