Support for Neurodiverse Travellers

  • 10 August 2023
  • 31 replies



I am dyslexic and the information on any website is always a little overbearing and I am seeking for an agent to help me with a return trip to Malaga from London which is £900 on Trainline.

This site gives me the impression a Eurail Pass would be cheaper, but I’ve no idea on any restrictions with regard to it’s use etc and would feel more comfortable speaking to an agent to ensure my planned journey & times are covered… The Chatbot is not engineered to identify any neurodiverse keywords and is unable to help me.


Thank you




Best answer by thibcabe 10 August 2023, 15:42

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Userlevel 7
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When would you like to make this journey to Malaga?

Hello Brendan…

I need to be in Malaga on Aug 21st and leave Malaga on Aug 31st.

I costed a Trainline London>Paris>Barcelona>Madrid>Malaga and this was almost £1k! :(


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Some advice (it will take some time to update) :

A lot of trains are sold out since it's peak season. Eurostar also has quotas for passholders...

Sunday 20th August :

- Eurostar London St. Pancras - Paris-Nord 17:31 - 20:47 30€ reservation

- transfer (quite tight)

- night train Paris-Austerlitz - Cerbère 21:42 - 10:20 about 20€ for a couchette

Monday 21st August :

- R Cerbère - Portbou - Barcelona-Sants

- AVE Barcelona-Sants - Madrid-Atocha 10€

- AVE Madrid-Atocha - Malaga 10€

Otherwise you spend the night in Paris. 

Oh so the above costs are based on if you have a eurail pass and the pass does simply not just permit free travel?


Userlevel 7
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Yes you need to add seat reservations on high-speed trains on top of the pass. This is mainly the case in France, Spain, Italy and on cross-border routes. On popular routes (like UK - France - Spain) trains can sell out well in advance but don't worry the journey is still possible.

It is still likely that the pass will end up cheaper than regular tickets.

So best option is night in Paris and then on Monday :

- TGV Paris Gare de Lyon - Barcelona-Sants 06:56 - 13:25 35€

- AVE Barcelona-Sants - Madrid-Atocha 15:25 - 17:55 10€

- AVE Madrid-Atocha - Malaga 19:05 - 22:04 - 10€

Book everything ASAP, especially Eurostar.

The preferred route I had planned had me arriving in Malaga at 1pm came to just under £1k.


London St Pancras 10:26 (overnight in Barcelona) and arriving in Malaga at 13:00 the next day.

So the process is that I buy a Eurail Pass (which one?).

Next I then book the above journey (on Trainline?) and there will be an option to add a Eurail Code which then applies a significant discount on the booking with Trainline?


Apologies for the questions, due to a freak accident the other week I have had to cancel flights and this process is unfamiliar to me. Also if there are any useful YouTube video then they may be helpful to assist understanding the process

Thank you for your patience…


BTW… the above was leaving on Aug 20th and arriving on Aug 21st

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

You are a UK resident, so you need an interrail pass. The interrail pass is your ticket.

With an interrail pass you can take about 95% of the trains in Europe.

Some of these trains require seat reservations (an extra cost, to add above your pass, like @thibcabe mentioned). These trains are usually long distance, high speed, international trains or night trains.

France and Spain are quite reservation heavy, with almost all trains (except regional trains) requiring seat reservations.

The most difficult train will be Eurostar for you, as it can sell out and there are no good alternatives for Eurostar. If you can avoid leaving in the weekends, Eurostar availability is better.

I’m gonna check some other alternatives for you, just a moment. Possibly this will take you over Lille in France.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Okay, another route that’s possible for you:

Sunday: 20/08

Eurostar London St. Pancras: 9:01 to Lille Europe 11:28.

Lille-Europe 15:26 - Nîmes 20:16

Spend the night in Nîmes

Following morning monday 21/08:

AVE Nîmes 09:00 - Madrid (Pta de Atocha) 15:45

Madrid (Pta. de Atocha) 16:48- Malaga 20:09

OR 21/08 (but tighter connections)

Or 21/08 (tighter connections)


Userlevel 7
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Pass wise, you’ll need at least a 4 day pass in a month.

If you want to do any other travels in Spain by train, you might consider extra days.

Where to get your reservations or check train availability?

For Eurostar (London Paris or London-Lille): check here

For domestic or national rides in France with TGV (Paris/Lille - Nïmes), here:

For the international TGV France to Barcelona:

The interrail reservation service or call French Railways

The international AVE

(I have frankly no idea, as this is a brand new service since a couple of days, someone else might help)

Domestic AVE (like Barcelona Madrid, or Madrid Malaga)

VIa the interrail reservation service or at the ticket office in Spain.

Cost of this?

Eurostar EUR 30

Domestic TGV’s (like Lille-Nîmes) 10 to 20 EUR per seat per train.

International TGV to Barcelona: 30-EUR

DOMESTIC AVE 10 EUR per seat per train

Thank you Brendan that’s all really helpful!

I think I’d like to arrive in Malaga by lunchtime on the 21st Aug.

So you are saying that I purchase a interrail pass on this site and that covers my journey:

London St Pancras 10:26 (overnight in Barcelona) and arriving in Malaga at 13:00 the next day.

Where do I book the seat reservations on each leg of the journey… assume I cannot do that on this site either?


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Great find via Lille :)

Unfortunately the international AVE cannot be bought online…

This is also possible to get to Barcelona on Sunday :

- Eurostar London St. Pancras - Lille-Europe 09:01 - 11:28 30€

- TGV Lille-Europe - Paris-Nord 12:05 - 13:23 20€ (or 19€ in 1st class including upgrade if you use to book)

- station transfer -> you can buy the RER ticket onboard Eurostar to avoid stress

- TGV Paris Gare de Lyon - Barcelona-Sants 14:56 - 21:25 35€

@Knocky19 it is not possible to take the 10:26 train out of St Pancras. Unfortunately it is sold out for passholders. Instead you could choose this above connection to make it to Barcelona on Sunday. The next morning you'll travel to Malaga : 06:45 - 13:00 direct (10€).

All trains should be available on with 2€ booking fee extra.

Userlevel 7
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Cost wise:

  • 28 years old: 258 EUR pass cost (4 days in a month) + +/- 200 EUR reservation cost to go and to return
  • -28 years old 195 (4 days in a month) + 200 EUR reservation cost to go and to return.

So 450 -500 EUR for a return to Malaga should be possible :) Much better than the + 1000 quid with ordinary tickets ;)

Lunch time in Malaga is going to be difficult, since it’s quite the distance.Unless you leave very early in Barcelona with following direct connection:


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

For the return on 31st August :

You could make it to Paris in a day but you'd arrive really late.

- AVE Malaga - Madrid 07:55 - 10:50 10€

- AVE Madrid - Barcelona 11:30 - 14:42 10€

- TGV Barcelona - Paris 16:10 - 23:05 35€

Instead I'd suggest a night in Montpellier or Nîmes.

- same as above

- TGV Barcelona - Narbonne 16:10 - 18:40 25€

- TER Narbonne - Montpellier St-Roch 19:18 - 20:19

And on Friday 1st September (one option, there are others with later arrival) :

- TGV Montpellier Sud de France (outside the city center) - CDG Airport 09:12 - 13:01 20€

- TGV CDG Airport - Lille-Europe 13:07 - 14:24 (same train but other seats apparently) 20€ 2nd class or 19€ 1st incl. upgrade

- Eurostar Lille-Europe - London St. Pancras 15:30 - 15:57 or 16:35 - 16:57 30€

Great, thank you both…


So, I’ll proceed with the pass and look to proceed with the Lille option.

I’ll jump back on here to either state thank you all accomplished or hopefully not further questions…!?

Userlevel 7
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You're welcome ! Do not hesitate to come back :)

(still updating the return, probably also via Lille)


This looks straight-forward, but not sure I am using this tool correctly? Do I need to plot in the stops in Lille, Paris and Barca or do I just hit show my results and buy a pass?

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

It’s the tool that’s the problem. It’s not super reliable.

Your own calculations are probably better.

You’ll need an overnight stop anyway when going, and when returning. So you’ll need at least 4 travel days.

Do you plan to take other trains in Spain, other than those that’ll take you to Malaga?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You don't need to use the tool, it's not really reliable frankly…

Just buy the pass you need : 4 day Global Pass. It is a few £ cheaper on btw

Yes, there will be a local train from Malaga.

I was including the 5 travel days as a precaution.

So you are saying I should plot all the stops London>Lille>Paris>Barcelona>Malaga… and back again


Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Yes, there will be a local train from Malaga.

I was including the 5 travel days as a precaution.

So you are saying I should plot all the stops London>Lille>Paris>Barcelona>Malaga… and back again


We say not to trust to tool and do what you think best. Personally, I’lld go for a 5 day pass too.

You never know if something unforeseen happens, forcing you to replan. Or a day out, somewhere else in Spain, in which an extra pass day always comes in handy.

Okay… significant progress, thanks to both your help!

5 day pass purchased, App Downloaded and Outward travel planned with a day in Barcelona for good measure using 2/5 pass days

Here is the status within the app and I can confirm within the app I can access a ticket QR code.

Q1) Can I class this train travel as booked?

Therefore I just need a seat reservation for each journey, else at the moment I can board and travel, but not sit on the train. I hope that is the case and the last remaining question is...

Q2) What is the easiest way to reserve a seat as I am struggling to see this as something simple in the App?



Userlevel 7
Badge +3

You cannot travel on any train marked as reservation compulsory without a reservation. You will either be turned away before boarding or if found onboard without a reservation be removed or fined or both.

You can’t book seats in the app, it will forward you to the interrail website booking service but please do as @BrendanDB already explained in an earlier reply explaining how to book the trains on your route from interrail and other websites, read these replies and if you still have difficulties ask for clarification.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

There are no pass holder seats, at least not in 2nd class, available on the Eurostar between London and Paris on the 19th and 20th of August. There are pass holder seats available in 2nd class on 2 trains from London to Lille on the 19/8.  

@Al_G @AnnaB - thank you and understood…

I have adjusted the train outbound from London to go to Paris via Lille and secured seat reservation on the first two legs (Lon>Lil & Lil>Par). Next is the phonecall for the Paris>Barcelona seat reservation which I’ll try tomorrow, an international call is not ideal and I pray the call does not take quite a while.