Switzerland & Italy with 18m Toddler – Part 1:Travel Summary #fun #travel #wanderlust #ttot

italy photo


Travel Summary:

Countries Visited: Switzerland & Italy

Trip Dates: Aug 29th – Sep 14th , 2014

Trip route: SAN -JFK – ZRH / FCO-LAX-SAN

Airlines: Delta & Alitalia

Airfare cost: $1469/adult & $143/toddler (Travelocity)

Booked: Late June

VISA: Applied at Italian Embassy LA. ( Availability was a challenge but had to keep checking to get in an appointment  — Swiss embassy in SF availability was not an issue but didn’t want to travel that far)

Hotels: Made our Reservations through Booking.com before VISA appointment.

Insurance: InsuremyTrip – RoamRight Preferred Plan to meet VISA requirements.

Cities of Interest: Interlaken, Lucerne, Venice, Florence & Rome

Directions in Swiss & Italy: Printed out Google maps to known locations we would be travelling & gathered local maps wherever possible to plan our commute.

Hotels:

  • Hotel Roetssli, Interlaken West
  • Hotel Pickwick, Lucerne
  • Hotel Antigo Trovatore, Venice
  • Relais Hotel Centrale, Florence
  • Hotel Giuliana, Rome ( Least favorite of the pack. Won’t recommend this)

Train Bookings:

  • 8 Day Swiss Saver Pass Second Class ($814) (Don’t need to spend for the 1st class seats in Swiss)
  • Golden Pass Train between Interlaken & Lucerne upgraded to 1st class (CHF16 booking cost + $small amount for 2nd class to 1st class upgrade. Got it done when I was validating the Swiss pass at ZRH)
  • Eurocity/Eurostar : Lucerne – Venice via Milan 2nd class (CHF 130)
  • Venice to Florence : First Class – 48 Euros
  • Florence to Rome: First Class – 48 Euros
  • Recommend First Class in Italy. Generally cheaper if you book ahead of time.

Cash: 1000 Euros – Got it through Wells Fargo online service.

Travel Belt: Yes. Eagle Creek Travel Gear Undercover Hidden Pocket (Khaki)

Stroller of Choice:  UPPAbaby Gluxe. Checked it at Gate Side before boarding. (Worked like a champ in all our hikes in Swiss & Strolling in Italy. Worth $200 investment. Lightweight & ease of folding & carrying around). Still being used by our son.

Baby Food/Milk/Diaper: You can get these at COOP stores. Don’t sweat over packing these for the trip. You know you will run out of it with the toddler.

Packing Preference: Rolled our clothes to pack. Worked great for us.

Luggage: 1 check-in size luggage, 1 hand luggage, 1 diaper bag(also served as DSLR camera bag) & Stroller

Would I go back to Swiss?: I want to go there as often as possible if only I can manage the expenses.

Would I go back to Italy?: Not so much to Rome. We liked Venice & Florence.

Books used for planning: Rick Steves Switzerland  & Rick Steves Italy

Credits: To my wife for extensive planning & booking everything that’s needed for the trip.

Outcome: Wonderful family vacation. Had a blast & we look forward to more trips to Swiss. Realized we need to get on loyalty programs to start reducing our vacation expenses.

Icing on the Cake: Got a free Business class upgrade aboard JFK-ZRH courtesy of the Delta gate agent.

More followup posts on this trip.. coming soon


Feature Photo by firmatography

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