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Bern/Lausanne/Geneva suggestions wanted for July trip

We will be traveling this July and plan on staying in bern Lausanne and flying out from Geneva. We will be coming from Innsbruck to Switzerland after spending about 6nights in Austria we will have about 6 nights for Switzerland. Should we buy a swiss pass of some kind or eurail or point o point tickets. I am 45 years old my son who i am traveling with is 15 years old. We have different last names. Do we need adavnce reservations with passes?we are looking for any recommendations from the best way to travel the best location to stay to be centrally located safe and affordable and clean accommodations. Any side day trips that we should take or Any advice is greatly appreciated. Best wishes. Safe travels

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You don't need reservations for the Swiss trains. A Half-Fare card is a pretty safe bet and will give you half-off all the coordinated transport of the Swiss Travel System, including buses, city trams, and lake boats. See also http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/switzerland-rail-passes. How to get it:

  • You can buy a Half-Fare Card and free Swiss Family Card at Zurich train station, when you change trains there, along with your onward 1/2-price tickets.
  • Pre-order the Half-Fare Card and free Swiss Family Card for delivery before you leave home ($18). Then, you could pre-purchase half-price tickets from Zurich to Bern (etc.) at www.sbb.ch (e-tickets). You would not buy them in Innsbruck.

I'll go out on a limb and say that "nearly everything" in Switzerland is safe and clean. Rick's Switzerland book is his best resource for accommodation and sightseeing details, filling in the outline at http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/switzerland, but it does not cover Geneva.