Oh Snap: Cheap Eurostar Tickets
I’ve raved about the Eurostar service on previous occasions and if you’re organised you can benefit from their sales. Tickets go as low as £19-29. However, if you’re more of a spontaneous traveller there’s another option that could suit: Eurostar Snap.
Eurostar Snap is where you can book tickets for as low as £25, but with the tradeoff of having a mystery (assume: bad) time slot. So I decided to take out a bit out of my day to check out if this could be a good solution – for you, or for me, but mainly me.
Eurostar is already a fantastic way to get to Belgium and France (and Amsterdam now too). It’s super quick, super efficient, it makes for a nice ride whether you want to sleep or to work. I love missing the stress and wait of flying. Heck, it was one of my highlights of my Brussels trip! It’s certainly my pick for getting to two of these places (not yet decided on Amsterdam as that is a long-ish journey).
What is Eurostar Snap?
Launched in 2016, Eurostar Snap was a way of getting rid of extra seats on the trains for the company, as well as offer an alternative for cheaper tickets. You can book a “morning” or “afternoon” departure between 7 – 21 days in advance. You only find out what time 48 hours (or so) before the trip (although it’s been more like three days for me).
The first time I booked the Eurostar Snap, that was a one way to Paris. The slot was kind of terrible, well, the worst possible one and the first one of the day (5.40am, so a 5.10am check in). I had to take an Uber as the Tube doesn’t run that early.
Why it might not be good for you
I wouldn’t recommend Eurostar Snap if you don’t live in Central London, the hassle of getting in might not be worth the perceived savings. Also if you’re not flexible on time or have a specific appointment it also won’t suit at all. Not great for group as you’ll be sitting apart. Lastly, I don’t think it would suit for a weekend do because the weekend prices aren’t great and you risk not getting much time in the city at all. Don’t forget that Eurostar does offer some serious savings during sale time, so sign up to their newsletters.
The time slots (for Paris)
- Earliest train departing 05:40, arriving at 09:26
- Latest train departing at 11:31, arriving at 14:56
- Earliest train departing 12:01, arriving at 15:23
- Latest train departing 20:31, arriving at 23:53
Eurostar Snap: Key things to know
- Eurostar Snap, you need Facebook or Twitter to access it.
- You can only book 7-21 days before departure.
- Prices vary by day and time slot.
- A limited number of seats are available.
- Book earlier for more availability as they do sell out.
- Based on what I’ve read, generally expect to be on the worst trains in each slot – that’s the first and the last ones, and never the popular 08:00 or 18:00 ones. I think off-season you might have better luck being on a nice time.
- Times are confirmed 2/3 days before travel.
- Four routes available on Eurostar Snap at the time of writing: London-Lillie, London-Paris, London-Brussels and now London-Brugge.
- Need to be over 16.
- You can book up to four tickets, but you may not end up sitting together.
- Not flexible, can’t refund or change or upgrade.
- Eurostar Snap is an okay option if you have an open schedule
- A great option if you need a last minute booking
- Assume you’ll be on the crap times
- Book in advance and go for the sale fares whenever you can