I am Traveling Desi, and in this relaxed episode of the Switzerland series , I am picking up my car and heading towards the next destination And I will be staying there for one night, as it is a very small city and its name is Lucerne . And on the way, I will share with you guys, why didn’t I get the Swiss travel pass to go ahead from Zurich , and why I chose to rent a car for 13,600 rupees for 7 days ! And I will also tell you, if you guys are planning to visit Switzerland, depending on various factors, which option will be most suitable for you ! First lets get to the main factor, Money !! My target in this trip was to explore a total of 10 cities and village towns in 10 days, and ultimately, I had only two options ! Either I buy the Swiss rail pass valid for consecutive days ! Which was quite expensive ! OR a to get a rented car in almost same price ! Renting a car or traveling in the train is costing me a similar amount as train tickets are very expensive here ! All inclusive Swiss rail passes are very expensive ! Rightfully so, as they give you access to connect with the amazing and scenic rail network of Switzerland ! Another reason for the train tickets being expensive is that the tracks a laid on a mountainous terrain, Construction, maintenance of which and running a state of the art railway system on it is quite expensive ! Besides, these passes also include entry to 500 museums across Switzerland But as I said before, Switzerland is more about its outdoor natural beauty. And a history enthusiast like me couldn’t manage any time to go to a museum leaving its scenic beauty ! Its been 3 or 4 minutes since I started my drove from Interlaken, and I am in this beautiful area with lots of farms ! But again, its a personal choice as, museums provide an amazing insight in any country’ history ! Also, these passes include some mountain excursions as well, and offer a 50% discount on some ! And if you plan to explore only 1 or 2 peaks, you won’t get its complete worth ! Swiss rail pass, which is not only valid in intercity trains, but also in city buses and boats for 3 consecutive days Can cost 225 Swiss franks or around 16,000 rupees. A 4 day pass can cost around 20,000 rupees and 8 day pass will set you back around 30,000 rupees ! per person So now you can guess that if you’re a couple, how will you have to spend ! But this option is suitable when you move ahead after exploring a city for 1 or 2 days like me and recover the cost of this pass !! And if not, if you with to explore only 2 or 3 cities in 8 days , you can choose a flex pass option by paying some extra money . This pass is also valid for 3 days but those 3 days need not be consecutive ! And you can choose these 3 days during your travel ! For example, lets say you spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Zurich and you have to go to Lucerne on Thursday, so you will use your first day on this card on Thursday . And after spending Thursday and Friday in Lucerne, you have to go to Interlaken on Saturday, so you’ll use your second day of the pass on Saturday ! This pass is also available in 3, 5, 8 or 15 day options . So this pass give you the flexibility of choosing your travel days, which you have to use within 30 days ! And this these flex passes are around 3000 to 4000 rupees expensive than the consecutive pass . But there is something you should keep in mind ! Now that you’ll use the flex pass on selected days only, so its other benefits like local transport, museum entry and mountain excursions can be used only on that day ! For example, you can go to a mountain excursion in the morning, visit a museum in the afternoon, and in the evening take a local bus to the railway station and catch a train to your next destination . And no train journey is longer than one and a half to two hours, as Switzerland is a very small country ! So this way, on your travel day itself, you can get the maximum worth of you paid travel day with excursions, local transport and intercity trains. But be careful with the trams, as they go zig zag , and they can crush you if you’re not very careful ! Other than this, you can altogether ignore the Swiss rail pass and buy individual tickets be it for a train or bus. Other than this, after the peak season, i.e. from the beginning of winters to 31st of March, you can get Swiss rail passes on discounted prices . Like an extra free day in the 4 day continuous pass ! You can visit the Swiss railway website for all the details regarding these passes of which I have out a link in the description box below ! And I did not even think about getting an intercity taxi in Switzerland as where the taxi charges 3,000 rupees to go from the airport to the hotel, how much would they charge to go from one city to another, and that too if the taxi is a 5 series BMW or E-class Mercedes Benz, Well, god knows ! By the way, to commute in major cities like Zurich, Lucerne or Geneva , you can also take a bus, of which the tickets are available on goeuro.com . But unfortunately, Interlaken, which is the centre point of every Swiss trip, has no bus connectivity and you have to take a train to get there ! And in Switzerland, intercity buses take around 30% more time than trains But they charge 30% less money as well ! And to avoid all this confusion and costs, I thought, why don’t I just rent a car ! But honestly, Swiss pass or trains or buses or a car, will be a personal choice related to your plan and comfort ! So I am back at Zurich airport to collect my car, that I’ll be using for the next 7 or 8 days ! And the 6 or 7 cities I am planning to visit with this car would cost me less money than ,traveling in the train . Now lets talk about the car and I will tell you why I preferred to get a car ! But before that, let me tell you about the challenges you will face with car rental in Europe In travel videos, renting a car or events like couch surfing look quite fancy but in real life these things aren’t this simple ! Let me begin by telling you like all of North America and Europe, Switzerland is also a right hand drive country , Which means the steering is on the other side of the car, and driving in a right hand system for the first time can be confusing . Okay that was it, off to the next destination . As this is a single road, your subconscious mind might think that you are driving on the wrong side of the road , but the forward lane over here is on the right hand side of the road . And roundabouts can be really confusing specially when you have to take a right ! But as I’ve been on various roadtrips in around 15 countries across USA, Canada and Europe so it wasn’t a hassle for me, but I have to tell you this, it can be very confusing in the first hour ! Like I was about to take a left turn over here according to the Indian system but then I realised that I have to drive on the other side of the road ! But in some time, the mind becomes set and you become more comfortable ! But you have to be attentive ! And don’t forget to get a sim card as well, because driving without google maps is next to impossible ! Its not necessary that you’ll get a car with an inbuilt navigation system . With that said, lets go ahead to the part where I tell you from where to, how to, what all should you have in mind and from which websites should you book a car ! In Europe, and even rest of the world, the largest car rental companies include Sixt car rental, from which I rented a car in London ! Europcar, from which I rented a car in Poland once ! National, from which Ive rented a car in the Canada and US And finally, Alamo or Enterprise from which I rented a car in Switzerland ! All these are big and reputed car rental companies, all of which I’ve tried at some point without any hassle ! And you can get all the bets prices from all these companies on a single website, rentalcars.com . Which is also a sister company of booking.com . Basically, you should rent a car form rentalcars.com Because they usually include a basic insurance and a theft cover ! Some other websites like kayak car rental also provides this service , But on rentalcars, on most deals you get a free cancellation, collision damage waiver, theft protection and unlimited kilometres are included in the rental price ! Automatic cars are a little expensive compared to manual cars in Europe, but I always rent an automatic car in Europe as then we at least don’t have the headache of changing the gears on the other side ! I have finally received my car, and I booked a compact SUV so that my bags fit in the car but that car wasn’t available today so they gave me an upgrade ! Audi Q2 And this is an amazing car, and now my drive will be a lot more fun ! Thats right guys, I booked a baby SUV Opel Mokka that cost me 13,600 rupees because in automatic transmission, there was no car available cheaper and smaller than this . And this actual booking from rentalcars you can see that I booked this automatic transmission car from Alamo car rental which I picked up form Zurich airport on 9th of May and returned at Geneva airport on 15th of May . In this booking for 191 Franks or around 13,000 rupees I got Collisoin manage waiver or accidental damage cover, Third party liability cover, Theft protection cover, local taxes, airport parking surcharge, road fees and unlimited kilometres ! And you need a Credit card, Driving License, Passport and the booking voucher issued in the name of the primary driver when picking up the car ! Do you to get an international driving permit ? Well, Switzerland doesn’t require one now They didn’t even ask me for a License, as long as the driving license is in Roman characters, you don’t need an international driving permit ! But as these rules keep on changing, always reconfirm before leaving ! Usually, car rentals companies take a small charge for destination drop change , but this is waived off a lot of times on rentalcars.com . As you can see, out of these two similar costing options, one has and additional one way drop fees and the other doesn’t ! So make sure that you check this if you pickup your car from one city and drop it off in another like I did ! And now I’m gonna give you a very important tip that is necessary for everyone to know when renting a car , always take a look of you car and make a video while picking it up, from the outside and from the inside as well, so that if there’s any scratch on the car you know of it already, so that you can report it to them before taking it and feed it in their system ! This looks like a brand new car . Oh, by the way, this is a diesel car ! Diesel is a little expensive but it gives good average ! In most cases, a rental car insurance doesn’t give you full cover, And this is the rent agreement ! For example, in case of an accident or a theft, you have to pay the first 500 Euros and the rest will be covered by the insurance company ! And this 500 Euros or any XYZ about is known as excess And this excess amount is blocked by the car rental company on your credit card as a security deposit . and when you return the car, this amount is released on your card ! And I need a credit card for the guarantee deposit .
Sure ! American Express ?
Yeah ! And this security cannot be deposited in cash, you need a credit card issued in the name of the primary driver ! I have to give you an example for this . Lets say, I want to rent a car in Poland Warsaw for a week, i get a lot of options in results ! And the cheapest option is Seat Ibiza, which includes all the basic stuff . so lets say I go to its booking page and check all the basic inclusions like theft protection, free cancellation and then open its information page, where all the security deposit and excess information is given ! Now in this deal, in case of any damage to the car, the excess is 1,000 Polish Zloty which means around 20,000 Indian rupees. That means, in case of an accident, you have to bear the first 20,000 rupees and the rest will be covered by the company . And if you notice, this itself is the security amount, and the car company will block this amount on your card and when you return the car in the same condition, the amount will be released form your card . It is very important to understand that, car excess varies from car to car and company to company like if you want to get a Mercedes Benz on the same days, the excess fees jumps to 4,000 Zloty or 80,000 rs. The system is like our country just to make sure that you drive extra carefully ! And if you want, you can get a full cover as well, but that is generally quite expensive ! Personally, when I rented a car for the first 2 times, I got full protection , but after that I always got the basic insurance included in the rent ! And if you want to buy a full cover, you can buy it from the rental counter of the car company itself as if the car company have their own insurance, there won’t be any problems with the claim ! But as a general rule, make sure that you understand all the insurance terms well ! And I am finally ready to go on a road trip through Switzerland ! What, where’s the start button in this ! Before coming to the complexities of a rented car, let me tell you some benefits that I completely took use of The most basic advantage is flexibility, like if you see a good scenario, you can just stop whenever you want to ! As soon as I saw this place from above, I decided that I have to stop and go down over here ! Besides, I had to ! The third benefit is savings on food ! If you buy food from a supermarket in the city, you can actually just get some from any hypermarket like Lidl before entering the the city which is around 30% cheaper than Meegno or Coop outlets ! And the main benefit is that you can make any main city as your base, and explore the nearby villages in a day or two without spending money on multiple train tickets ! For example, when I reached Interlaken, I booked a hostel that had free parking ! So along with Interlaken, I explored a few villages adjoining it as well ! And I drove to every one of them ! Anyways, You’ll get to see the real Switzerland 5th episode onwards ! And if I get a chance to visit Harder Kulm, I’ll surely go there if the weather is clear ! And Harder Kulm is completely covered in clouds, so there’s no point going there ! else I’ll take a small detour on my way to Bern, And visit the iconic railway station where Simran mossed her train in DDLJ ! So this way, all the locations I saw was due to bad weather at other locations, And like this you can also bring last moment changes in your plan ! And now lets talk about the complexities ! Parking is very expensive in Europe and that is the case with Switzerland as well ! And so I searched for those particular hostels that had free parking ! By the way, most airbnbs and holiday rentals have free parking but there are less chances in a hotel ! Because if its not free, you might need to pay 7 to 15 Franks per night ! And in the cities there a various parking spots marked with these blue lines where you can park your car for an hour for free if you indicate your parking time on this indicator which you get with the car as well . And you can read all its details on the Swiss tourism website ! And when you want to explore any city, you can leave your car at your hostel or airbnb you can use the public transport pass ! On weekends or holidays, parking is mostly free ! But you have to be very sure about reading the parking instructions on every slot ! One more thing, Rules are very strict ! Red light means that you have to stop in any case, and a speed limit of 50 means that you cannot go above 55, else you’d get a ticket ! And if you get a ticket on a rented car, it’ll be deducted from the security amount you deposited at the company Third, for any Indian who has never driven in snow before, I wouldn’t recommend renting a car because there a lot of ice on the streets at this time which can be very risky. Besides, winters is not the time to visit Switzerland unless you love snow sports or extreme cold ! So guys, the fuel tank is now empty and its my last day today, and I have to return the car and I’ve used the entire tank I have to refill the tank and return it back ! And the airport is 20 kms form here, and it won’t matter So I will just refill the tank, and I used Diesel for 125 rupees a litre for the first and the last time ! for 86 Franks ie.e around 6000 rupees. So guys, this was a comparison of the Swiss travel pass and a rented car And to summarise it, if you are 2 or 3 people, you can benefit from a car overall as you can split the cost of the car and fuel . And in case of a travel pass, everyone will have to buy an individual pass ! But if you take a Swiss pass for your one week trip which is quite expensive, you won’t have any hassle like renting a car and its complications like right hand drive and parking confusions ! And buying separate tickets for internal city transport or for boats or trams or museums can be avoided completely ! So choose wisely guys, a car comes with savings=, flexibility and freedom but at a cost of confusion of right hand driving system which can be a disaster for a lot of people ! And on the other hand, you get peace of mind with the Swiss travel pass also including ease of access to all modes of public transport and few mountain excursions ! but obviously, at a much higher cost ! I had right hand drive experience, and the energy and excitement to do a lot in very few days the budget was tight, and car was a little cheaper hence I chose to rent a car ! And if you’re taking these three things with you, this option would be ideal ! But if not, you can invest in the Swiss travel pass like all other Indians which is a little expensive After all Swiss train routes are one of the most beautiful train routes in the world ! And if you’ve come this far in the video, I am pretty sure you might’ve found this video useful Its a sincere request from my side, please hit the like button and share the video guys, lets keep this channel going ! And lastly, for more such videos every week, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and the bell icon ! And I honestly hope that I did not miss any topic or possible outcome and answered the maximum possible questions but if I have missed out on anything, please feel free to ask in the comment section below !