We are trying to decide on what to do the last 2 nights of our trip coming up soon. We will be in Ulm visiting family on a sunday and we fly out of Zurich that Tuesday. We are trying to decide if we should stay somewhere around the Bodensee/Konstanz or go back into Switzerland and stay closer into Zurich. Any recommendations? If so, could you please recommend somewhere to stay and things to do with young kids? Our kids are 10, 7, 6 and 5. Thank you.
The kids might enjoy the Bodensee. There are some beaches and indoor pools in the area, particularly around Friedrichshafen. The mountain town of Flumserberg might also be a good fit. It sits about halfway between the Bodensee and Zurich in the canton of St. Gallen. If you take the lift to the top of the mountain, there's a lot of relatively flat hiking trails that would be very family friendly. There's also a Sommerrodelbahn, which the kids would certainly enjoy. Because the Heidi story comes from this area, perhaps you could give the kids some pre-reading material, should you choose to visit.
"...The dollar has taken a beating against the Swiss Franc..." How so? One currently gets .98CHF for 1 USD. That's essentially parity. It's been that way for the past several years.
As of 8/10/2011 1.00 USD bought only 0.72 Chf. That's pretty dismal and that's within the last year. The USD has obviously recovered a bit as of late.
"The USD has obviously recovered a bit as of late." It's more a matter of the Swiss inflating their currency to boost exports: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/offshorefinance/8744127/Expats-question-Swiss-move-to-devalue-franc.html
Germany will be cheaper, and the Bodensee is a natural fit, as well as a very lovely area, but Lindau, the town I'd most recommend staying in, isn't particularly cheap (but everything is cheaper than Switzerland, basically). Meersburg is another nice Bodensee option. Konstanz I'm not super in love with, particularly for kids. There's a castle near Meersburg and a falconry show right across the border from Lindau in Austria. I think kids and adults would like the area.