Tips for travelling on trains with children
Whether you’re travelling to visit the grandparents, taking a family holiday, or enjoying a big day out at a theme
park, get your trip off to the best possible start with a smooth journey. Here are our top tips for an enjoyable
Pick a seat
Booking your seats in advance will ensure there’s no stress of looking for free seats when you board the train.
Remember that children under 5 won’t have a seat reservation, so you might want to arrive ready to board early
-alternatively, you can buy a child ticket for them to guarantee a seat. It’s amazing how a good view can make the
journey fly by (for both kids and adults) so you might want to reserve window seats.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you’re close to the toilets. We have one toilet on every carriage, and there are baby
changing facilities available -just ask a member of our on-train team if you need a hand finding them.
All of our trains are also equipped with a fully-stocked baby box with all the essentials you might need in case of a
little accident, like nappies, baby wipes and tissues. Just let our team know if you need a hand and they’ll be
happy to help.
Please feel free to breastfeed whilst you’re on board with Avanti West Coast, or whilst you’re waiting to board at
one of our stations. If you’d like a little privacy whilst you feed your little one, just ask a member of our train
Steer clear of busy periods
If you don’t need to arrive at your destination by a particular time, you might find it less stressful to travel
during less busy periods. If you’re travelling Monday to Friday, try to avoid peak times in the mornings and
evenings. Off-peak travel might suit you best.
Weekend evenings also tend to be busier, so try to travel during the day if possible. If there’s a big event taking
place, such as a football match or music concert, trains will be crowded, so you’ll have a more comfortable
experience for family travel if you book another time slot -then you can just sit back, stretch out and enjoy the
We’ve got plenty of tasty options for the whole family when hunger strikes, with plenty of nutritious nibbles for
your little ones including fresh fruit, porridge, dried fruit and nut bars and natural fruit juices, as well as more
indulgent treats such as cakes, chocolate and biscuits. When lunchtime rolls around, we’ve got lots of nutritious
and filling options to keep everyone happy, including sandwiches, bacon rolls and burgers.
Travelling with a pram or pushchair
We know that travelling with the family might mean bringing along a pram or pushchair, and you’re more than welcome
to do so on Avanti West Coast services. Please just ensure that they’re folded and stored safely in the luggage
compartments on your coach as you travel. Prams and pushchairs shouldn’t be stored in the marked wheelchair spaces,
as these are reserved for wheelchair users.
Do I have to pay for my child’s ticket?
If you’re travelling with little ones under the age of five, you don’t need to book a ticket for them as they travel
free of charge with a fare paying adult. Bear in mind that this means they won’t have a seat reservation and might
have to sit on your knee if the train is busy.
If you want to ensure that they have a seat of their own, you can book a ticket for them at the standard child fare
in the usual way, by going online, using the app, booking in person or calling us. All children aged 5-15 can
benefit from discounted tickets.
Can children travel alone?
We want to make sure that everyone on our trains is safe and comfortable, so we don’t recommend that children under
the age of 13 travel alone. Younger children should only travel on Avanti West Coast trains with an adult.
If our staff see a child alone on one of our trains or they have any concerns, they’ll contact the British Transport
Police for help.
If your child is taking a trip on their own, take a look at these helpful tips from the British Transport Police to
ensure they get there safe and sound.