France rail pass (4-day flexipass) - does it make sense to use for TGV trains (since adv reservations don't allow for flexible travel)

I plan to buy a France rail pass (4 day flexipass) in the next couple of weeks to use in early June of this year. All the trips I plan to take will be on the high speed trains which I understand I must also make seat reservations for. How far in advance must I make the seat reservations?

Two days of the four days will involve airport connections, so I know the exact dates and times I need to travel, but the other two days will be for day trips while I'm in France, and I'd prefer to be flexible and decide the day before, or even same-day, which city I will travel to on my day trip.

Does it make sense to buy a 4-day flexipass to use the TGV trains if I won't be deciding when/where 2 of those 4 days will be used until the last minute? If not, what is my best option?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
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  • Hello Sarah,

    You are right that the high-speed trains within France require seat reservations. These reservations acan be made up to 90 days in advance and are based on availability at the time of purchase. As such, if the train you want to travel on no longer offers pass holder seat reservations, you would need to either travel on an alternate train change your itinerary..

    So while you can make reservations any time before the actual train departure, if you know there is a train you "need" to travel on, we suggest buying the reservations as soon as possible. If you are flexible, you can certainly wait until you are overseas to make these purchases.

    For more information regarding seat reservations please follow the below liink:

    http://www.raileurope.com/train-faq/a...

    Enjoy your journey and thank you for contacting Rail Europe,

    Kathryn
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  • Thanks Kathryn. One other question - if I decide early one morning to go that day to, say, Marseille (from Avignon, my homebase) and I can't reserve on my preferred TGV train, can I take a slower/regional train instead? I've only been looking at TGV train use but does the France rail pass allow me to take any train in France (pending seat availability)?
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  • Hi Sarah,

    Absolutely - the France Rail Pass covers travel on all of the national rail lines in France. And while the high-speed trains are modern and efficient, some of the regional trains meander through the country side - and you may choose to hop off at a village for lunch on your way to Marseille and hop back onto to another train and onto your destination.

    Some of the best travel experiences are the unexpected ones!

    Kathryn
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