There are so many awesome Swiss outdoor activities, I'm not quite sure how to narrow it down. You could easily go for a a
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Bucket List on a Budget: Switzerland Food & Lodging tips that make NOT break the travel budget.

Your Bucket List on a Budget

Dream Trip to Switzerland is a Go!

You’ve bought plane tickets! Your ground transportation is sorted with your Swiss Travel Pass. You’re giddy with excitement! Your To Do List  still includes:

  • Working hard to come up with a daily budget for food and activities.
  • Starting to look at lodging options.  

Don’t get discouraged now! Your bucket list on a budget trip IS achievable.  I’m gonna show you how to save on lodging, and food. Since these two items are based on personal choice and funding, I’ll share what I’ve learned and what worked for us on our recent trip to Switzerland. Let’s go!

If you have friends, family or friend of a friend’s uncle’s college roommate who offers to host you, just say 'Yes'! Click To Tweet

FREE Packing Guide for International Travel.

Bucket List on a Budget: Switzerland Food & Lodging tips that make NOT break the travel budget.Ok, I’m just going to say this now.  Switzerland contains seven of the top 10 most expensive cities in which to live in the world, according to That’s a big financial and mental hurdle, so prepare. Plan financially, emotionally and psychologically for it. It’s really easy to get upset over the small stuff, like “ I just paid CHF 8.00 for a coffee!?”

Yes, you did. CHF8 = about $8.00 USD.  You probably sat down for that coffee and enjoyed the comfort and safety of the warm and cozy shop, mall or beautiful establishment while you gazed on Switzerland’s picturesque mountains or sparklingly clean, old city.  Your order probably also included a glass of crisp, clear alpine water and a piece of melt-in-your-mouth Swiss chocolate on the side.  

THAT experience is worth the price.  Slow down. Enjoy the experience. Sip the coffee, savor the chocolate and take in the view. It’s what turns reality into dream vacation memories (don’t forget to snap a selfie). There are ways to economize but do enjoy this experience at least once.  Now let’s get on with this bucket list on a budget adventure!

Does a dream vacation seem impossible? Getting started with planning that "once-in-a lifetime" trip is a daunting venture. There are so many questions to answer and what feels like a zillion details to finalize. Will it really be worth all the money, effort and stress? Even with the internet & Facebook communities, there can be so much overwhelm. With you in mind, I put together a the Ultimate Wanderlust Guide. Download it today!


If you have friends, family or friend of a friend’s uncle’s college roommate who offers to host you, just say “Yes”! The amount of money saved here is what really makes this ‘bucket list on a budget’ dream affordable. We had the priviledge of staying with friends that we had not seen in 11 years. It was fantastic! Yes, we spent a lot more time on trains since we had a home base to come home to every night, but it was such a bucket list on a budget saver!

Swiss Pro Tip #1 if you are staying more than 3 or 4 nights, plan a night or two away.  It helps break up those long train rides & gives your host a chance to catch up on regular life stuff as well.

You could also couch surf, use Airbnb, or find a house/pet sitting job through places like Trusted Housesitters. If these ideas don’t fit your personal preference, there are always hostels and ecotourism such as OneWorld 365 (where you work a bit in exchange for lodging) and of course inexpensive hotels.

 Swiss Food: Living Local.

The way to save money on food is to live like a local. Buy from the local bakeries, cheese & meat shops. Don’t be afraid of this experience because of your shyness with the local language. My German is rubbish! When I have trouble (especially in the small Swiss villages) I pulled out my phone and used the google translate app. Never had a problem. At cheese shops, I would always ask for “children’s cheese,” this generally would get me the mildest cheese they sold. Then for the adults I would ask for one just a little stronger. Worked every time.

Bucket List on a Budget: Switzerland Food & Lodging tips that make NOT break the travel budget.Swiss Pro Tip #2: The more reasonably priced shops will be away from the main tourist areas in most cities.  Exploring 1 or 2 streets away from the main area will get you the Swiss experience you’re craving. Then use your GPS or offline map to find your way back if needed.

If you’re craving some hot and hearty Swiss food, keep an eye out for butcher shops that have a take away window. The best sausage & roll I had in St. Gallen was at a street food take-away window. If all else fails just look for Migros or Coop. They have a takeaway counter that is good enough if you are starving & in a hurry.  It’s a great place to do your other food shopping as well! 

Swiss Pro Tip #3: Meat is REALLY expensive!  I’ve no idea why, but it is.  So prepare for that.  If you need loads of protein (like my husband) consider packing or buying protein powder to supplement. Conversely, if you are vegetarian, or just love bread, cheese & pasta, you will be in heaven!

5 days in Dublin with Kids. We did it, you can too! Read about thre whole adventure at CaptivatingCompass.comIf I had stayed in a self-catering flat or had a house sitting arrangement, I would have ordered groceries to be delivered (check for Migros or Coop home delivery) the day we arrived. I did this when we went to Dublin and it worked out fab. I ensured the kitchen was stocked with both dinner items that were warm & hearty (but a cinch to make) as well as breakfast & lunch items that were quick to put in our packs and take with us.

We splurged! We ate out twice in a sit down restaurant. Couple the sit down meal with a great view, a romantic evening or at a historic location like Lucerne. It is totally worth it for the bucket list experience. Having the resources and know-how to eat like locals the rest of the time, made those few meals out really special and totally worth the price.


Hotels in Zurich: Cheap

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Swiss Star Anwand Lodges




View Hotel

Hotel Uto Kulm




View Hotel

The Flag Zurich




View Hotel


Are you ready to think about packing?

Check out these posts for great insider tips.

Bucket List on a Budget: Switzerland Food & Lodging tips that make NOT break the travel budget.

1 comment on “Bucket List on a Budget – Switzerland Budget Tips for Eats & Sleeps”

  1. Pingback: Why you'll absolutely love Lucerne, Switzerland!

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