Which rail pass with grandkids; 7 days in July

Which rail pass with grandkids; 7 days in July

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Posts: 4. This thread is closed.
addierose
addierose
7 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2016 - 12:16 AM

Thanks much for helping us choose rail passes. No dumb questions, right?

70 year old Grandparents with 18 and 15 year old grandsons traveling early July from Innsbruck to Lucerne (leg 1) then on to Wengen (for 4 days) via Bern and Interlaken (leg 2).

What does "free border and back" mean. Do we not need a ticket from Austria to Zurich where we change trains to Lucerne? And then from Lausanne to Geneva for flight to Paris?

7 days in Switzerland, 4 in Wengen using the local cogwheel trains, trams each day. Do we pay 120 CHF for 3 Half Fare Cards (is 15 year old free with grandparent?) plus 50% off each travel day ticket? Please clarify how it works. Or 3 adult 8 day Swiss Travel Passes for traveling 7?

Thanks for the reply.

addierose

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 29, 2016 - 8:42 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps addierose!

Indeed, no dumb questions! You can ask anything you want.

I hope these tips help you to get started:

addierose
addierose
7 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2016 - 4:44 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks so much for the reply. I was happy to read tonight of from Traveler's5 that they read all the links you provided and are no less confused. I too read all the links before reaching out to you, and find that I am not much more informed now. it is like a foreign language.

The grandchildren link did provide one of the answers to my questions but trying to do all the calculations of train travel costs from point to point is too difficult when you are not sure of the hour of day you'll catch the train. Pain in the A-- if you want to know the truth. And very unclear for us travelers unfamiliar. So we buy the 1/2 fare card for 120 chf each and then buy tickets for each leg of our trip? My question is about the mountain cog wheel trains and the cable cars etc. Is it the same (about 50% off) for the Swiss Travel Pass and the 1/2 fare card? I read somewhere that the Eurail Pass does not include the mountain transportation or at best like 25% off. Is that the main difference with the Eurail vs Swiss Travel Pass? We will not be returning anytime soon so the 1year validity for Swiss pass is not helpful for the 1/2 Fare Card.

Our family of 4 will travel from Innsbruck to Luzern via Zurich for our 1st night, then the next day to Wengen via Interlaken. We will be in Wengen for 4 nights, then on the Golden pass train to Lausanne for 1 more night. We travel from Lausanne to Geneva for a 2:50 p.m. fight to Paris. 6 nights in Switzerland and 7 travel days. Agree that trains vs planes are the preferred travel but we have had 3 experiences where the French went on strike and we were left in the middle of no where. Once we were traveling to Paris from Lyon and the train was not allowed to stop in Paris. We had to continue to Belgium. With our return flights to the states the following morning, we did not want to take a change of another strike. Our Air France flights Geneva to Paris were around $58 US dollars for a 1 hour 10 minute flight.

Thanks for letting me vent my frustration. I just want to know what is the best way to go. We have to buy a minimum 8 day pass for this 7 day trip, 2 adults, 1 youth and 1 15 year old grandson. The Swiss travel pass is appealing because you don't have to buy tickets all the time (same as Eurail), but does it offer the same mountain discounts as the 1/2 fare card. It sounds like it does, but not sure. Also confusing about the 1/2 fare card that in short routes the savings may be less than 50%. But one is not provided the information to determine what is a "short route" . Thanks so very much for your help and advice. Much appreciated.

Warm Regards, Addierose

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 31, 2016 - 8:03 AM

Hi Addierose,

I'm sorry to hear you're still confused. I'll add a few more tips:

  • It does not matter which date and time you enter in the timetable. Ticket prices are fixed all year round in Switzerland. You can enter tomorrows date and the price shown still applies in July. So that should make it much easier to compare.
  • Please forget about the "Swiss Pass". It's an electronic card for Swiss citizens only, so you might end up reading irrelevant information if you start looking for it (like its one year validity). The pass you may need is the Swiss Travel Pass. To add to the confusion, it was called Swiss Pass until 2 years ago, so lots of old information is still all across the internet. All accurate information regarding the Swiss Travel Pass is here: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass.
  • To see what's included in the various passes you simply click to the "Where it's valid" section of each pass page: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity, myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard/ validity, myswissalps.com/ eurailselectpass/ validity, etc.
  • I'm not sure where you read about short routes not being discounted by 50% with the Swiss Half Fare Card. I only know about a few very local exceptions like a local travel pass in Zurich that would be discounted by 40% or so, instead of 50%. Basically it's 50% everywhere and these few local exceptions are not worth investigating up front I think.

As you said, the main choice here is between the Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Half Fare Card. If you prefer convenience, take the first one. If you want to know about the cheapest overall option, there's no other way than doing the math as explained here.

I hope things are a bit clearer now! If not, please feel free to post back here.

Last modified on Mar 31, 2016 - 8:21 AM by Arno

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016