Did you always want to visit Switzerland and see the alps covered in deep snow? Unfortunately you heard that Switzerland is a high-priced country in Europe, only beaten by Norway, which may put you off your holiday plans. I’ll walk you through some essential tips, which make an affordable holiday in the Swiss Alps possible.
Marcelle in a Chalet in Ayent, Valais, Switzerland
If you can avoid the Swiss School- and Public Holidays you’ve already made an essential step to save money. Visit Switzerland for example in the beginning of December, the second week of January or in March, when the snow is still good. You can find self-catering studios for under CHF 50 per night.
Look for accommodation in pretty little mountain villages within short distance of Ski resorts. If you avoid to stay in the famous ski resorts when you visit Switzerland, you can have as good of an experience at a much more affordable price.
Postbusses connect almost every small town with major ski resorts and additional shuttles are often provided for free during peak-season.
The best move you can do is by renting a self-catering apartment. Cook for yourself and safe a big chunk out of your holiday expenses, when you visit Switzerland.
It’s a little bit more work but pays off. Search for homepages, on which owners advertise directly. This way you can ask for a special price, if you stay longer.
If you drive from one of the European countries to Switzerland, buy your stock of food before you get over the border to Switzerland (check border restrictions). Choose bigger chain shops in the valley for lower prices, if you have to stock up in Switzerland.
If you visit Switzerland only once in a year for a short holiday of one to two weeks, it’s more advisable to rent winter sports gear than to buy. Do this beforehand online, to make sure that your size is available when you arrive at your holiday destination.
If you know, you are going to use the gear for more than one holiday in the same winter and you’d love to try the newest models, hire seasonally.
If you’ll visit Switzerland repeatedly or if you stay for more than two weeks, buying your own winter sports gear may be the cheaper option. Look for last year models of winter sport gear and outfit, they are perfectly fine and much cheaper in price! Best sales are after holiday season at the end of winter. Early planning is king!
You’ll find good quality, used winter sport gear of the last season online. Young Swiss who go skiing or snowboarding regularly, spend every year a lot of money for the latest editions of snowboards and skis. They put often their almost new used gear for sale at affordable prices. Make sure though, that you get the bindings tested and the edges done professionally before your holidays.
DON'T buy last minute at ski resorts, when the winter starts. They know you'll pay any price to be able to enjoy the mountains.
You don’t want to be paying for excess package when flying! Only book with an airline which allows sports gear for free.
Day-Passes in the Swiss Alps are pricey. Check out other sports which are as much fun like cross-country-skiing, sleying and hiking in the snow. Countless hiking trails lead one throughout the Swiss Alps and if snow is abundant, cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking is wonderful and costs nothing or just a small contribution for the maintenance of the paths.
On your holiday in Switzerland you’ll find that restaurants in general are very expensive. Restaurants in ski resorts and on ski slopes are unaffordable for many of us budget travelers. Their prices include the transport of the goods from the valley to the top of the mountains.
We usually take our rucksack with a flask of hot tea or coffee and some homemade sandwiches, fruit, nuts and Swiss chocolate with us on our tours in the Swiss Alps. We didn’t feel like we missed out on anything and our dog, Vlou, neither.
Did you hear about Switzerland being expensive and stopped planning for a holiday in the Swiss Alps because of that? Or have you been in Switzerland in the winter and want to add some further tips? Your feedback is most welcome!
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