Additional Information About Travel to Switzerland
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
For itineraries that include Switzerland and the principality of Liechtenstein, U.S. and Canadian citizens need to carry a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Switzerland will arrive or depart from Zurich or Geneva. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. During free time, you may wish to explore the cities by public transportation, and your tour coordinator and tour guide will have suggestions. Most city centers are easily explored by foot.
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, and depending on the season, we recommend
packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered.
For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or
sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re
planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also
want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s
preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to
churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this
basis). Travelers on the Skiing/Snowboarding Edventures will want to include layered winter clothing (snow jacket, snow pants or bibs, long underwear, gloves, scarves and knit caps) and prepare for possible blizzard-like weather (a possibility).
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. Be aware of high-altitude conditions in the region. The elevation of Mount Pilatus is 7,000 feet. Be sure to check with your health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated. The most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Raclette is another delicious cooked cheese dish, served with roasted or boiled potatoes, air-dried beef and pickled onions. Sausages, breaded veal fillets and freshwater fish are also popular. Swiss dairy products are among the world’s finest, and full-cream milk is the essential ingredient for the exceptionally good chocolate produced here.
The Swiss franc is the currency of Switzerland. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards, ATM/bank cards. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged for cash at local banks, but are getting more and more difficult to exchange. They should be used only as a last resort.. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges and freeze your account.
Switzerland operates on the European standard 220 volts.
The cost of checking your ski/snowboard equipment is additional, and is not included in your final invoice. You should expect to pay an additional fee at the airport. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage and ski/snowboard transport policies. The porterage provided on your tour includes one suitcase and one set of skis or a snowboard per person. Each of the resorts will have equipment rental for a fee. Please contact us for additional information if you plan to rent your equipment.