Home » How a family of four unlocked the secrets of Switzerland: 25+ cities, 11 days, Rs 90,000!

How a family of four unlocked the secrets of Switzerland: 25+ cities, 11 days, Rs 90,000!

How a family of four unlocked the secrets of Switzerland: 25+ cities, 11 days, Rs 90,000!

A family from India recently embarked on an adventurous journey to Switzerland, proving that a European vacation can be both affordable and enriching. Through meticulous planning and smart travel hacks, they explored over 25 Swiss cities in just 11 days, all for the modest sum of Rs 90,000. Mehul Shah, a CA and tax litigator, shared their secrets to success, highlighting the invaluable role of the Swiss Travel Pass in their budget-friendly escapade.

Swiss Travel Pass: The Key to Savings and Convenience

Central to their strategy was the Swiss Travel Pass, a comprehensive pass that offered unlimited travel on trains, trams, buses, boats, and select cogwheel railways across Switzerland. Priced at just Rs 45,000 per adult for a 15-day pass (around $560 USD), the pass provided exceptional value. The family benefited from free travel for their two children under 16, thanks to the bonus Family Card, significantly reducing their transportation costs. Additionally, the pass granted them free entry to over 500 museums and offered discounted pricing on select excursions, such as the Titlis and Glacier 3000 experiences.

Travel Tips for Tourists
For tourists looking to explore Switzerland on a budget, here are some key tips:

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  • Purchase Before Arrival: It’s advisable to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass before arriving in Switzerland to potentially secure better prices online or through travel agents.
  • Choose the Right Pass: Select from various Swiss Travel Pass options, such as the Consecutive Pass (valid for continuous days) or Flexi Pass (valid for a specified number of days within a designated period), based on your travel itinerary.
  • Consider Alternatives: If your travel plans are limited to one location or a specific region, daily passes or regional travel cards may offer better value than a Swiss Travel Pass.

Other Travel Hacks Used by the Family
In addition to the Swiss Travel Pass, the family employed several clever travel hacks to enhance their experience:

  • Tech-Savvy Navigation: They relied on the SBB app, developed by Swiss Railways, for real-time schedules and efficient route planning, ensuring seamless connections and maximizing their sightseeing time.
  • Public Transport Champions: Opting for Switzerland’s exceptional public transport system over rental cars and parking fees, they utilized trains, trams, and buses for a scenic and eco-friendly mode of exploration.
  • Lausanne: A Strategic Basecamp: By choosing Lausanne as their initial base city, they secured more affordable accommodation compared to popular tourist hubs like Interlaken or Lucerne.

Unveiling Hidden Gems
While many tourists flock to Zermatt and Jungfrau, the family ventured off the beaten path. Gstaad, renowned for its connection to the Bollywood film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” offered a unique cultural experience. Mürren, a picturesque town, provided stunning Alpine scenery without the crowds.

Panoramic Train Adventures
Their Swiss Travel Pass granted them access to multiple scenic train journeys, including the GoldenPass line from Montreux, where reservations were often optional, allowing for spontaneous exploration.

Lessons Learned for Budget-Minded Adventurers
Their journey taught them valuable lessons:

  • Planning is Key: Investing time in research and utilizing resources like the Swiss Travel Pass can lead to significant savings and a smoother travel experience.
  • Public Transport Wins: Switzerland’s public transport system is not just efficient and convenient but also allows for a more eco-friendly exploration.
  • Explore Beyond the Tourist Trail: Venturing off the beaten path can reveal hidden gems and provide a more authentic Swiss experience.