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Around the World - Switzerland in July with kids

Hello All!
We are planning a 10-month trip around the world with our 2 kids - 8, 10, hopefully starting this June. We plan to fly to Zurich (Geneva and Basel are also options) from Barcelona. We are not obsessed with seeing every city as we prefer to stay in each area longer. We are allocating about 2 weeks, maybe a tad longer to Switzerland. I love the idea of the scenic train rides but don't want to over do it either. I realize the scenic ones are long and could be taxing on the kids if we do too much. The one area we KNOW we want to spend about a week in is Berner-Oberland. So I am thinking if we fly into to Zurich, head immediately for Lucerne. From there B-O area. After that we are open. The plan would be to get down to the Lake Como area next if that helps.

Any suggestions for must see cities/areas with suggested travel routes would be incredibly helpful. This trip is exciting but there is SO much to plan. Thanks immensely!

Btw, we cannot book flights/hotels until our house sells as we won't know when we can actually leave. I'm also wondering how difficult it will be to book trains, accommodations etc come April/May for July??

Posted by
1585 posts

bkderm - On your message , you said you are planning a 10 month trip around the world. How many months do you plan to spend in Europe? Besides Switzerland, what other European countries peeked your interest to visit?

Posted by
27409 posts

The world is a big place, and I don't know how you plan to divvy up your time, but I want to be sure you're aware of the Schengen Zone limitation. Folks traveling on US/Canadian passports are limited to spending 90 days within any 180-day period in the group of European countries constituting the Schengen Zone. That includes most of the places people want to visit in Europe except for Ireland and the United Kingdom. Be sure you do not exceed the 90-day limit; doing so would subject you to a fine, and you'd probably be barred from re-entry for years.

The Schengen Zone countries are shown here: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/schengenvisaen

When you count up your days in the Schengen Zone, you must include both your arrival day and your departure day.

Posted by
10395 posts

For a week in the BO you might consider staying in Lauterbrunnen at Camping Jungfrau. https://www.campingjungfrau.swiss/en
We are renting a 2 bedroom 1 bath mobile home there in September. They have a variety of types of accommodations available, the prices are good in pricey Switzerland, and they have a lenient cancellation policy.

Posted by
15 posts

Yes, we are aware of Schengen rules. I don't think we will be in the Schengen area more than 3 months but even if we wanted to we can because my wife has an EU passport and we can apply for residence at any point in her home country. This guarantees us another 6 months or so.

Our rough plan is Paris (3 nights) to San Sebastian traveling around Spain for about 4 weeks ending in Barcelona. Fly to Switzerland, - there about 14-16 days then head down to Lake Como (3 days) then Rome (5 days). Fly up to Poland (her home country), staying there about 3 more weeks. We then head to Croatia followed by Dubai. The rest is still pending.

We aren't trying to hit every country. We have already been to many other places in the EU. We are pretty seasoned travelers but know we can't see everything and want quality over quantity.

Thanks for your replies!

Posted by
768 posts

I agree with Andrea that Camping Jungfrau (rent a trailer) is worth consideration. I've stayed there and it's a great location and they cover basic needs at the camp store.

Booking trains in Switzerland is no problem. They are never full and on the rare rare times they are (conventions), you can wait 30 min for the next one, or the Swiss will provide buses.

Yes, there is lots of great scenery to be seen out of the Swiss trains, but you are right, your kids will grow bored with that. Instead, why not WALK through the great scenery? That's what I did with my kids, and they were never bored. There's cows, there's goats, there's cheese farms, there's summer luge rides. Give them old phones as cameras to they get even more involved. There's enough to keep everyone busy for more than a week, easily. My kids loved the Berner Oberland so much they came back twice as adults to take the same trails. Click on my name to find the link to our dozen favorite hikes, with pics and maps.

Some of the higher trails are snow-bound until around June 15 or so, so they later you go in June, the better.

Posted by
1585 posts

bkderm - On your itinerary you mentioned 3 days in Paris, You need at least 5 to 7 days in Paris. 3 days is not enough. Any plans to include Portugal on the itinerary?

Posted by
27409 posts

I don't know anything about applying for residency when you're already in Europe, but you may be right about that. Do remember, though, that the Schengen limit is 90 days; it is not 3 months.

Posted by
7209 posts

It is 90 days max within a 180 day period.