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We're considering going from the UK to the South of France via Eurostar in August.

On their website, only travel until April is available. The prices for that are reasonable (as are air fares in April).

Do Eurostar/TGV prices increase in school holidays, as flights do?

  • Most chances are yes. They routinely do that during holidays, I can confirm from my experience during Spring bank holiday for journey's from London to Nice(almost double because of the Monaco F1 GP). And because of the holiday traffic too, – DumbCoder Feb 3 '17 at 13:03
  • Aren't Eurostar "normal" tickets already particularly expensive? – Vince Feb 5 '17 at 11:31
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    Eurostar tickets are competitive with flights and with ferry and train combinations. All those companies compete for the same people and they all have at least some tickets on a very low level. If you book now (Feb 6) for June 6 you can get tickets for £45, London to Paris one way. Only bus/coach travel is almost always heaper, often by quite a bit. – Willeke Feb 6 '17 at 18:46
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I'd say no, they do not increase the prices. But it will be very hard to get the cheap seats due to competition.

What I have seen is that the prices start at the same low level when the sales start. There is however a small number of seats for that lowest price and at popular times many people will try to get those seats.

Some times I have been lucky buying in the middle of the night, on the day they became available, other times I found at 1 AM the seats not yet on sale and at 3 AM the cheapest seats already sold in the train I needed.

If you can be a little flexible, like taking an other train on the same day, you might be able to still get the cheapest seats.
Otherwise you may be willing to get with the 'one or two tiers up' which are more expensive but still way less than the full price.

Best avoid the first day of the holidays in France and all other countries involved in your travels. Better look into traveling on Thursday before busy weekends or on the Tuesday after.

If there is a specialized travel agency for train travel near you, you might talk with them before you book your tickets. I am not sure but I think some companies might be able to reserve train tickets before they actually go online for everybody to buy.

An option might be to book your train to Paris as soon as it becomes available, with Eurostar that might well before the French trains are, and plan a couple of days in or near Paris. You can then buy separate tickets in France on the best time of the day rather than being restricted by the few you can use when traveling from London (or elsewere in England) in one go.
Note, you will pay more for a stay in Paris than you would pay extra on your tickets buying them full price.

Check out when the trains are comming up for sale, as in the summer holidays they might start at a different time from the norm. There are a few questions on this site that might have helpful answers for you.
This one which asks how early the reservation in France can be made and maybe this one, which asks whether you can put train tickets or reservations in France on hold while waiting for additional tickets to come available.

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    I edited the answer, as far as I can see, it is indeed No. – Willeke Feb 4 '17 at 10:16
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    I do keep an eye on prices for tickets Amsterdam Paris by train, which always start of at €25 and have been for a number of years now. I also keep an eye on several of the Paris to elsewhere in France TGV tickets, which I need for my travels. And for the Eurostar, mostly Brussels to London. I do not keep an eye on flight prices, certainly not for NL to France or within France. – Willeke Feb 4 '17 at 10:27
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Yes, of course, the prices are increasing during busy periods. So you can expect higher prices during the week ends of beginning/end of holidays. This is the magic economic effect of the offer vs the demand. Higher demand means allows them to increase the price...

This is the same of hotels and flights as you have seen...

Still, if you book in advance, the price difference with non busy periods won't be too significant.

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