Jun 28, 2015 - 4:42 PM
in reply to Arno
The offerings for travel passes do seem complicated and confusing BUT, if you have a fixed itinerary and access to the SBB timetable app you can make a very informed decision with just a little effort!
The structure of the pass offerings really does offer a pass for every traveler! I would like to see the Swiss Travel pass offered with an "add-on" option that would allow travelers to buy an extra day or days to fill in the gaps between the current offerings.
Using your itinerary and the SBB app you can look up the fares required to complete the itinerary you have planned. Just enter the starting city, the destination city, and the date and time and a few more details and the fares will be visible. Then look at the fare for your desired route/time and record the cost for that particular day of your itinerary. (I use a MS Excel spreadsheet because I am comfortable with the tool but a sheet of paper with each day of your itinerary will work just fine.) Then select the next day of your itinerary and repeat the process for the remainder of your itinerary. Don't forget to include bus and boat travel as many of these costs are included in the travel passes. Total the daily expenses and compare the total to the offerings for travel passes!
That is a basic summary of the cost of travel portion but there is more to consider.
Some passes include discounts on attractions such as cable cars, museums, etc. So again, look at your itinerary to see which of the attractions you plan to visit and add these to you daily travel costs. Total the daily expenses and compare the total to the offerings for the travel passes.
The only remaining consideration is non-qualitative - you can't measure it directly with dollars. That consideration is the value you assign to convenience AND flexibility and you and your traveling companion(s) have to make this determination.
For me the flexibility is most important when I consider weather impacts on outdoor activities and the discounts on attractions which are also very important.
I think you will feel better about your itinerary and the activities you have planned for your trip if you take the time to "do the math"!
This summary is based on my experiences and I hope that the information helps you understand the process that I used to decide how to plan my trips. You will have to develop a process that works for you.
The decision process is simple and revealing.