Mar 13, 2011 - 7:41 AM
Hello Mary. Welcome to this forum! I understand your confusion about all rail pass options. In your case, my advice is to purchase three Swiss Half Fare Cards
for the two adults and the 17 year old teenager. The 15 year old teenager can travel along for free if you order a free STS Family Card along with the Swiss Half Fare Cards.
The Swiss Half Fare Card allows a 50% discount on nearly all trips in Switzerland, and often proves to be the most economical solution for a rather short stay with a mixture of local trips and a few longer ones. As one longer trip (to Chateau de Chillon) is planned in your schedule, it wouldn't be a good idea to opt for a regional pass, as this wouldn't cover the journey all the way to Montreux. A Swiss Half Fare Card allows you to purchase half fare tickets for all the trips you mention.
As soon as you'll be making use of national roads in Switzerland, a vignette is obligatory. You'll find more information (including purchase options and a link to a map showing which roads are involved) at our motorway vignette page
. Cars rented in Switzerland already have such a vignette, but since you will be renting in Italy, you can best ask the rental company whether the vignette is included.
Just another tip: when heading for Montreux, you may want to consider taking the beautiful Golden Pass train route via Zweisimmen and Gstaad. Seat reservations
have to be made for Golden Pass trains, but in my view the beautiful scenic route is well worth the reservation fee (the trip itself is discounted by 50% with a Swiss Half Fare Card).
I hope this helps you decide! Best regards,