OUIGO: A Cheaper Way to Travel in France

People spend years saving up money to travel whether it be for studying abroad or just traveling long-term.  Whenever I am going somewhere, I always look for the cheap or free things to do in the town or city I am traveling to.  Another thing I look at is low-budget traveling.  I would rather spend more money on what I am doing than how I get there.  Unfortunately, it can be hard to travel for a cheap price unless you book months in advance and even so, you are not always guaranteed a good price.  I have used low-budget airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet.  However, in France, there are different cheap alternatives to flying when traveling around the country.  When I first got to Nantes, I was told by my host family and some friends about OUIGO.

What is it?

Basically, it is a website where you can buy train or bus tickets for lower prices than what you would normally find online or in the SNCF store.  I have found round-trip tickets to Paris for 30 euros.  You have to pay attention to what station you will be going into if you decide to book a ticket to a city with multiple train stations.  If you are traveling to Nantes, for example, you only have one option.  However, if you are traveling to Paris, you can travel to train stations that are closer to the city center than other places.  As far as the bus goes, you could find even cheaper round-trip tickets than for the train.  Obviously, it would be a longer journey than taking a train, but if you are not pressed for time and you are looking to save money, taking the bus would be the better option.  I have only used OUIGO for trains so far but I like it.

Even though it is cheaper than booking tickets online using another website, I would still try to book early.  If you choose to book later, ticket prices go up and you may not get as good of a deal.  If you want cheaper then book further in advance.


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