It is obvious why air travel is generally chosen over long journey train travels. But sometimes, especially in Europe, where a train journey is as convinient as a flight, you might want to consider saving money over time and exhaution. There are plenty of rail passes available over several website. (SBB, EuroRail, Omio etc). But before getting lured by these rail passes, plan out your travel destinations carefully. There are several options in the Swiss rail passes, some that even give you an unlimited access on the network of Swiss Travel System for 3, 4, 8 and 15 days, but examine first if you would be needing all of that? Especially when travelling with kids, there will be limitations on the frequency of your hopping on numerous trains.
We opted for train travel over Air travel or bus tour for these reasons:
1. Flights to Switzerland will take you either to Zurich or Geneva, and we did not want to stay in big cities, rather take the feel of real Swiss towns and villages. Hence traveling from Zurich to Interlaken, which is hub of all major connections would have again costed a fortune for us.
2. While the duration of our flight from our starting location (Germany) was only 2-3 hours, we opted for a late night train travel. Not just it was convinient to put our son to sleep at night, some late night journey are also relatively cheaper than day trains.
3. We wanted to bring our own food. Packing edible items in flight always brings a number restrictions hence train was always the preferred option.
We did not opt for Swiss travel pass, for a number of reasons:
1. We had our entire trip planned out in terms of the towns we wished to visit. Most of them were close to each other.
2. Swiss travel pass offers unlimited travel according to the number of days you wish to travel. With our plans, our travel via train was cheaper compared to weekly travel passes.
3. We were to get a free travel pass ???? Read #2 below.
Opting train travel over the flight was easy. We reserved our train seats and traveled comfortably in a closed / private compartment.
2. Check with your hotel or hosts for local travel pass.