We have all been itching to go beyond our balconies, give a sense of purpose to those hiking boots, drive through winding roads to azure blue lakes, fire up the BBQ in the woods…scanning the news each day with bated breath and a tingling sense of excitement as each phase of the lockdown is being eased and restrictions lifted.
It’s been a long wait to see the trains back on track and cable cars and cogwheels in motion again. With international flights still limited and cross-border travel restricted, residents in Switzerland can have the Alpine pleasures pretty much all to themselves early summer. Yay!
But the ‘new normal’ has certainly set some ground rules for travel – itinerary planning and social distancing now go hand in hand.
Here’s a ready reckoner on the essentials of a post-lockdown staycation in Switzerland.
Stay closer home
Then what’s the point of a holiday, you might ask. It saves you time in long-distance driving or changing multiple SBB trains. Which means you get to spend more time at your destination. Also, in the current scenario, in the event of an unforeseen emergency you are more within your comfort reach.
Find a location with activities
Cities are mostly about museums, public parks, cafes, and restaurants where practicing social distancing might require some skills. Also, some popular city sights might still be closed to the public. If you choose a place that offers plenty of summer activities like hikes, forest walks, bicycle tours, and trails, you will not only have a lot to do each day but also enjoy the outdoors without having to jostle for space.
Look for deals
Sweeter than cherries are the deals you can pick off the internet on the accommodation of your choice, ranging from mountain chalets and guesthouses to AirBnBs and farm stays. If you can time your stay before or after the peak summer dates, you’ll save some Francs to indulge in fun and games. Private homes and rentals with cooking facilities will also save you the hassle of queueing up at a restaurant or café.
Check, double check
Keep in mind that not all cable cars, funiculars, and mountain trains might be running or operating with a revised timetable. So, don’t book a stay or an activity that can be reached only through these modes of transport. It’s always best to check the local websites or call the relevant authorities. Also, if you are planning on camping at any of the popular campsites, check in advance what the revised rules are.
Keep it short
As much as we all want to escape the confines of our homes and extend our holiday as long as the summer sun shines, this is not the time. It’s wise not to plan a two-week holiday and expose yourself and your family unknowingly to the lurking dangers. Staycation offers you the flexibility to leisurely cover a place in two or three days. Then there’s always the option to go for day trips and be safe home at the end of the day.
Support local businesses
We all know how heavily reliant Switzerland is on tourism and how the pandemic has brought local operators and suppliers to the brink. Instead of going for the big names and chains, seek out the local guides and family restaurants. Not only are they well versed with the place, but you’ll also get personalized attention and insights into local gems without being part of a thronging group.
We are following the travel updates and situations closely to help you plan your summer. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or itinerary planning as you might need.
For travel ideas within Switzerland, download our free book – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland for FREE!
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