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Has anyone purchased the yearly rail travel pass for Switzerland or a pass for travel across Europe? I just moved here and want to see many places, but not break the bank either. What is the best way to determine if it is worth it?
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When I first moved here, I had a half-fare card. I kept a track of how much I spent on train tickets every month. Initially this was quite low.
After I'd been here some time I realised that (due to changes in my circumstances) I was spending so much on train travel that it was worth my while to get the monthly general abonnement. (Incidentally, it is possible to buy an annual general abonnement which, at CHF 3656, works out cheaper than a monthly one, but you have to pay the total amount up front).
I kept the general abonnement for several years, and really enjoyed having it as I could travel further afield in Switzerland at no additional expense, as well as making all my regular trips.
Then my circumstances changed again and I cancelled my general abonnement (mainly because I couldn't afford to keep it).
At some point (can't remember when) I also had a monthly travel pass which covered my canton, plus the half fare card. This enabled me to travel freely in Vaud (useful for my daily activities), but I could also benefit from reduced travel costs when I went outside Vaud.
Most recently, I have had a monthly pass which just covers one specific journey, plus my half fare card.
In summary, I would suggest that you get a half fare card to start with. They aren't expensive and will quickly pay for themselves if you travel any distance. Then keep a track of your expenses and after a few months work out what option (general abonnement, monthly pass for your canton, or point.to-point pass) is best for you.