SWITZERLAND STARTER GUIDE

SWITZERLAND STARTER GUIDE A Simple Guide for Planning Your Switzerland Vacation Planning a trip to Switzerland can be exciting and overwhelming at t...
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SWITZERLAND STARTER GUIDE A Simple Guide for Planning Your Switzerland Vacation

Planning a trip to Switzerland can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Deciding which places to visit, where to stay, what to see, and how to get from place to place adds up to a lot of research, planning, and potential headaches. And, sometimes, the many resources, Web sites, and travel guides available only make matters more confusing.

We, at the Globus family of brands, can help making your dream Swiss vacation all that you want it to be. At the world’s largest escorted travel company, with over 430 vacations to more than 79 countries across 6 continents, we have heard just about every question there is about planning a vacation–and we think we can help you find most of your answers here. From selecting your ideal destinations, budgeting, accommodations, and itinerary to figuring out when to travel, what to pack, and how to get where you want to go, the Italy travel kit is your guide. Should you have any additional questions that we haven’t answered, we are just a phone call (1 800 425 3575) or email

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([email protected])away; or maybe we should say, close. We are happy to answer your most simple or detailed questions. And once you make your decision, we can offer you our array of vacations– from a fully escorted vacation to an independent adventure– and meet your style orbudget, give insider knowledge, and deliver worldclass service with every journey! We wish you happy and safe travel – enjoy the ride! Scott Nisbet President and CEO Globus family of brands

Bernina Express Train

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TRAVELING TO A SWISS DESTINATION FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Looking to explore one city or multiple destinations? With the wonders of this extraordinary country’s unspoiled scenery, majestic peaks, sparkling lakes and places with cosmopolitan flair, deciding where to go, when to go, how long to stay, and how to get the most bang for your buck can be tough. The first step is to ask yourself some questions…and we’re making the second step (answering them) a little simpler. Our goal is the same as yours: Stop dreaming and start going!

trip planning

Should I try to visit several different places or focus my time on a single destination? If you think this trip is your “once-in-a-lifetime chance” to go to Switzerland, then by all means, pack your schedule so that you see and experience as much as possible. You will need 2 weeks to truly enjoy a complete getaway. If you only have a short amount of time to get away, plan to visit just one major destination. Choose between some of the most popular Swiss cities, or you may prefer a Ski resort getaway.

Titlis, the highest lookout-point in central Switzerland. Ride on-board the Glacier Express or Bernina Express trains and be ready to be blown away!

NEED HELP DECIDING WHERE TO GO? CONSIDER WHAT INTERESTS YOU THE MOST

TRAVEL TIP:

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Landscape: Fall in love with Switzerland while exploring fine cities nestled amidst the Alps, surrounded by lakes and mountains and embellished with glaciers. Cruise Lake Zürich or Lake Geneva, take Europe’s highest aerial cable car up the Little Matterhorn, then ski back to the car-free village of Zermatt on one of the longest ski runs in Europe. Head to the small resort-town of Engelberg, where the world’s first revolving cable car ascends Mount

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Romantic Cities: Zurich, Basel & Lucerne, located in the heart of Switzerland are perfect romantic destinations that need no introduction. The capital, Bern with its cobbled streets and medieval architecture is perhaps the most immediately charming Swiss city. Geneva, a swiss city with a french flair and clear-water lakes, is a popular hotspot. And if you’re looking for a shorter, romantic vacation, head to

St. Mortiz, synonymous with glamour, decadence and luxury. • 

UNESCO World Heritage : Switzerland’s wealth lies in its cultural heritage and its wonderfully varied natural landscapes. From this wealth of treasures UNESCO has acknowledged 11 World Heritage Sites and the Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch.

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Gastronomy & Shopping : The great speciality is fondue, a delicious concoction of Gruyère and Vacherin cheese. A great variety of the worldfamous Swiss chocolates and wines are available throughout the country.

WHAT SHOULD I BUDGET?

How much it costs largely depends on the destination & the category of hotels you want to stay at but a good starting guideline is to allot about $150 - $250 per day for the hotels. Add an additional Rs.50000 to Rs. 45000 for airfare, Rs. 5000 to Rs. 8000 for visas and don’t forget to budget for transfers to/from the airport, personal expenses such as meals while on tour and ofcourse, shopping! If your budget (or time) is limited, explore packages where travel, lodging, and some sightseeing are included. Then, add on activities and excursions that fit your budget. If the idea of researching and booking transportation (from the airport, between cities, etc.) and activities is starting to panic you, don’t worry…in the next sections, we’ll give you some very simple solutions!! Please understand that the size of hotel rooms and the facilities which are available vary from what you may have experienced in Asia. Hotels in some bigger cities like Rome and Venice are much smaller in comparison to the ones in India.

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED?

While Switzerland is a very compact country, taking travel time to and from Switzerland into account, the minimum amount of time you want to spend on your Swiss getaway is four days to a week. Generally speaking, this time in a new destination will allow you time to experience the major sites and visit the most popular attractions. Anything less than that and the trip might not be worth the money you spent on your flight. You can (and should) get a true Swiss experience by immersing yourself in the destination.

Pick a Rado or Tissot for that someone special or just stroll Bahnhofstrasse to admire renouned designers like Gucci & Prada. Shop the worldbest chocolates and pick up cow-bells as souvenirs.

You can also build in a couple of short trips outside the city. For instance, choose Zurich as your destination hub for four nights and take day trips to Interlaken, Lucerne, Engelbreg or even St.Mortiz. If Geneva sounds more exciting for your getaway, you should consider day trips to Lausanne, Montreux, Gruyeres, Chillion and Chamonix.

For an even more exciting getaway, build in a couple of trips outside your chosen city. For instance, choose Zurich or Geneva as your destination hub for four nights and take day trips to Schilthorn - Piz Gloria, Stanserhorn, Lucerne, Interlaken, Gruyere, Chamonix, and the Lavaux Vineyard. Experience a Scenic Train Journey From Zurich to St. Moritz and from Lausanne to Zermatt, views from most trains will have you reaching for your camera, but for visually-stunning extras try one of the dedicated scenic routes, like the Glacier Express or Bernina Express, which often have panoramic windows and travel at slower speeds to let you soak in the sights. Cologne-Rhine

what’s the right time? How far ahead do I need to plan and book my travel? It is best to book your getaway well in advance, especially during the peak season to get the best deals on flights and avoid availability issues. Keep in mind; Indians need a Schengen visa to Switzerland. The average visa processing time is about 2 – 3 weeks, more so during peak season.

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When is the best time of year to travel to Switzerland? Ideal time to travel to Switzerland would be early May upto the end of October as it’s a seasonal destination. But if you are the one who would love to ski and explore the winter games, mid October to early April would be great too. If traveling during the summer, take advantage of the pleasant summers, and the entire gamut of attractions the country provides however, during these months it could be crowded because of its pleasant weather. Late spring and early autumn are the ideal times to

travel, also offering smaller crowds, milder weather, and more sunshine. If you’re looking for smaller crowds and shorter attraction lines, travel during the winter. But you need keep a watch on the time as the days are shorter during winters. What’s the weather like in Switzerland and how will it affect my plans? Switzerland is mostly warmer in the summer, colder and wetter in the winter, and milder temperatures are found in the spring and autumn. If you’re going to Switzerland during the summer months, plan your mountain peak visits in the morning to enjoy the feeling of being amidst the snowcapped country. In the evening, you may plan to visit other attractions. For e.g., when in Lucerne, enjoy an evening cruise with some fantastic dinner cruises available during the summers. If traveling in the winter, make sure you check attraction hours, as many have reduced hours and days.

TRAVELING WITH A FAMI LY? Switzerland has some great child friendly attractions and activities. The Zurich Zoological and Paleontological Museum of the University of Zurich is a must-visit. Else you can even visit the Zurich Zoo, the pride of this zoological garden which was opened in 1929 is the Masoala Rainforest hall, simulating the ecosystem in the Masoala National park in Madagascar in an area of 10,000sqm. It is advisable to do only one or two stops if children are very young. Young children rarely enjoy escorted (group) travel and several companies have age restriction for this reason. With older children, it is best for you to choose your vacations from a reputed travel company which offers experiences that your family will remember for a lifetime, after all, family vacations don’t come along often enough.

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This chart should give you a better idea of the type of temperatures you can expect in Switzerland.

January February March April May June July August September October November December

Average Temperature (f)

Average High Temperature (F)

Average Low Temperature (F)

27.5 29.5 34.6 41 48.8 54.7 59 57.8 52.9 45 35.3 29.3

34 37 42.9 49.7 57.9 64.2 69.1 67.8 62.5 53.7 42.4 35.6

21.7 23.1 27.5 33.4 40.7 46.3 50.1 49.6 45.2 37 29.9 24.7

Will I have a problem if I don’t speak the language?

Switzerland has 4 official languages they are French, German, Italian and Romansh but because Switzerland receives so many tourists, you can find many people who speak English in the major cities and tourist destinations. Swiss people are generally friendly and interested in helping you. However, as you might expect, learning a few words and phrases and attempting to speak the native language will get you much further with the locals. To get you started, here are a few words and phrases: Hello (formal) Grüezi (groo-e-tsi) Goodbye (formal) Adieu (as in French) Thank you Merci (mersi) Sorry! Entschuldigung! (ent-shooldi-goong) Excuse me! Exgüsi! (ex-gewsi) Switzerland D’Schwyz (t’shviiits) Cheers! Zum Wohl! (tsoom vol) Inhabitant of Zurich Zürcher (tsoor-her) Zurich Züri (tsoori) Geneva

MAPPING OUT YOUR TRIP What type of trip do you want to take? You’ve decided on your

destination(s) and you need to fill your days with fun activities and excursions that will make your trip memorable. But where do you start? From museums and monuments to gardens and ruins, Switzerland is filled with enough and “must-see” sites to fill worth of sightseeing. With our experience helping travelers create vacations to remember, we can help you truly personalize your getaway. You have many options on how to travel through Switzerland. Your decision depends on the type of trip that suits your needs. Below are the most popular ways to experience Switzerland. Use it as a guide to choose a style that fits you and your vacation needs.

Escorted Tour Vacation Want to experience the “best” parts of a destination while letting someone else be in charge? On an escorted tour (also known as coach tour), sightseeing excursions and intercity travel are planned for you with all of the details and logistics on tour handled by an expert …your Tour Director/Manager. You can avoid all the hassles of the logistics and the planning that comes with a vacation to Switzerland. You have the choice of booking affordable vacations which offer flexibility with the must-see sights included or even premium vacations with more inclusions. It is also a great option for single travelers who are apprehensive about travelling alone to Europe – on escorted vacations, singles can also venture out on own – or with a newfound, like-minded travel companion (or three) from the group – to explore individual interests and passions.

Independent Travel Package Like to travel on your own, but need an expert to put together your trip for you? Generally, with a travel package, all travel and accommodations are arranged for you, with an itinerary including some pre-scheduled activities and some free time to explore on your own. This provides a balance for travelers who want the benefits of an organized trip, but do not want to travel with a group or a fixed schedule. And some independent travel packages offer access to Local Hosts, to help with any on-site needs, suggestions, or recommendations. Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Getaway Prefer a challenge and want to research, plan, and book everything on your own? When you choose this option, it’s important that you’re independent minded, adventurous and are willing to spend time and effort to

Chateau D’ouchy Lausanne

customize every detail of your trip from accommodation to sightseeing to traveling from one city to the other. This works great for travelers who are willing to take risks and rough it out if things don’t go as per plan. Do keep in mind that this may work out more expensive, as anything customized generally is.

TRAVEL TIP THE FIRST QUESTION YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF IS…HOW BUSY DO I WANT TO BE? Decide on your preferred pace of the tour and choose a vacation accordingly – if you want a busy vacation or at leisure or something in between. Some travel companies, such as Cosmos, have a tripscale indicator for each vacation. These show the pace of the tour - if the vacation is leisurely or on-the-go or nicely balanced. Use this to decide on the kind of getaway that’s perfect for you. Some travelers prefer late wake-up calls, however, scheduling sightseeing early in the morning will help you avoid the crowds, especially in the main cities of Switzerland. And you could use the afternoon to relax and take in a local experience.

Lugano Lake

what are the things i can’t miss? Do I want a trip that focuses on Switzerland’s “greatest hits” and must-see sites? We always recommend starting your first full day on vacation with a city tour to give you the lay of the land. Having a Local Guide show you the highlights and provide some tips on what to see and where to go is a great help, whether it’s your first or fifth trip to that destination. You can research, book, and pay for excursions in advance of your trip. That way, you’ll wake up on your first morning knowing exactly what you are doing, without having to waste your time looking at maps and asking for directions. City tours are often included in escorted tours such as Cosmos and Globus, and in independent travel packages such as Monograms. Activities and excursions are generally extra, but will give you a well-rounded experience.

SWITZERLAND’S “MUST SEES” No matter who or how well traveled you are, seeing the main sites in each city is a “must.” Here are a few standout sites that make the destination unique and present great photo ops.

LUCERNE Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its

attractions, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland. Must-see sites: •  Lake Lucerne •  Lion Monument •  Chapel Bridge •  Jesuit Church •  Mont Pilatus •  Mont Rigi •  Swiss Museum of Transport

ZURICH As a lifestyle capital on the water, Zürich offers the unique mix of discovery, pleasure, nature and culture. The finest culinary highlights, unlimited shopping pleasure, over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries, Switzerland’s liveliest nightlife, numerous events and countless green oases in the center of the city tempt guests to linger and enjoy.

INTERLAKEN One of the loveliest Alpine regions in Switzerland, located at the foot of the snow-covered mountains of Bernese Oberland. Enjoy an unforgettable ride with the gondola to the sunny First terrace at 7100 ft and can experience the impressive panorama view of the Bernese Alps.

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MOUNT TITLIS An adventure awaits you at the Titlis glacier paradise (9900 ft a.s.l.) including a fascinating ride in a cable car up to the high-Alpine glacier region. Enjoy the gorgeous panorama view from the 360º rotating “ROTAIR” gondola, the world’s first rotating cable car that takes you up to Mt. Titlis – a glacial paradise at 9900 ft a.s.l. with snow and ice all year long! Experience the breathtaking panorama of the Alpine world or treat yourself to a delicious meal in one of the mountain restaurants.

JUNGFRAU Unforgettable excursion to the magnificent world of the Jungfraujoch – on the Top of Europe, designated by UNESCO as a natural “World

Matterhorn

TRAVEL TIP Heritage Site of the Swiss Alps”. The Jungfraujoch – is the highest train station in Europe at 11,300 ft a.s.l. Enjoy the amazing world of eternal snow and ice, visit the ice palace and experience the breath-taking panorama of the Aletsch Glacier (Europe’s longest ice river) and the soaring peaks of the neighbouring countries.

WHAT ’S THE BEST WAY TO GET AROUND? Traveling by train is fast, convenient, and relaxing, and trains travel to and from almost all major Swiss cities. However, if you’re nervous about figuring out how to get around, book yourself with a reputed tour company who can take care if travelling around Switzerland and sightseeing as well! Plus a Tour Manager/Director or a Local Host® will be available at your destination to offer suggestions on getting around town.

what’s the best way to feel like a local? What can I do to have an authentic Swiss experience?

Make time to discover the cafés that form the heartbeat of that city. Discover the essence of Switzerland by sampling its local cuisine. This is where Tour Directors/Managers and Local Guides are invaluable. They can introduce you to the less-traveled areas and enhance your experience like no one else.

The following are some of the most popular “local” suggestions for the first time traveler to Switzerland:

Gorge on Swiss Cheese & Chocolates

Sip local Wine

Just because the Swiss only eat fondue in winter doesn’t mean you can’t indulge year round. The best is in Fribourg, where Gruyere and Vacherin Fribourgeois cheeses are melted together with white wine, garlic, and kirsch (cherry brandy).

Whether it’s white wine made from Chasselas grapes on the shores of Lake Geneva, Merlot from Ticino, or Pinot Noir from the Valais, take advantage of the chance to savor local labels. Most Swiss wine is not exported so it’s hard to get outside of the country, but that doesn’t mean the quality is lacking. In Vaud, take a walk through the protected Lavaux vineyards—the views of Lake Geneva from the steep terraces are breathtaking.

And once you try really good Swiss chocolate, it’s hard to go back. This is where milk chocolate was invented and chocolate-making is as much an art as it is a business. Satisfy your sweet tooth on a tour of a chocolate factory and pick up some tasty bites as gifts or souvenirs.

Join in the local tradition Visitors can easily experience local traditions and national pastimes. Every Saturday from mid-July through August, the Marches

Folkloriques in Vevey features Swiss folk music, alphorn performances, crafts, and wine tastings. During the Foire de Martigny inValais, check out Swiss wrestling, flag or stone hurling, or Hornussen or head to Appenzell on the last Sunday in April to watch the open-air elections in the town square. Zytglogge Bern

simplify your trip Perfect Starter Packages by COSMOS

Your vacation can be exactly what you want it to be, without all the planning and logistic hassle. Cosmos is designed to make touring in Switzerland simple - both planning and traveling, it is less expensive, more comfortable, and far easier than traveling on your own. You travel hassle-free, knowing that we’ve taken care of all the details. With a range of vacations from multi-country to regional discoveries, Cosmos offers the benefits of escorted travel, a greater choice of activities, plenty of free time to explore your destination the way you want, and longer stays in key cities so that you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture. With our Tour Directors/Managers guiding you all way through, you will feel comfortable and confident in your destination – even if it’s your first time there.

The following are the most popular Cosmos packages for the first-time traveler to Switzerland: Grand Tour of Switzerland

Discover the wonders of this extraordinary country: unspoiled scenery, majestic peaks, sparkling lakes, and cities with cosmopolitan flair. Begin with an overnight in Zürich, then travel through the hilly landscapes to Appenzell with a stop in the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. Enjoy pastoral “Heidiland” on your way to the glamorous St. Moritz resort. Marvel at the breathtaking views on the included Bernina Express alpine train that whisks you to Tirano, Italy. Rejoin your motorcoach to arrive on the shores of splendid Lake Lugano, then to Italy’s Lake Maggiore and crossing Simplon Pass to re-enter Switzerland. Overnight in Täsch and join the included train excursion to car-free Zermatt at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn. Journey on to Lake Geneva, then to Gruyère to visit a local cheese factory, to the charming Swiss capital of Berne, and to Lake Lucerne, surrounded by snowcapped Alps. Your adventure concludes with a final overnight in vibrant Zürich. * Globus tours include everything you need for a hassle-free European experience–from an expertly planned itinerary and all transportation to sightseeing and many meals—all with the guidance and insight of the industry’s most experienced Tour Directors. Visit www.GlobusJourneys.in for a listing of all of your European options.

Scenic Switzerland

This is truly a different way to discover Switzerland! Marvel at spectacular scenery from the first-class carriages of the Swiss train network, with rides on the GoldenPass Panoramic train, Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and the Gornergrat open-air cogwheel train. Your vacation begins with an overnight in Zürich, then on to Lucerne, the delightful medieval town with its famous wooden bridge. Travel through breathtaking mountain pastures and quaint villages before reaching Lausanne on Lake Geneva. Visit elegant Montreux and Zermatt at the foot of the imposing Matterhorn. Spend two nights in this beautiful car-free village, then take an exciting ride on the Glacier Express from Zermatt to glitzy St. Moritz. Travel through the pristine natural wonders of the Alps, the perfect prelude to your train ride on the Bernina Express. From St. Moritz, return to Zürich for the finale of your grand Swiss rail journey. You can also travel Europe by boat! River cruising is Europe’s fastest-growing travel segment, and Avalon Waterways is leading the way. Avalon’s style and premium standard will give you a perspective of Europe like none other, with Europe’s newest fleet, largest staterooms, expansive views, and enriching land programs (included in your cruise price).To view it all, visit www.GlobusJourneys.in/Avalon-Cruises.aspx.

WHY CHOOSE COSMOS FOR SWITZERLAND?

Our famous value: complete travel packages include hotel, transportation, sightseeing and a Professional Tour Director for as low as US$999 •  Up to 30% cheaper than traveling on your own. •  Hassle-free touring with all the logistics looked after. •  Visits to all major and must-see sights included. •  Authentic destination experience with expert Tour Directors who belong to the region. •  Well located hotels selected with care for their standards. •  Balanced itineraries with free time to explore on your own. •  Opportunity to sample local cuisine & do what locals do. •  Cosmopolitan vacations with travel companions from different countries across the world. •  Optional excursions at unbeatable value – diverse enough for unique interest and at unbeatable value. •  A dynamic blend of transportation includes first-class motor coaches and cruises! •  Porterage is included – not handling your own bag really makes you feel you are on a vacation. •  Personalize with extra nights and value priced airport transfers. •  Choice of over 100 itineraries with departure dates throughout the year. •  Option to prepay Tour Director and driver gratuities makes tipping hassle-free for you. •  Recommended by Budget Travel from renowned travel expert Arthur Frommer. •  Cosmos receives a 97% satisfaction rating on our customers’ post vacation surveys. •  We are celebrating 50 years’ experience in showing people the world! • 

Folklore

This is just a sampling of the Cosmos Switzerland packages—we offer 10 packages in all. And we even go beyond Switzerland. We apply the same skill within Europe, North America, South & Central America, Australia & New Zealand, Asia, and Africa. In total, there are over 430 packages to choose from. See them all at ww.CosmosVacations.In or call us for more information.

BEYOND SWITZERLAND Want to add more vacation to your vacation?

Perhaps you would like to extend your stay in Switzerland or venture to Britain, France, Germany, Spain, or other European countries. The Globus family of brands offers hundreds of vacation options— from fully escorted tours to river cruises. So, take advantage of some of these other great vacation packages and truly make this a trip of a lifetime!

Mount Titlis

HERE ARE A FEW POPULAR TOURS THAT WOULD BE OPTIONS FOR YOUR EUROPEAN VACATION:

Multi-Country Panoramas The best way to sample what this charming Old World continent has to offer. From Austria to England, France, Germany and Holland and from Hungary, Switzerland, to colorful Spain, and Switzerland, come away with a whole new perspective after a Cosmos vacation to Europe. Options begin from 8 days to 30 days!

Spain, Portugal & Morocco Colorful, lively, dramatic-and ultimately beyond description. Explore the exotic and fascinating Morocco, visit Portugal’s Sanctuary of Fatima, travel through Spain’s La Mancha, or step back in time in Marrakesh. With over half a dozen vacations to the Iberian Peninsula, you will truly be spoilt for choice!

• A Taste of Europe (8 days) • Scenic Europe & Bernina Express (10 days)

• Madrid & Andalusia (8 days) • The Best of Spain & Portugal (13 days)

Britain & Scotland Get a delightful introduction to the history and culture of England, Scotland, and Wales and step back in time to experience the tradition and pageantry of an Edinburgh Castle Military Tattoo, marvel at mysterious Stonehenge, or kiss the legendary “Blarney Stone” in Cork.

East Europe Come and enjoy the Eastern and Central European experience! Just an hour or two drive away from each other you can explore amazingly diverse cities and heritage sights with more than 1100 years of unique history and experiences unlike any other. This all year round destination blends the very best of Europe in music, folklore, culture and lifestyle.

• British Panorama (6 days) • England, Scotland & Wales (10 days)

• Prague, Vienna & Budapest (9 days) • Central Europe (15 days)

This is just a sampling of the Cosmos European packages—and we even go beyond Europe. We apply the same skill within USA and Canada. In total, there are over 100 packages to choose from. See them all at www.CosmosVacations.in or call us 1800 425 3575 for more info.

View above Quito

Lake Lucerne

you’re ready to go...almost

You are a few weeks away from your departure date and are starting to think about packing and finalizing the last details of your trip. Here are a few additional things to remember to make sure you are ready and prepared for your adventure overseas. VISA Visa to Switzerland takes up to 2 to 3 weeks, on an average. We recommend that you apply for the visas as early as possible. You need to provide tour confirmations, personal financial records, insurance, flight tickets etc. to apply for a Schengen tourist visa. Please verify with the consulate for specific documentation needed. TRAVEL INSURANCE Travel Insurance is highly recommended when traveling in general and it is mandatory when traveling to Switzerland. There are various companies offering it. The insurance covers loss of passports, baggage, delays in flights and medical expenses while on tour. CONFIRMATIONS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS Have your travel documents and vouchers easily accessible. Carry a copy of important documents like a plane ticket, travel itinerary, insurance papers, passport pages, visa copies and confirmation numbers, stored in a safe place, apart from in your hand luggage. PACKING • A money belt–A waist pouch and a money belt provide great peace of mind when you are carrying money, passports, credit cards, and other important documents. • Dress for comfort– Most places in Switzerland may involve a lot of walking around sightseeing attractions. Carry comfortable shoes. Also, take layers of clothing to help you adjust to temperature

variations during the day. • Travel Light– It is always best to travel light, so that you can avoid unnecessary delays, and get to your destination most efficiently. You won’t have long waits for your luggage when you bring just enough. One more advantage is that you avoid excess baggage charges which can often be quite significant. Traveling light makes your arrival/departure less complicated and will make your travel experience better all round. • A small daypack–A backpack will make touring around a city or taking a day trip a lot easier, as you can carry more items and still have your hands free for photo opportunities. • Money– The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Francs, however EUROS are acceptable across Swiss. ATMs have become an easy way to get the type of money you need when you need it, so plan to bring a debit card! Visa, MasterCard, and other credit cards are also generally accepted forms of payment worldwide. Make sure you notify your bank before you leave for your trip so they don’t flag your account for “unusual–activity” while you are away. The last thing you need when you are in Switzerland is to have your account frozen, leaving you without access to cash. FOREX You can carry currency or travelers cheques of various denominations for convenience. Some banks offer pre-paid traveler’s card designed to give you a secure and hassle free travel experience. These also help avoid paying transaction charges for shopping abroad. They are ideal during travel since they can

be hot-listed if stolen & reloaded, while you are still vacationing. Credit cards in India don’t always offer a good rate of exchange for usage overseas. You can also exchange money at local banks and hotels, but remember that they will charge a relatively high fee for handling the exchange. FLIGHTS • Baggage – Check your airline’s policies and restrictions regarding checked and carry-on baggage. Most airlines allow one checked bag per person free-of-charge on international flights. Make sure you follow your airline’s weight and size guidelines to avoid paying excess baggage fees for an oversized or heavy bag. • Arriving at the Airport – For international flights, arrive at the airport no less than three hours before your departure time. Check if your flight is on time before leaving home so you can eliminate waiting around the airport if your flight is delayed. TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN When traveling anywhere with children, both young and old, we follow one rule: expect the best, but prepare for the worst-case scenario. • Pack extras of everything in a carry–on bag. From snacks to water to toys and a change of clothes, you can never be too prepared, particularly when dealing with potential delays, re-routing, and long waits. • Aim for a window seat for your child for a little builtin entertainment at take–off and landing. • Stay organized by counting all bags, both checked and carry–on, before you leave for the airport. Then,

Swiss Parliament

regularly count your bags each time you get on or off a plane, out of a hotel. • Beyond your flight, it’s important to plan your vacation with a mix of fun activities and rest and relaxation time each day. Ensure to carry family games or books for entertainment during long journeys. OVERCOMING JETLAG • Minimize the impact of changing multiple time zones by staying hydrated during your flight and avoiding alcoholic drinks while on the plane. • Set your watch to the time at your destination as soon as you begin your flight to help you begin adjusting before you even arrive. • If it’s daytime when you arrive at your destination, spend as much time as you can outside, using the sunlight to help you adjust to the new time zone. The reverse is true if you arrive in the evening. Try to get a good night sleep so you can wake up at a reasonable time the next day to start your vacation. MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VACATION The best way to enjoy your Swiss vacation is to immerse yourself in the local destination experience – food, language and people are all part of that experience. Show respect to cultural differences. Maintain punctuality for sightseeing and other activities that you have enrolled for, so you can maximize on your vacation experience. Keep an open mind and exhibit attitudes that set a positive example of our nation outside–every citizen is a country’s ambassador, especially when traveling overseas!

For 50 years, Cosmos has offered savvy, value-minded travelers the most affordable travel packages. Infact, for as little as $77 per day, you can enjoy the benefits of escorted travel, a greater choice of activities, free time to explore your destination the way you want, and longer stays in key cities, so that you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture. With many European tours for less than $1,000, you’ll spend less time dreaming and more time doing.

Get started today—see your local travel agent, call Cosmos at 1.800.425.3575 or visit us at www.CosmosVacations.in For a Cosmos specialist travel agent, use our handy Travel Agent Locator—and tell them Cosmos sent you!