We are taking our 4 year old to DL Paris, but going to Bayeux for 2 nights first. We planned on taking the train from CDG to Caen, but it looks like it's $40 per person for CDG to Caen. (Flight arrives at 9:45am). If we have to pay that much for the train, seems like it would be cheaper to rent a car. We will be in Bayeux 2 nights, and we have booked a WWII full day tour for the one full day we are there. Should we skip the train and drive ourselves? I do have an IDP, would prefer to take the train since we will be tired when we land, but willing to drive if it will save a bunch.
Are you staying in Paris before you depart for Caen/Bayeux? That would mean you will be driving in downtown Paris which I would never ever recommend. If you buy your tickets Paris Saint Lazare -> Caen ahead of time you can get them for as cheap as 15 Euro which is a small price to pay not having to drive in Paris.
You say you will take the train to Caen and then spend 2 nights in Bayeux. You've omitted a portion of travel there...getting from Caen to Bayeux. Were you already planning on renting a car in Caen to drive to Bayeux and back to Caen?
We aren't staying in Paris first, we will go straight from CDG. If we take the train to Caen we can rent a car there or take local transportation, whichever is better. From Bayeux we go to Disney.
I wouldn't be safe to make that drive after a sleepless night on a plane.
Viamichelin estimates 44 euros for gas and tolls for a one-way drive between CDG and Caen. And it's hard to know how to factor in the risk of a costly traffic violation when driving jet-lagged.
Its probably even more that $40 per person, since everything is priced in EUR. Right now it would be more like $144 total given current exchange rates and discounts for the 4 yo. You'll also have to make 2 changes, from Paris Nord or Les Halles by RER/Metro to St Lazare, taking at least 3 hours.
Drive time could be about the same, and there are tolls of about 20 EUR on the way. Would you hang on to the car and take it to Disneyland? Logistics might be easier with a car.
We won't need the car at Disney, we are staying on site. I'm looking at the RailEurope website right now, it shows the
11:43AM Paris St Lazare/1:57PM Caen is $100 2hr14min
and the 1:10PM Paris St Lazare/3:03PM Caen is $85 total for the 3 of us 1hr53min
I haven't been to France in 15 years though, so I may be overlooking something?
Don't use Rail Europe, even though it is is owned by the French National Rail Co. Use their normal site,
Be careful of the prices the prices Rail Europe is showing, as they may be nonrefundable tickets which are like airline tickets. Miss your train and the tickets are worthless and you have to buy full fare tickets for the next train. The SNCF site is showing a full fare ticket of 91.80 EUR for the 3 of you. Go with that fare, as if your plane is delayed, you don't want to have to forfeit your discount tickets.
You still have to get from the airport to Gare St Lazare in central Paris. You can take the RER B from the airport to St Lazare involving a connection in Paris with another RER train or the Metro. Price is 10.30 EUR per adult and 7.30 EUR for the 4 yo. Or, easier, a fixed price taxi for 50 EUR from the airport to Gare St Lazare.
If you want the most economical seats, you'll have to buy them well ahead of time and if your plane arrives late and you miss the train, you'll have to purchase full price tickets (paying the difference between the two). Also there are two changes that have to be made before you get off the train and find the car rental office. With your baggage and a four year old child, I'd opt for renting the car at CDG and taking the 3 hour drive to Bayeux. You won't have to wait for trains and you could stop along the way and still get to Bayeux faster than taking the train.
Don't forget the added cost of getting from the airport to the rail station in Paris. Your odds of making the 11:43 train are very high.
I think Philip meant, "Your odds of making the 11:43 train are not very high." More likely, after passport control and collecting luggage you, won't depart the airport (taxi for €50) until about 11:45. I also guess that you're traveling on a weekend. There are direct trains from Paris St. Lazare to Bayeux most Saturdays in October at 13:10. On Sundays, the likely departure is at 14:44, again with a connection in Caen. On both days, the 16:00 is another direct train. If you're going with the full-fare tickets, then I'd just buy them in the station.
I did forget to mention the day, we will be traveling CDG to Bayeux on a Saturday, and Bayeux to DLP on Monday. I haven't checked into rental car pricing, but adding up the transfers and train tickets sounds like it's going to get pretty expensive. Is it generally a lot cheaper to rent a car, even though we will be renting from CDG and returning to DLP?
You can safely buy advance tickets from Caen back to Paris for a discount since you know you will be there, Right now, it looks like you could get tickets for around 45 EUR total back to St Lazare. Then, after a longish walk in underground passageways to Auber RER station, you can get the train to Disneyland. Tickets are 7.60 EUR for adults and 3.80 EUR for the 4 yo.
A three day rental (Sat - Tues) from Hertz through AutoEurope from CDG to Disney TGV station is $80 for a Renault compact with standard transmission. For CDG > Bayeux > Disney costs about $60 for fuel, $30 for tolls.