My wife and I are planning a trip to Switzerland in 2022. The two of us will be visiting Switzerland for 3 weeks and will be travelling in mid-September to early October to avoid the tourist season and take advantage of discounted accomodations. Our goal is to use the train system and public transportation (e.g., bus) and not rent a car.
Our anticipated trip itinerary is as follows:
1 Portland Airport (PDX) - Zurich Airport (ZRH)
2 Zurich Airport - Lucerne
4 Lucerne - Mount Titlis - Engelberg
5 Lucerne - Mount Pilatus (Golden Round Trip)
6 Lucerne - Thun
7 Thun - Murten/Morat - Bern
8 Thun - Wattenwil
9 Thun - Wengen
10 Wengen - Jungfraujoch
11 Wengen - Männlichen; Grindelwald (First?)
12 Wengen - Lauterbrunnen
13 Lauterbrunnen - Schilthorn - Trummelbach
14 Lauterbrunnen - Zermatt
15 Zermatt - Gornergrat
16 Zermatt - Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
17 Zermatt - Montreux
18 Montreux - Gruyeres
19 Montreux - Zurich
21 Zurich Airport (ZRH) - Portland Airport (PDX)
There are a lot of travel pass options available but it requires some research to determine which is best for our itinerary. You have a fantastic website and I have looked at rail pass calculations spreadsheet, but gets complicated trying to factor in travel between destinations along with activities and day excursions (e.g., Mount Titlis, Mount Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, Shilthorn, Goernergrat, and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise).
Based on what I've read so far, I'm considering the Swiss Half Fare Card, Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days), and/or the Jungfrau Travel Pass (5 Days).
1. Based on our proposed itinerary, which pass or combination of passes would you recommend for us to minimize expenses? For example:
a. Swiss Travel Pass (8 Day) only;
b. Swiss Travel Pass (8 Day) + Jungfrau Travel Pass
c. Half Fare Card + Jungfrau Travel Pass
For example, the Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days) might be a good option but there are trade offs (it won't cover all of our travel days but it might cover or discount some of our activities and day excursions).
The Half Fare Card is cheaper than the Swiss Travel Pass (120 CHF), but I'm not sure if the disounted travel costs would be less than the difference between the two passes?
For the Jungfrau Travel Pass (5 Days; CHF 229) it looks like there is a 25% discount available on the pass price if you have a valid Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card at the time of traveling.
2. If we are planning to travel in 2022, should we buy the travel passes now or wait? Currently there is a 25% discount available for the Swiss Travel Pass (8 Days) if purchased in July 2021 (CHF 312). I'm assuming the travel passes are good and don't expire until there are activated and used.
3. Based on the places we want to visit, would you recommend a better itinerary?
Thank you for your time and any advice!