There's a saying that goes “Life is full of beautiful dangers,” and this applies to the Swiss Alps. Not to say that this place is dangerous or anything. Far from it! As far as crime rates go, the Swiss Alps are among the safest places on the planet. But it can easily become the most dangerous if you're not careful. As such, you'd do well to follow a few tips when you travel there. These include learning the languages spoken in Switzerland (there's more than one!), knowing the best time to visit, and getting ski lessons when you're a beginner.
First things first, you need to save up! Although all ski resort towns
are luxurious to a degree, the Swiss Alps are notoriously expensive. It's not even far-fetched to say that they're the most expensive alpine towns on the planet. Gstaad, Zermatt, and Saint Moritz, in particular, are known for their cosmopolitan glamour and luxury appeal. To enjoy your time in any of them, you need to have a lot of money. Start saving up for your ski holiday in the Swiss Alps as early as one to two years prior to your trip. That's how much money you'll need!
Make A Flexible Itinerary
It's easy to get excited and plan a detailed itinerary for your trip to the Swiss Alps. You'll want to ski down as many slopes as possible, explore as many towns as possible, and simply do as many things as possible, won't you? And though it's always wise to have an itinerary, you ought to make it more flexible when planning for the Swiss Alps. For one thing, you never know how the weather can change. What could have been a great day for skiing might get ruined by a sudden snowstorm. The same goes for rain when you want to go hiking in the woods and whatnot.
Learn Different Languages
What's great about Switzerland
as a country is that it's a whole host of different influences, namely German, French, and Italian. As a result, the country also speaks different languages. Officially, they speak four: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. And depending on where in the Swiss Alps you end up, you'd do well to brush up on all or at least two of these languages. The minimum ought to be the basics (greetings, how to ask for help, etc.) but learning more specific phrases will help you too. This way, the language barrier won't pose that big of a problem!
Get A Ski Pass
Do you know what a Ski Pass is? In a nutshell, a ski pass lets you ski in certain places, specifically in the prominent ski resort towns. More often than not, they give you access to the ski lifts, cable cars, and gondolas that take you all the way to the slopes. So they're pretty vital when you go to places like the Swiss Alps. They're your ticket to skiing, snowboarding, and doing all sorts of winter sports up in the mountains. Sometimes, they'll also give you discounts in the towns themselves, ranging from public transport access to buying goods in selected stores.
Bring Your Own Ski Gear
Although there are many rentals in the Swiss Alps, you're better off bringing your own gear. Firstly, you can get used to using a specific set of ski gear. This makes it easier for you to get into the groove, especially if you're a beginner on the slopes. Secondly, since they're yours, you don't have to pay any damage fees if you break them. These fees tend to be pricier than getting your gear fixed or replaced. And third, there's no risk of getting all sorts of diseases by using someone else's stuff. This isn't to say that the rental businesses don't clean and sanitize their gear, but as the saying goes, “It's better to be safe than sorry!”
Wear Waterproof Clothes
Now, let's talk clothes! You're probably planning to just bring the proper ski gear and then a bundle of sweaters for après-ski
, aren't you? That's all well and good but it pays to be smarter with what you pack for your ski holiday. Don't just pack the same old winter clothes you wear back home. The Swiss Alps are an entirely different place. You'd do well to choose waterproof clothes instead, specifically for what you'll wear underneath all that ski gear. There are instances wherein even your ski gear can't protect you from getting wet from all the snow!
Pack The Right Medicine
Since the Swiss Alps lie at an average of 4,429 feet above sea level, there's a good chance you might get altitude sickness. Or worse, a bad case of acute mountain sickness. Whether it's one or the other, the best and easiest way to treat them is to bring the right medicine. Specifically, you'd do well to get a prescription for Acetazolamide or Diamox. They're your best bet for countering these illnesses. At the same time, having some over-the-counter medicine, specifically painkillers, wouldn't hurt. More than just the altitude-related sicknesses, there's no telling what might happen to your body while you're in the Swiss Alps!
Unbeknownst to many, the Swiss Alps have many vineyards. They're practically comparable to the vineyards in Italy
, France, South Africa, and more. And since drinking is a popular après-ski
activity, it's easy to get carried away with all the liquor, especially since you're on holiday. So should you drink a lot in the Swiss Alps? Definitely not! In fact, you need to drink moderately for your safety! The cold and high altitude can really mess up your body when it's filled with alcohol. There's also no telling what sort of trouble you might get into when you get too drunk!
Your trip to the Swiss Alps can easily turn south if you don't know what to do. To avoid that, you'd do well to follow these travel tips. They will ensure that you will have a problem-free and enjoyable stay in the Swiss Alps