How to save on a trip to Switzerland with children

Are you thinking about visiting Switzerland, but you’re doubting about the costs? Let me put on paper how much we spent on a week and how we managed to put the costs down. After each trip, we share our itinerary and costs, like the ones for Slovenia, Norway or Costa Rica. As we normally pay as much as possible with the card, it’s easy to track all the expenses once we’re back. During the trip, we focused on having fun. We’re not counting how much money we are spending normally I check the prices of the activities in before and I have a list of things we want to do. I also check if there are any discounts. This is exactly what I did before going to Switzerland and it was the way I found the Swiss coupon Pass. I have to admit the Swiss coupon pass was the item number one on how to save on a trip to Switzerland with children.

Costs for a camping trip to Switzerland and the best tips to save some money

Swiss coupon Pass

The Swiss coupon Pass is a booklet with more than 100 coupons with 2 for 1 offers with a total value of over 4500CHF!! The Swiss Coupon Pass includes Coupons for touristic attractions, city tours, restaurants, Swiss Castles and UNESCO Sites, museums and much more. You can see all coupons of the 2017 booklet here. In less than a week, we used five coupons: Technorama, Restaurant Technorama, Open air museum Ballenber, verkehrshaus and restaurant BärgGnuss. In total, we saved 135CHF!!!

swiss coupon pass
How to save on a trip to Switzerland: Swiss coupon pass

The coupons are divided into the different sections of The Grand Tour of Switzerland and are a good way to find cool activities. We wanted to visit Interlaken and the Glacier Canyon (also part of the Swiss coupon pass), but halfway the kids were not so happy. I checked the coupon pass and I saw we were very close to the open air museum Ballenber. We decided to stop there and it was the best decision we could make. The museum was really great and with the coupon, we only paid 24CFH /21€ (kids were free).

Open air museum Ballenber
How to save on a trip to Switzerland: Open air museum Ballenber

There’s a paper and a digital version of the Swiss coupon Pass. If you are going for a short holiday and are staying in one place, you can better buy the digital version as you can decide how many segments you want to buy. In 2017, a single segment was 9CHF. With just one visit to a museum like Ballenber, you are already saving. You can check all prices here.

Camping costs

We spent six nights in camping Lido in Lucerne and paid 238,7CHF / 209€. In the low season, you get a free night when staying four nights. I looked for campings with the low rates of the ACSI card, but there was only one for 19€/night and it was somewhere between Lucerne and Zürich. So you would need to drive every day to Lucerne. If you don’t mind it, you can save almost 14€/night. The camping in Lucerne came with public transport card: we could ride the bus and train within Lucerne for free. And we did!

We also spent two nights in Saarbrug, Germany on the way back home. Here we paid 40€ for two nights and there was even a swimming pool. Landal Warsberg´s camping was a good value for the money.

Diesel & Toll

The price of the diesel in Germany was quite cheap, as we were making stops outside the highway and found cheap gas stations. The price in Switzerland is higher so you better fill the tank before crossing the border. On the way back, we drove through France and here we looked also for the gas stations outside the highway. In total, we spent 180€ in diesel.

In Switzerland, you need to buy one “Vignette” for the car and one for the caravan. In The Netherlands, a lot of people sell the vignette after their holidays and so we bought two for 20€ (instead of 73€).

Activities

We visit every day one attraction and almost in each of them we used the Swiss coupon pass. The first day, Paul picked us from Zürich’s airport and we drove to Technorama, the Swiss Science centre. As it was already lunch time, we first had lunch there in the restaurant. There was a coupon for a 50% discount in Restaurant Technorama (with a maximum of 24,5CHF). We had a real meal for the four of us for just 18CHF /16€. We spent the rest of the day in Technorama, with the coupons we paid 28CHF/25€ for two adults (children were for free).

 

On our second day, we spent the whole day in the open air museum Ballenber (with the coupons we paid 24CFH for two adults). The next day we took the train and the cogwheel up to Pilatus. There was a coupon for the rope park in Pilatus but as it was raining, the park was closed.

The next day, we just walked a couple of minutes to the Verkehrshaus, the Swiss transport museum. For this museum, we also had a coupon and paid 30CHF / 27€. The kids really loved playing here and we spent nearly seven hours here!!

How to save on a trip to Switzerland: Verkehrshaus
How to save on a trip to Switzerland: Verkehrshaus

The day before leaving Switzerland, we took a ship across the lake to Weggis for 20CHF /18€ each adult. From there, we went up to Rigi.

On the way to Saarburg, we stopped at the train museum in Mulhouse (12€/adults). In total, we spent around 150€ in different activities.

Dining out

Normally we don’t dine out very often, but in Switzerland, we almost had a meal somewhere every day. WE had mostly nice weather and it was so nice to sit on a terrace and enjoy some food. The best restaurant was BärgGnuss on the top of Rigi. The food was delicious and we could sit outside and enjoy the views. And even better, two hamburgers made from local meat were 23,5CHF /21€ with one of the Swiss coupon pass. Also in Ballenber, there was a nice terrace. We ordered something to share and a kids plate. I can say that the kid portion was huge, not even two kids were able to finish it.

 

I also wanted to eat a fondue and there were two coupons. I had a plan to combine one with Technorama, but I didn´t realize that Technorama is not in Zürich but in Winterthur 🙁 It will have to be another time.

 

Total costs for 1 week in Switzerland

The total costs for 1 week caravan trip in Switzerland with children were around 850€. It’s not as cheap as Slovenia, but I think it’s a good price considering all the activities and the dining out, don’t you think?

Total costs for 1 week in Switzerland

  • camping – 250 €
  • Diesel & toll  –  200 €
  • Fun – 150 €
  • Dinning out – 150 €
  • Food – 100 €
    total – 850 €

 

Have you ever been to Switzerland? What is your favourite activity?

 

You might be also interested in the following posts:

Itinerary and costs for 3 weeks campervan trip in Norway with children

What is cheaper flying or driving to Norway?

Itinerary for 3 weeks caravan trip in Slovenia with children

Itinerary and costs of our Jucy Southwest road trip

Itinerary and costs for 2,5 weeks in Costa Rica with children

 

This post also linked at and travel inspiration:

 

Travel Notes & Beyond
Disclaimer: we got a free copy of the Swiss coupon pass. All opinions are my own.
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13 Comments

  1. You really know how to use your money well! I get to learn so much from your tips and tricks (plus, we have similar travel styles and I can apply certain techniques). I know Switzerland is expensive but, gosh, it is so beautiful! It is hard to pass on a place like that. Glad to know there are options for those who do not want to throw the house thru the window. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  2. Wish I had known about that coupon book a few days ago because we were just in Switzerland yesterday!! Definitely saving that one! Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard!!

  3. You became an expert in saving money, Shere. I remember doing the same tricks when we were younger and had a small child. Now that is only the two of us, I’m trying to indulge in a little more comfort and ‘guilty’ pleasures. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. shere

      I was just thinking that in just 4 months our youngest will turn 2 and then it’s one extra flight ticket… I haven’t get yet the way to save on airline fares for families 🙁

    1. shere

      It was a pity it was raining though. The day before was so sunny, but we got there too late to go on a hike.
      He have bought a caravan this year and therefore we go as much as possible camping.

  4. Switzerland isn’t cheap, so your expenses sound very reasonable! (I know many people working in Geneva actually stay in France, because it’s so much cheaper!) The coupon pass sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the tip!

  5. I´ve been to Lucerne, Zurich and Basel, but always no longer than for a weekend and never heard of Swiss coupon Pass. It looks like a great way to save money! Everything is so expensive there, but it is such a beautiful country! It´s on my bucket list to visit the rest of Switzerland one day. Thanks for sharing all the tips! #theweeklypostcard

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