Switzerland is one of the most revered countries in Europe for its unique tourist destinations, from magnificent snow peaks to tantalizing swiss chocolates and fondue. There is always something about Switzerland that stands out from the rest. For anyone traveling on a budget, you should carefully plan your budget, especially when it comes to accommodation and transportation.
A poorly planned trip will leave you with debts to pay, and also you will not enjoy it thoroughly. However, when you’ve finished your homework, and you understand that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries, you will be able to budget your trip adequately.
If Switzerland is on your travel list, ensure that you have planned it well so that you will visit more stunning places at affordable prices. Here are 8 Crucial Travel Tips and Hacks that will help you to explore Switzerland on a budget.
TRAVEL HACK #1 – DO THE RESEARCH AND PLAN YOUR TRIP IN ADVANCE
It may seem obvious, but you won’t believe how many people got surprised by Swiss prices. That’s simply a lack of research! Learn about the people, traditions, and culture and it will go a long way in helping you in reducing the total costs of your trip. There are different cities where you can use free public transport while others offer cheap international flights.
Every major city has its good and bad aspects that may add up in total cost. Be sure to do your research and plan your travel itinerary down to every single detail. Always visit a certain region during the low season as the prices are lower, and you can plan your international flights easily, and cheaper. Not to forget, during the low season, Train Tickets in Switzerland tend to be a bargain, so keep your eyes open.
TRAVEL HACK #2 – GET THE SWISS PASS IF YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN
Switzerland is home to some of the most famous trail routes in the world, offering cost-efficient train rides with exceptional views. Always, but I mean always get a train pass if you plan to travel a lot by train. It will save you tons of money. If you’re not sure if you’re going to explore the country by train, just compare the costs of a single train ride and train pass.
If you are going to travel in one region with minimal train travel, then there is the option for a half-fare ticket. However, if you plan to travel by train daily, then getting the Swiss Travel Pass/ train pass will save you a lot of money and time. Booking online is much cheaper than purchasing tickets at the kiosk. You should check out freebies that come with transport, and you can reduce the overall cost of transportation.
TRAVEL HACK #3 – FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN MAJOR CITIES
Switzerland is a well-connected country, and you will find that they offer free public transport in some of the major cities such as Lausanne, Geneva, Lucerne, Basel, and Bern, some of which make for excellent Day Trips from Zurich – Switzerland’s biggest city. When traveling on a budget, you should always seek free transport, and you can use this freedom to explore the city without incurring an extra cost. You can pick your free transport ticket when you check-in at your accommodation. It is worth noting that Geneva, Bern, and Zurich also are some of the areas that you can get transport at competitive prices. Always ask at the reception of your accommodation for more information.
TRAVEL HACK #4 – TRY OUT COUCHSURFING OR SOME CHEAP, BUT COZY HOTELS
While the idea of relaxing by a roaring fireplace in a pinewood cabin may seem attractive, it will halve your wallet. However, there are other options that you can choose and still get the best deal while visiting the country. Airbnb is the best way of saving money on accommodation while exploring the major cities. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to mingle with the locals and get to know the Swiss culture.
If you want to keep things to the metropolitan, then you should look to stay somewhere central where you will save time and money. Kitchen facilities are fantastic and if you can visit some city places that offer kitchen facilities to allow you to cook simple meals instead of paying for expensive meals at the hotels. If you want a picturesque experience, you can forget the mountain view hotel window and pitch tent in one of the modestly priced campsites around the gorgeous valleys of the Swiss countryside. Most of these facilities will provide mobile homes, cabins if you do not want to sleep in a tent.
Couchsurfing is huge in Switzerland and that’s a great way to meet new people and deeply learn about the culture. For me, Couchsurfing isn’t about saving money, but more about truly getting to understand the culture and explore off-the-beaten-path locations. On top of that, you’ll get treated like a king…for free! Try it out and I won’t mind if you thank me later.
TRAVEL HACK #5 – AVOID BOOKING TOURS ON HIKING TRAILS
Switzerland is home to some of the best-known hikes for all endurance levels. To make your life easy, here are the 50 Best Hikes in Switzerland, that you should check out, as a part of your Switzerland Pre – Trip – Travel research.
However, you can skip pricey tours and embrace nature for free. With waterfalls and lakes in abundance, you can connect with nature for free. By far, the best way of immersing in pure alpine beauty is hiking in the region. Getting to know some locals is a better way of finding the best accommodation, local restaurants as well as the best entertainment scenes (one of the reasons I’ve mentioned Couchsurfing before. 🙂 ).
TRAVEL HACK #6 – FREE MUSEUMS AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
Admissions to major churches, historical museums and centers are entirely free. There are also some attractive places in big towns such as Montreux, Bern and Interlaken offer an inviting environment where you can tour without having to pay any fee. If you are hungry while on a trip, you should decide before visiting the local restaurants, where these farmers offer free samples. You can stock up mouth-watering street food before taking something to finish, with something small to be full.
TRAVEL HACK #7 – SWISS COUPON PASS CAN SAVE A LOT OF MONEY ON EXCURSIONS
Although there is a common misconception that mainstream tours around Switzerland can be pricey. You can always look for an alternative that will not cost you a lot of money, but instead, you will still enjoy the same services at a reduced price. If you are traveling with your friends, then you can choose the Swiss coupon pass, which will help you save loads of money.
TRAVEL HACK #8 – BASE YOURSELF IN A CENTRAL LOCATION
Switzerland is a tiny country; however, you can maximize this by setting up a base in a central location where you can access different areas with ease… and that too without spending a fortune.
Plan your trip before you go, aim for the low season, meet local people, use Couchsurfing, cook at your accommodation and believe me, you’ll have the best time of your life without breaking the bank.
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Source: Antonio Gabric