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Buying our Swiss Saver Pass

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May 25, 2012 - 12:33 PM
Dear all,
I usually buy our Swiss Saver Pass in advance from STS /UK via the link from this forum and know how to validate this as I have done it so often. However this year I am considering buying extra Swiss francs now while the rate is good and buying the pass on arrival in Zurich Airport Train Station as that is much cheaper at the moment. Obviously there is the possibilty that the difference will be less by the time we travel (mid-July) so I am not rushing to make a decision. (It won't matter if we end up with more francs than we need if I change my mind about the method of pass purchase because I will simply save them towards our next trip - we are sure to return next year!) How is the pass validated when purchased in Switzerland? I am also doing the sums to work out my options as our daughter may join us for part of the time - at the moment we don't know when or how long for but it looks as if it will be cheaper to buy our saver pass for 2 as usual and a separate pass for her when she arrives. We do a lot of travelling around while we are in Switzerland and are considering the 1st class option as we are there in high season. We haven't experienced huge problems in previous years but for 3 of us to find seats together on the longer trips might be more difficult.
I would appreciate any comments on my options as described above.
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May 26, 2012 - 1:19 PM
Hello Maggie! Currency rates for some countries and resellers are not great at the moment indeed, so I understand your consideration. But you can still wait a few weeks and see if anything changes. The advantage of an online purchase is that you can start using your pass right away when buying through the reseller you're used to. If you purchase your pass in Switzerland, the validation will pretty much be agreed on with the personnel, as you will have to give the start date of your pass. They will print the start date on the pass and from that day on you can use it.

1st class in high season isn't a bad idea. Mid-July can be rather crowded on popular tourist routes. Where will you be staying, and what trips do you intend to make?

As for your daughter: how old is she?
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top member
May 26, 2012 - 2:06 PM
Hi maggie,

If you purchase your Swiss Saver Pass in Switzerland (at one of the larger railway stations) you'll have to show valid identification documents (passports). The start date may be later than the date of purchase.

If you are travelling during high season and you want to increase the possibilities for the three (?) of you sitting together, a first class Pass would indeed be a good idea.

Enjoy your preparations!
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May 26, 2012 - 2:29 PM
Hello Annika, thank you for your reply. It is unlikely that the online price will change so it is only a question of whether to buy extra francs now while the rate is good and decide later how to purchase the pass! As I said, having too many francs will not be a problem as I can save them for next year!
We are staying in an apartment in Thun for 3 weeks (will buy 22-day saver pass for us) We still don't know what our daughter's plans are but she will need an adult pass in any case as this trip is intended as an early 40th birthday treat! She will buy her own plane tickets but we intend to cover her expenses while she is with us.
Our trips are also not finalised as we will want to take her to places she really wants to visit and that will no doubt include places we have been to before but we usually mix familiar, favourite places with new destinations anyway. Because of our age and fitness limits we can't hike every day so try to alternate "walking days" with less strenuous ones. Thun is an excellent place to stay as it is not far to Interlaken and all the mountain trips you can do from there but also gives good connections to other places outside the Bernese Oberland.
Some of our ideas for this year are;- Schaffhausen and Rheinfalls (new) Zermatt (fave to take daughter to), Locarno with centovalli railway (new), Ballenberg (fave), Hohstalden from Frutigen (new recommended to us by friends), Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (fave), Montreux - Rocher de Neye (new) or Chocolate train again if daughter insists!, Schilthorn or Jungfraujoch (not both I think), one of the walks in/around Gstaad, Pilatus (new), walk from Grutschalp to Murren then up to Allmendhubel (a favourite place but we haven't done the walk before), Martigny to see St. Bernard dogs (daughter will enjoy this one), Zurich for lake cruise, Sion or possibly Saas-Fee, Brienzer Rothorn for daughter, maybe the 4 passes tour for daughter (done this twice ourselves) then there are favourite lakeside walks to consider too. Everything is pretty much up in the air at the moment but then we don't like to be too rigid in forward planning - just have lots of ideas and the flexibility to "go with the flow" according to weather and energy levels on the day.
I am definitely leaning towards the 1st class option at the moment as other posters also recommend it for high season.. Top deck on the lake cruises will be a nice treat. We go in high season because we enjoy so much the 1st Aug celebrations! We will probably go on the special Lake Thun cruise again this year. I just wish we could afford to go twice a year!
Thanks again, Maggie
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top member
May 27, 2012 - 6:04 AM
Hello Maggie,

All your plans sound great to me (as I know them all...). I'm sure your daughter will enjoy this trip, together with you. What a birthday present :-)!
I'd say just keep plans up in the air if possible, one never knows what the weather conditions will be like and "going with the flow", as you put it, can be very relaxing. If I were you I would opt for the first class passes if you can afford it. We did it more than once during high season and it was the best choice for us, not being 21 anymore.

I celebrated my 30th visit to Switzerland this month, I know the feeling "wish I could go more often".

Have a wonderful trip!


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