How much does one month of travel in Switzerland cost?
Well, if you haven’t yet read my last post on this matter, check it out here. In that post I showed how my first month in Switzerland cost me just over $,1700 USD. And while my first month in Switzerland was relatively uneventful and I didn’t venture very far from my home base in Luzern, February took me by bike and by train to some of Switzerland’s most famous cities and landmarks.
Below, I have listed out for you exactly what my expenses were for the month of February 2009 in the tiny, but expensive European country of Switzerland.
My apartment in downtown Luzern was paid for well in advance, but it cost me 1,200 CHF (or a little over $1,025 USD) – a price I was glad to pay for such a prime location.
I also bought a 15-day student (because I’m still under 26 years of age) train/boat/museum/bus pass that would allow me to travel on almost any of Switzerland’s public transport systems for free. With this ticket I was able to get to a number of Switzerland’s famous cities and landmarks… and any of the numerous round trip train rides took no more than 8 hours. The cost for this ticket (which I purchased at the train station in Luzern) ran me 342 CHF (or $291 USD). Had I paid for these tickets individually, it would have cost me in excess of $850 USD.
Food (almost all of which was purchased from the local supermarket) set me back 158.56 CHF ($134.77 USD), which is just slightly less than I spent on food during the month of January. This decrease in spending is not to say that I ate less, but simply that my friends who came to visit me paid for some of my meals. (Thank you Rich and Leslie!)
When my friend Rich (a big time skier) flew out from Massachusetts to meet me in Switzerland, I had to spend the extra cash and go skiing with him for a day. So we went to Mt. Titlus in the town of Engelberg, where I spent 56.60 CHF for my lift ticket and a whopping 63.65 CHF for my ski rentals (I guess the guy gave me the professional skis, despite the fact that I didn’t need them. The cheap skies would have done me just fine.) All in all, one day of skiing in some incredible Swiss powder cost me $98.61 USD.
In addition to transporting me around the country, my train pass was able to get me into a handful of Swiss museums for free, but I did had to pay 4.50 CHF for me and my friend Leslie to get into the Einstein Museum in Bern. The museum was situated in the apartment in which Albert Einstein is said to have developed his theory of relatively. I really wanted to see the place, despite it being so small, so I gladly pitched over the money.
In addition, I spent an extra 17 CHF on Luzern Carnival pins. These are likely to be my only souvenirs from this entire journey (don’t quote me on that).
As an additional gift to myself, I purchased an Exped DownMat 7 Pump Sleeping Mat, which I’ve already written up a quick review for. The mat cost 179 CHF, or about $152 USD… and it has me sleeping like a baby, whether I’m campd out in the snow or sleeping on hard wood floors.
Work Related Expense
Finally, I suffered a catastrophic loss this month when my computer’s hard drive suddenly died on me. Luckily, I had backed up all my data on an external hard drive and only lost the past month’s worth of work and my entire music collection. Had I not backed up my data, I’d still be crying about the situation and because the contents of my computer is so incredibly important to my financial situation, the trip would have likely come to an end at that very moment.
The lesson here is this: BACK UP YOUR DATA… AND DO IT REGULARLY!
A new 320 GB hard drive cost me 70 CHF and I now run BicycleTouringPro.com from a version of Windows that is entirely in German. Oh, the joys of getting your computer fixed in a foreign country. (On a positive note, I didn’t have to pay any service charges because I was able to fix the computer by myself – with my friend Rich’s assistance. Thanks again Rich!)
If you skimmed this article, here are the totals for the month:
Apartment – 1,200 CHF or $1,025.70 USD
Train – 342 CHF or $291.00 USD
Food -158.56 CHF or $134.77 USD
Entertainment – 26 CHF or $22.04 USD
Sleeping Mat – 179 CHF or $151.74 USD
New Hard Drive – 70 CHF or $59.34 USD
In total, I spent: 1,975.76 CHF or $1,684.59
If you divide that by 28 (because there are 28 days in the month of February), that would be an average of 70.56 CHF or $60.16 USD per day.
While I had predicted February to cost me much more than my first month in Switzerland, it actually ended up costing me less. That being said, February is a short month and had there been just a few more days on the calendar, my daily expenses would have closely matched that of January.
While I realize that reading an article such as this is likely quite tedious, I hope it helps the few of you who are looking for hard data on what it actually costs to travel in a country like Switzerland.
Next month I’ll be reporting my expenses from travels in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. See you then!