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Sorry if I’ve repeated this a million times, but my family is heading to France and Switzerland soon! One advantage to being a Type A plan-aheader is that I have read about which excursions and activities are worth it to book ahead. There is always a risk of an activity being sold out if you don’t pre-purchase tickets. On the other hand, there is a risk that the trip could be canceled and we’re out the money. So, there is some research involved.
Things I’m Booking Ahead
Train Tickets from Paris to Switzerland: I purchased our train tickets shortly after they became available. According to my research, the price only goes up the closer you get to the date. The tickets are refundable/exchangeable after paying a fee, so if our trip goes haywire we won’t be out the entire cost.
Paris Catacombs Tickets: My husband and I did not go to the Paris Catacombs on our honeymoon, so it’s top on our list for this trip. I read that tour and tickets sell out well in advance. A month or so ago when I checked, our dates were not yet available. However, when I checked back again, all of the guided tours were already sold out. Fortunately, I was able to reserve tickets with the self-guided audio tour.
Eiffel Tower Tickets: These tickets go on sale 60 days prior, so I will be purchasing them very soon. Purchasing them in advance allows us to skip the line and have more choices for our arrival time.
Things I’m Not Booking Ahead
Disneyland Paris: I want to wait and see what the weather is like while we are there. Booking in advance does not appear to save us any money, so why bother? We can always book online the day before.
Jungfraujoch and and Other Swiss Alps Cable Cars: Most people advise not pre-purchasing these tickets until you can evaluate the weather. Jungfraujoch (the Top of Europe) will not look the same if it’s covered in clouds.
Things that are TBD:
Chocolate Train: I’d love to book the Chocolate Train ahead of time, but I haven’t been able to get the website to work.
Swiss Travel Passes: Currently, there is no discount for buying ahead. We may wait and buy at the first train station in Switzerland.
Do you pre-purchase activities before your trips? Why or why not?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.