To check train times & fares within Switzerland, use the Swiss Railways website www.sbb.ch.

I want to go from Switzerland to...

Click here for journeys starting in another country.

Train information is current for 2017.

This page explains how to buy train tickets from Swiss cities to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets.  On the other hand, if you'd rather someone sorted out your whole trip for you, see here.

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".  And most important, click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Buying tickets for journeys in Switzerland:  See the train travel in Switzerland page...
Swiss Passes, Half Fare Cards & Swiss Transfer tickets:  Click here...

Switzerland to London from €59...

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Switzerland to Paris by TGV from €25...
TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

A TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, you just walk up to it & get on.

 

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  Panorama photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Panorama photo.

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Switzerland to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Nice or anywhere in France from €25...

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Switzerland to Brussels & Bruges from €39...

Option 1, by ICE high-speed trains via Cologne:  Switzerland to Brussels in as little as 6h22 from €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class - easiest route...

Option 2, by high-speed trains via Paris - cheap & fast, but involves crossing Paris.  E.g. Geneva to Brussels in as little as 5h41...

Option 3, Geneva to Brussels in as little as 6h14 using the direct Lyon-Brussels TGVs - fast & convenient with no need to cross Paris...

Option 4, by direct Basel-Brussels EuroCity trains in 6h30.  This option is no longer available, as these trains were discontinued from 3 April 2016.

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Switzerland to Luxembourg...

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Switzerland to Amsterdam from €39...

By fast & comfortable daytime trains...

High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne ICE3 second class ICE3 first class

An ICE3 as used between Frankfurt & Amsterdam.  More ICE information.

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs is one of the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  All seats have power sockets.

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Switzerland to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €9...

Option 1, take a EuroCity train through the Alps from Switzerland to Milan, then a high-speed train to Florence, Rome, Naples or Venice - the fast way...

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

ETR610 train now used on all EuroCity trains between Switzerland & Milan.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner...

Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train   Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train

The regular Zurich to Milan trains take the Gotthard main line through the Swiss Alps, past pretty Swiss villages & vineyards...

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train   Lunch in the Swiss-run restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel

Zurich-Milan trains pass the Zugersee, Vierwaldstattersee & Lake Lugano, all in Switzerland.  Geneva-Milan trains skirt Lake Leman, and both Geneva-Milan & Basel-Milan trains pass Lake Maggiore in Italy.  Above left, Lake Maggiore is seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...

Frecciarossa power car   Frecciarossa Business class

A Frecciarossa ETR500 train capable of 300 km/h (186 mph) on the new Italian high-speed network.  The name means Red Arrow.

 

Business class, all seats with power sockets, complimentary coffee, juice or prosecco included.

Option 2, the ultimate scenic route:  Switzerland to Milan via the slow but amazing Bernina route...

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

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Switzerland to Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne & Germany from €39...

Option 1, Zurich or Basel to Berlin or Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train - comfortable, civilised & time-effective...

   

By sleeper train from Zurich to Berlin & Hamburg.

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime train...

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

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Switzerland to Munich from €39...
Train from Zurich to Munich   Restaurant car on a Zurich to Munich train

EuroCity train from Zurich to Munich, boarding at Zurich HB.

 

Restaurant car:  Treat yourself to a beer!

1st class seats   Scenery from the train

1st class.  Photos courtesy Discoverbyrail.com.

 

Scenery from the train between Zurich & Munich...

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Switzerland to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €29...

Option 1, Zurich to Vienna by time-effective overnight sleeper train...

   

A double-deck sleeper to Vienna, seen in Zurich...

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime Railjet trains through the wonderfully scenic Arlberg Pass from €19...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

Railjets are ÖBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains...  More photos, video & information about Railjets.

 

Economy class on RailJet, in open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the Railjet is running alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Mountain scenery near Buchs

Watch out for hilltop castles - this is Sargans castle, seen from the train...

 

The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Liechtenstein station...

The mountains keep on coming...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In Railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

The view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the Railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg station....

Watch the video:  Zurich to Austria through the Arlberg Pass...

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Switzerland to Barcelona & Spain from €59...

Switzerland to Barcelona in an afternoon & evening by direct TGV high-speed train!

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Béziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

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Switzerland to Lisbon & Portugal...
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from the cafe-bar to find the beds made up...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.

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Switzerland to Copenhagen from €59...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class Copenhagen-Cologne ICE on the Rodby-Puttgarten ferry

ICE 2nd class.

ICE 1st class with leather seats.

The ICE on board the ferry.

Option 2, using the Zurich-Hamburg Nightjet sleeper - the time-effective option!

   

Double-deck sleeping-car, as used Zurich-Hamburg...

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

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Switzerland to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö from €59...

Option 1, Switzerland to Copenhagen by day trains in a single day from €58, onwards to Stockholm next day...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class Copenhagen-Cologne ICE on the Rodby-Puttgarten ferry

ICE 2nd class seats.

ICE 1st class with leather seats.

The ICE on board the ferry.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More information about X2000

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg.  Switzerland-Copenhagen from €68, Switzerland-Stockholm from €78...

Option 3, using the Zurich-Hamburg sleeper - the time-effective option!

   

Double-deck sleeping-car, as used Zurich-Hamburg...

 

2-berth sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

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Switzerland to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Switzerland to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Option 2, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

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Switzerland to Helsinki & Finland...

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Switzerland to Prague from €45...  Switzerland to Cesky Krumlov from €45...

Option 1, by direct EuroNight sleeper train from Switzerland to Prague...

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

The sleeping-car to Prague, ready to leave Zurich HB.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, but with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Option 2, by daytime trains via Munich...

Option 3, by daytime trains via Dresden...

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Switzerland to Bratislava...
The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna, about to leave from Vienna Hauptbahnhof. 

Tip:  Behind the locomotive there's usually a smart Slovakian air-conditioned intercity coach, whilst the rest of the train consists of more basic non-air-con Austrian City Shuttle carriages, with interiors as shown in the photo above right.  Find a seat in the more comfortable Slovakian car if you can!

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Switzerland to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, by direct daytime Railjet train from Zurich to Budapest thought the scenic Arlberg Pass... 

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the Railjet runs alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In Railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The mountains keep on coming...

Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.

Economy class on RailJet, in open saloons, all with power sockets.

 

"The RailJet has landed..."  A Railjet arrived at Budapest's beautiful Keleti station.

Option 2, by direct sleeper train from Zurich to Budapest - a safe, comfortable & time-effective option... 

Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

The Zurich-Budapest sleeper at Zurich...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes...

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest   The sleeper train to Budapest

2-berth sleeper...

 

The Zurich-Budapest sleeper, at Budapest Keleti.  Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video...  Courtesy of Matthew Williams.

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Switzerland to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb & Croatia...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train from Switzerland to Croatia...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeping-car:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from  Zurich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  It's identical to the Zagreb-Munich sleeper, see the Croatian sleeper video.

Option 2 by daytime trains...

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Switzerland to Dubrovnik & Split
Ancona to Split ferries in Split Harbour   Deluxe cabin onm Ancona to Split ferry

Blue Line & Jadrolinija ferries in Split Harbour...  Above right, a deluxe cabin on the Blue Line ferry, which comes complete with an en suite jacuzzi...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

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Switzerland to Belgrade, Sofia, Montenegro...

Option 1, via Zagreb...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeping-car:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from  Zurich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  It's identical to the Zagreb-Munich sleeper, see the Croatian sleeper video.

Option 2, via Budapest... 

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Switzerland to Sighisoara, Brasov, Bucharest & Romania...

Option 1, by sleeper trains with a day to explore Budapest...

En suite toilet & shower on EuroNight sleeper train Ister to Bucharest   Single-berth sleeper on the EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' to Bucharest   EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' from Budapest to Bucharest

Deluxe sleeper...  The en suite toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper from Budapest to Bucharest.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

A sleeper set up as a  1-berth compartment with middle & top berths folded away against the wall.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

 

The Budapest-Bucharest Ister:  This is the modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car.  The letters above the windows say 'Voiture-Lits - Sleeping-car - Carrozza Letti - Vagon de Dormit'...  Welcome to your hotel on rails, some compartments with toilet & shower.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   6-berth couchettes   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Budapest...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   Hungarian restaurant car on the train to Brasov

An InterCity train to Romania (left) about to leave Budapest.

 

The restaurant car on the InterCity train to Romania...

2nd class Romanian InterCity coach   Romanian InterCity seating coach

Air-conditioned 2nd class seats used on the Traianus from Budapest to Bucharest.  Or take your own picnic with beer or wine...

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Switzerland to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €49...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single day...

Option 2, by sleeper to Berlin then daytime train to Warsaw...

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Switzerland to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Option 1, via Budapest...

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

The Budapest-Kiev train... Courtesy of Alessandro

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

Option 2, via Warsaw...

The Kiev Express has modernised Ukrainian sleeping-cars with 2-berth & 3-berth compartments.  All bedding is supplied, and washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use.  A smartly-uniformed Ukrainian railways sleeper attendant travels with each car.  Photos courtesy of www.railbookers.com

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Boarding in Warsaw...

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

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Switzerland to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

The Polonez from Warsaw to Moscow uses Russian air-conditioned sleeping-cars, pictured below, with compartments which can be used as 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth (shown below right), with a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor.  See panorama photo inside one of the new Russian sleepers.

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

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Switzerland to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, by train to Italy then ferry...

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, by train all the way via Belgrade...

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Switzerland to Istanbul & Turkey...

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, the people to talk to are Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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Find hotels in Switzerland & other countries

    

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

 


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