While train travel isn’t always the cheapest option for moving around, especially with the increasing popularity of discount airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet, it’s still my go-to, even when looking for a little weekender.
Especially for staying within France, I’m extremely satisfied with French train company SNCF. Even while on strike, the TGV and INTERCITY system is convenient and affordable, especially with the purchase of a discount card, such as the carte jeune.
In addition to speedy arrivals, boutique lines and accessible ticket-retrieval machines in every station, the company launched a Voyagers mobile application, which makes travel even easier, which no one knew was possible (probably).
Available for both Windows and Apple devices, the app does everything from searching, to booking, to providing a paperless ticket. I’ve used it to change my reservation when I don’t want to wake up early for the train, return a trip I decided against, and board.
My only complaint falls with short rides on INTERCITY, riders have to retrieve a physical ticket at the station (either in the boutique or at a machine), and I always prefer a paperless e-ticket. Hopefully developers are changing that now. But if not, it’s a very small price to pay.
Even if you’re only planning on catching a couple SNCF trains in France, I suggest downloading the app for your travels. It’ll give you pice of mind, sense of security and control, and save you a few minutes at the station.