Switzerland is known for its stunning natural beauty, it’s efficient train network and for being a wonderfully organised country. It is, however, known amongst the backpacker world as being horribly expensive, a consequence of which is that many backpackers don’t even bother to visit this stunning country. Here are a few tips to make backpacking around Switzerland a little more affordable:
This is a great way to meet locals, to see the local perspective of a city or country and of course, a way to save money. The premise of Couchsurfing is that you’ll stay with a host on their couch or spare bed without paying for anything. It’s similar to how a friend would come stay on your couch, except it’s someone you haven’t met yet. There is a feedback system so you can see how other people’s interactions have been with prospectus hosts, before committing. This is a fantastic way to keep your accommodation costs low, all while making new friends.
Don’t Eat Out:
If you eat out, you can expect to be paying upwards of $50 a day and that’s just to eat in cheap places. Eating out in Switzerland is extremely expensive. Head to the supermarket and prepare your own meals to cut down on costs. If you Couchsurf, you can ask your host for suggestions on cutting costs in the food department.
Purchase a Travel Pass:
Like most things in Switzerland, travel can be expensive especially compared to neighbouring countries. Map out your planned route through Switzerland and then compare how much it will cost to buying a travel pass. Often you’ll find the travel pass to be much cheaper and it will offer substantially better value for money.
Don’t Spend Too Long Skiing:
If you’re super keen to ski in Switzerland, do as it is really beautiful and the slopes are incredible. Just be sure to limit your time. There are numerous slopes around Europe, some in some unlikely places such as Slovakia, that offer substantially better value for money. Skiing is expensive in most places around the world, and no where is that more true than Switzerland. Do your research and be realistic about how much that week or two long skiing trip is going to cost you. If you have more time and are seriously keen about spending a while on the Swiss slopes, consider working in Switzerland for a ski season to make the most of it.
Switzerland is a wonderful country to explore that has so much to offer each traveler, even those on a budget. Spend a little time planning your budget and where you will go and you’ll be able to make Switzerland affordable for those on a backpacker budget.
Photos by: Zanthia, Amanda Er and Patrick Nouhailler used under Creative Commons License