Check-in and boarding with children on the Eurostar is certainly easier and less stressfull than boarding an aircraft. Access is easier, with wide door and alleys. Storage areas are more practical as there is enough room in the overhead areas for many, many bags. There are no particular seating constraints nor seatbelts to take care of, no take-off and landing, and very little shaking.
Moreover, there is a real view out of the windows with fields, roads, cars and sometimes cows. Compared to flying, travelling with children on the Eurostar is a breeze.
A few important things to know though:
– all coaches have 4-seater configurations around 1 common table. These are in general in the middle of each coach and are ideal for families to establish their own territory and pull out all the usual stuff: toys, books, food and so on. When booking online or through an agent make sure to book the right seats.
– I noticed a baby changing room in coach 1. It’s not very large, but it can be useful to change nappies in a discreet area without polluting the whole train.
– the train doesn’t shake much, but sometimes it’s enough to make you loose balance and hit a door or a seat while walking around. It’s good to keep an eye on kids – toddlers in particular can fall easily.
– there is no baby food in the bar so the advice is to get stocked in advance. For grown-ups however there is plenty of junk food – from chocolate bars to muffins, fruit juice or nuts, pizza and pasta, and some premade salads.
– The journey time is just below 2h30, which is just around the time to watch a DVD and do a few games. In case your player or laptop is weak on batteries, there are power plugs on all business class coaches and also in standard class coaches 5 and 14.
– As the noise level is quite low, noisy children are easily noticed. For some people this is very stressfull.