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train tickets in France from SNCF

Is there a reason to book train tickets early when traveling around the countryside in France or can I wait until the week that I arrive to buy tickets? ie. Beziers to Grenoble.

Posted by
82 posts

Buy them early if possible - you get better rates that way.

Posted by
1170 posts

Erica (how lucky to be living in France!) :-)

May I ask a question here? What happens if you book tickets ahead of time and for some reason, miss the date?

Posted by
6898 posts

Maureen, do you mean that you just want to go from Beziers to Grenoble or do you mean that you would like to get off during the journey and visit a small town or two. Your Beziers to Grenoble journey will require 2-3 train changes and at least 1 train that requires reservations is among all of the runs that I see.

The advantage of buying early is to take advantage of any discounted fares that may be available. The disadvantage is that you lock yourself into a rigid train schedule months in advance that once there, you wish you hadn't although you can change them prior to travel.

These are easy trains to get on. You might consider waiting until you get there, see how your schedule looks and then buy your tickets.

Note also that on a train that requires reservations, your ticket will have the date, train number, time and seat number. If you get off mid-way and the train departs, your ticket is toast at that point. Plan carefully.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks everyone! Larry, to answer your question we are traveling Beziers to Grenoble just for the day to see as much of the Alps as we can then traveling back to Beziers same evening.It looks like we'll have 2 trains to take us there and a longer wait in Valence when returning. My concern was that in booking so far ahead it locks us into a specific date but we have to choose between buying early less expensive tickets or waiting to see what is available when we get to Beziers. We don't plan to get off the train for sightseeing except in Grenoble.