Gruyere, Switzerland

What to pack for a trip to Switzerland

I’ll be traveling to Switzerland in May for a ten day trip and have already started thinking about my packing list. My last European adventure was a trip via Eurail to Portugal and Spain. I decided to carry my duffle bag and laptop with me on that trip and the duffle bag was a mistake. A soft-sided duffle is ideal for stashing in the pontoons of an Alaskan float plane, but not so great when you are schlepping from train platform to platform. At the end of that ten day trip, I made a mental note to myself to bring a rolling suitcase on my next trip.


I’m open to your suitcase suggestions. I’ve read good reviews about Helen Rae Luggage,or perhaps I should consider the Delsey Helium Breeze 26″ Expandable Upright.

apple iPhone

Do you travel with your phone?


I’m not a professional photographer, but my Canon Power Shot SD 750 with 7.1 Megapixel takes great pictures for the money. Canon has since moved on to the SD850 with eight Megapixel. I bring along an extra camera battery and charger, as well as a cable so that I can download my pictures to my laptop computer each night. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1520. Don’t forget to pack the AC Adapter and the Adaptor Plug. Of course, I can’t leave home without my iPhone. Not only will the iPhone’s camera work as a backup should anything happen to my Canon digital camera, I also like it as a back up for my laptop. This will be my first time taking the iPhone overseas, so I’ll need to remember to turn off network data roaming and turn on the airplane mode to stop text and phone messages or I could be hit with some huge service fees.

When it comes to sound isolating earphones, I’m considering the Shure earphones. I’ve heard that the Shure earphones block out more real-world noise (think droning jet engines and screaming babies) than noise cancelling headphones. The isolating earphones were originally developed as Personal Monitor Systems to allow musicians to hear their own performances in loud onstage environments. I don’t claim to be a rock star, but I don’t see any harm in traveling like one.

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The joys and challenges of traveling to Switzerland in the spring time will be the weather. Being the California girl that I am, I tend to dress casual and wear cotton. I like to dress comfortably on the long plane ride. This May I’ll be wearing my Joe’s Jeans and a lot of clothes from Coldwater Creek. My 17 year-old daughter calls Coldwater Creek the old lady clothing store, but they fit my 5’4″ frame and I don’t have to spend a small fortune in alteration fees.

I was reading a fellow travel writer’s glowing review of Merrell’s Mary Jane shoe, but alas, they didn’t fit my wide foot. Same goes for the Keen shoes. I’m going to check out Clark’s Privo Floats. Anyone have suggestions for cute, comfortable yet durable shoes that can be worn in the Swiss Alps?

airplane engine, wing

Do you pack your own food when you fly?


The final question relates to food. Do I bring something on the plane to eat, eat at the SFO international airport food court or sample the food offered on the airplane? After a recent food extravaganza at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show, the folks at Pizza Hut asked me to try their new Natural Rustica Pizza. Once I gave up on the on-line ordering, I called directly to my closest Pizza Hut and ordered the Natural Rustica with sausage and one with pepperoni. Both pizzas featured a multi-grain crust, all-natural sauce from vine ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and meat without filler. The medium-sized pizzas retailed for $11.99 and were quite tasty. How would you feel if a fellow passenger walked on the plane carrying a fresh-baked pizza pie?

Article and photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown