Hello. I had asked the forum awhile back for suggestions about where to go during our 2 day stopover in Switzerland with my 2 daughters & 3 young grandchildren (ages 10, 11, & 12) for this coming summer. One of you suggested Flumserberg over Lucerne, so I have taken that suggestion and run with it. All plans were put on hold because of Covid because of so much uncertainty. However, as our trip is planned for the end of May '21, I am back in the planning stages & hoping for the best in terms of our ability to make this trip in 10 months. I have looked into train travel to Flumserberg, leaving from Paris, and found a good route via Zurich. However, the cost is shockingly expensive for the 6 of us. Does anyone know about half fare or junior cards for the kids? They are supposedly 30 CHF each & I am certainly willing to purchase them if doing so would be cost effective. I just don't know what discounts these cards include or where to purchase them. Also, if anyone has any suggestions as to the best location to rent lodging, and what activities are recommended besides the Alpine coaster, toboggan run, and hiking. Is there a lake there where we can take an hour long cruise? We would be willing to spend a little extra on lodging in order to have a good location. Thank you so much for any information you can give me. Linda
Where have you been checking fares?
I just looked at the SNCF website (https://en.oui.sncf/en/) and found mid-day Lyria fares from Paris to Zurich in early December as low as €29 for adults. Booking just as far as Basel was not less expensive. Snagging a fare like that often means buying very early. The very cheapest fares are non-refundable/non-changeable--obviously risky as things stand now, but tickets for your travel period aren't on sale yet, anyway.
SNCF has fairly recently introduced a middle fare tier that allows some changes: "Ticket can be exchanged and refunded before departure subject to a fee of €30 per person and per journey and subject to the fare applicable on that day. Tickets will not be exchangeable or refundable after departure." Those tickets don't cost much more than the super-bargain tickets. However, it should be recognized that making a change close to the travel date will likely mean paying for a considerable upward adjustment in the ticket cost, on top of the €30 change fee. If you've paid just €29 for the initial ticket, it's cheaper to walk away from it completely than to pay the €30 change fee in order to recover €29. Buying that middle-tier ticket type would be a smart move if the original ticket cost considerably more.
I am no expert on traveling with children, but it looks as if there are no reductions for children on those €29 early-purchase Lyria tickets. Within Switzerland, I believe it's a different story. Swiss rail fares--at least for adults--are very, very high, all the more so if you need to use high-mountain transportation. Many folks buy half-fare cards to help reduce the expense; I'm not clear on whether they confer a 50% discount on absolutely every train in the country, because there are a lot of different railroads.
Thank you so much for this information. I did not check the rail system that you mentioned, but I will do so. Really appreciate your help!
A lot of folks go to RailEurope, but it typically costs more--sometimes a lot more. But when you are comfortable plunking money down on tickets is going to be a significant factor in what you pay.
The Seat61 website has a wealth of information about train travel in Europe (and beyond). The information about French trains is here: https://www.seat61.com/France-trains.htm. The information about Swiss trains is here: https://www.seat61.com/Swiss-trains.htm