We are traveling to Switzerland from Oct14-28. Picked up Rick's book and were considering the 2 week itinerary which puts us up in zermat and berner oberland at the end of the trip. Wondering if someone might suggest a different route for the second half of October. Specifically, if we should try to go to the oberland at the beginning of the trip to catch warmer weather? Any suggestions?
At this time of year,during the shoulder season, I think you should just "wing it". Make hotel reservations for the first two nights in Luzern, and explore the immediate area. After that, it will be very easy to get hotel rooms in other areas by just showing up on the day or calling a day ahead. This way you can plan your itinerary as you go depending on weather conditions, your energy level, and advice from other travelers you encounter. I'm assuming you will also be getting a Swiss Pass for train travel, it also lets you be flexible since you can just hop on and off trains at a whim without the bother of waiting in line to get tickets. I'm also going to be in Switzerland on the 15th, I don't know if this is going to be of any interest to you, but the US Mens Soccer team will be playing Swiss national team on the 17th in Basel. If interested contact me privately and I can give instructions on how to buy tickets for the match.
Going to the Berner Oberland at the begining of your trip might be preferable. The weather may or may not change much, but the closer you get to November, the more the tourist infrastructure in the mountains closes.