Q: We are a family of three who want to visit France, Switzerland and Italy on our own. I contacted agents too but either they did not want to give me the full info or I did not understand them. I did some research online and figured we can do all of Switzerland on a family pass but am confused about the others—should we do flight or rail? Could you please guide which would be cheaper?

Marco Says: I’m not sure I understand your question correctly. If you’re asking whether it’s possible to visit France and Italy by train, the answer is: of course. In fact, it’s possible to travel pretty much all across Europe on Eurail. The best way to do this is to get yourself a Eurail Pass. Passes are available for single-country travel as well as a combination of countries. You can get yourself a combined France-Italy-Switzerland pass easily (it’s a popular combination) at eurail.com/en/eurail-passes/select-pass/three-country/france-italyswitzerland. Prices for a family pass vary between €391 and €568, depending on the class of travel, the number of days you intend to travel and the age of the child travelling with you.

Now, regarding whether flying between destinations will be cheaper than train travel, I’m afraid I don’t have a ready answer. This is because airfares fluctuate vastly depending on the season you’re travelling. Also, I don’t know how many destinations you want to visit and how long you plan to make this vacation. All of this will affect the final price. I suggest that you first draw up an itinerary, listing places you absolutely want to visit and the number of days at each. Next, check flight connections and fares on budget airlines for the dates (even approximate) of your travel. Then, compare the prices with the Eurail pass prices and make your final decision. Also remember that a) taking night trains could help reduce the cost of your accommodation at hotels and b) the cost of getting into town from airports can be considerable (compared to train stations, which are often centrally located). So while on the face of it flying may seem cheaper, these hidden costs will affect what you finally spend.