Switzerland Itinerary – Part 1 – Getting Ready

| July 4, 2011
lauterbrunnen valley

The awesome beauty of Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley

I would like this blog to be a source of inspiration for you and place you can come to get the most out of life. Trust me, I don’t have all the answers but I have had experiences that have enriched my life and I am happy to share some of the wisdom I have gleaned from them.

In the spirit of A Day Not Wasted and the travel aspect of the blog, I am going to share the itineraries I have used to explore the world. I plan all of our trips myself using common tools like Rick Steves’ wonderful travel books and killer Internet sites like Trip Advisor and, of course, the experience of others in my social circle.

A bit about our travel style

Donna and I like to cover a lot of ground when we travel but also like to make sure we stay put long enough to experience the essence of a place. I use Rick Steves’ books as a valuable starting point but I find some of his itineraries a bit too much on the whirlwind side for me. We pick and choose carefully from the areas he recommends and inject our own tastes into the final itinerary. I also like to use converging opinion to solidify my travel plans. I rarely trust one source alone to make my location and accommodation choices.

In the initial phases of planning, I am pretty precise time wise with our itineraries. That’s why I use Tripit.com to plan our trip schedule. Planning with Tripit works very well because I can see everything in time sequence. It really helps me visualize the trip to make sure I am allowing enough time for the primary elements of our adventure. Plus, once the trip is set up, it resides on my phone so I can pull up confirmation numbers and such at a moment’s notice. No more carrying around a folder full of paper! By the way, Tripit does not support this site. I just like the service.

I also plan way ahead because I like to fly for free on frequent flyer miles. With the airlines packing planes to the hilt these days, it is getting tougher to get the flights I want. That is why time is of the essence. I don’t like being denied an opportunity or experience because I did not plan well enough. Once at our destination, we use public transportation whenever possible and avoid tour buses like the plaque. I really don’t like being herded up on some else’s time schedule. Sometimes it makes sense to travel that way but it is always my second choice.

When we pack, we pack light. Donna and I both do two weeks in Europe with a carry-on bag each plus a backpack. Carry-on bags are great because they don’t get lost. Trust me, it can be done! Donna’s backpack has all her essentials including a Kindle and mine has DSLR camera gear and a MacBook Air. We buy lightweight travel oriented clothes from Eddie Bauer or Columbia because they are light, pack tightly, can be washed in the tub, and are dry and ready for wear the next day. We even buy sunscreen wipes because they don’t count toward our security imposed liquid allowance for carry-on baggage. Trust me, as Rick Steves says, it is a liberating experience to travel light.

packing light for international travel

I think I am going to make it!

Our standard for accommodations is slightly above what Rick would normally pick. I don’t mind washing my clothes in the bathtub if I have to but also don’t mind being pampered during portions of our trips. To me, being pampered in Europe means picking hotels in absolute prime locations with nicely appointed rooms with big fluffy pillows.

And finally, we like to walk…and walk a lot! Because we stay near the city centers when we travel, most sights are within walking distance. Despite the close proximity, we still end up walking a ton and it is a good idea to stay in decent shape during the year. We both use an elliptical trainer everyday, which always keeps us ready for activity on vacation. We also walk a four-mile trail around our neighborhood in the summers to make sure our true walking muscles are in good shape. Oh yeah, it is good for you too!

The charming row houses of Bern, Switzerland

The charming row houses of Bern, Switzerland

First up: 15 fabulous days in Switzerland

–> DOWNLOAD PDF of our Switzerland Itinerary

The first itinerary I would like to share is the one we used for Switzerland, which also had a brief diversion to Italy for good measure. I have seen a few incredible things in life, but I must say that the beauty of Switzerland made me weak at the knees. Being in the presence of such beauty is something everyone should experience in his or her lifetime. Call me sensitive, but I almost weep with joy just thinking about our time there. To experience Switzerland is to bask in its meticulously preserved natural beauty. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before.

Now let’s get to the details of the trip. For convenience, I have created a PDF file (download) that has the primary elements of the trip outlined by day. The file covers the transportation and hotel arrangements so you can get a sense of what kind of ground you can cover over the 15 days.

Others told me this would be a vacation of a lifetime and they were right. Come along for the ride and start planning you own trip to beautiful Switzerland!

You can download the itinerary below now but please check back each week for a post on each leg of the trip. The details are too many to list in one post so I need to break things up.

–> DOWNLOAD PDF of our Switzerland Itinerary

Other posts related to this trip to Switzerland

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Category: Photography, Switzerland, Travel

Comments (2)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    I’d be like you, Lee – not wanting to miss a beat. That second photo is especially exquisite!

  2. Lee says:

    That’s the spirit Sherry. I totally agree!