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.
- 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)
- 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
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