Sunday, March 27, 2011

Swiss Rail Passes

Remember my rant about the airlines not offering me a decent group airfare rate for my Girl Scout trip to Switzerland?  Well, I'm happy to report a much better experience with Rail Europe.  They offered me a slightly reduced group rate on their selection of Swiss Rail Passes, and their agents are prompt and helpful.

Trains generally don't open for sale until 60 or 90 days prior to the train departure date (with the exception of Eurostar trains which open up to 6 months in advance).  But one advantage of booking through Rail Europe is that you and your group don't have to wait for that booking window to open.  Upon receipt of your acceptance, Rail Europe then requests space on the train right away so it is confirmed when the train(s) open for sale.  This is a big relief for me since I'm not a procrastinator and like things taken care of well in advance.

Trains are so convenient and comfortable for families.

A Swiss rail pass is definitely a good value when you travel by train in Switzerland.  In my experience, it's the only European country where your rail pass also gets you on lake steamers, mountain-top trains, cable cars, and buses for free or for a reduction in price.  Several of the Swiss rail passes also allow free entrance to over 400 museums and exhibitions.

At first glance, the many choices in rail passes can be confusing.  There's the Swiss Card, Transfer Ticket, Half Fare Card, Family Card, Youth Pass, Flexi Pass, Saver Pass, and the Flexi Saver Pass.  But the Rail Europe website offers a pretty clear explanation of each and a price chart that makes things easier to understand.  I think we're going to go with the 4-day Flexi Pass.  This one allows travelers to ride the train on any 4 days within a month.  It's $158 per girl (15 years old and under).  That will provide us a ride from the airport to our destination of Adelboden and back to the airport again to go home, plus two day trips to wherever we choose, in between.  Perfect flexibility - I like that.
I love train travel!


  1. Oh how I wish we had rail service like that here in the US...

  2. Happy to follow back!
    I'm sure the countryside scenery was amazing in Switzerland. I took a train from Venice to Vienna and it was absolutely amazing!

    Great opportunity for the kids and they're old enough to remember!

  3. I have never been on a train!!

    I am blog hopping today and thought I would stop by your blog.

    Please stop by (and become a follower if you aren't already) either or both of my blogs:

    So Stylilized is where I currently offer FREE Custom Blog Designs at

    Jessicas Lil Corner is where I blog about family and life at

    Hope to see you at my blogs!!

    Have a blessed day! :0)

  4. Hey, just dropped by to return the follow! Glad we could connect!

  5. Hi Sonja,
    Do you have to purchase the tickets internationally to get the best prices?

    I remember in years gone by being advised to purchase European rail passes before actually visiting Europe - that was all pre EU, so who knows if it is still valid:)


  6. Yes, you still get the best prices if you buy your rail passes from the states or Canada before you go. You cannot purchase a Eurail ticket in Europe.


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