One thing we want to show with our blog is that travel can be more affordable than people realize. We saved our money for 2 years prior to leaving, so we are keeping track of what we spend it on. Our budget we set at the beginning of the trip is $100 USD per day (for 2 people). Some countries are more expensive than others so the $100 is an average goal, not a limit (or a target).
How much did we spend in 5 days in Switzerland?
Total spent over 5 days = $1,312.94 USD
Daily average = $262.59
Switzerland is one of the only European countries that doesn’t primarily use the Euro. The Swiss Franc (CHF) is their currency, but some places accept the Euro as well. The average currency conversion rate while we were there (August 2015) was:
1 USD = 0.95 CHF
1 CHF = 1.05 USD
And here is the breakdown of what we spent our money on:
- includes Airbnbs, VRBOs, and hostels
- includes trains and city buses
- includes a trip up Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel
- includes dining out, groceries, drinks, and snacks
- includes souvenirs and a Sim card
Ways we saved money:
1. Some awesome family members came to visit, so we were able to split the costs of some larger accommodations found on Airbnb and VRBO.
2. We all bought regional rail passes that covered Switzerland and Austria. The passes were pretty expensive, but it was much cheaper than buying each individual ticket because it also covered most of our bus rides and a boat ride across Lake Lucerne. We also got a group discount.
3. We were able to cook a lot of meals, which was necessary because there’s no such thing as a cheap restaurant in Switzerland.
Mom and Grandma had been planning on visiting us somewhere in Europe. When they finally made up their minds, they decided on the most expensive country in the world (also arguably the most beautiful country in the world). My youngest brother, Spencer, was able to join last minute as well. It had been about 8 months since we had seen any of them. You can imagine that’s a long time to go without seeing your mother. We had an amazing time hiking in Switzerland, exploring old cities, laughing at Mom trying to order sweet tea at every restaurant we visited, watching all the skydivers land in Interlaken, throwing the baseball in the yard with Spencer, watching the cows come down from the mountains through the streets of Appenzell, and celebrating Grandma’s 80th birthday. She was quite the trooper keeping up with us after turning 80 years old on the day they arrived after traveling over 24 hours from Mississippi. There was nothing like spending time with some other Boothes on the other side of the world.