Who says Switzerland is expensive?

Travel Forums Europe Who says Switzerland is expensive?

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11. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Peter

I can't see how the exchange rate doesn't come into play though. The only way to compare how expensive places are is by converting the prices back to some kind of base currency.

Either that's the US dollar or (more usefully) your own currency.

OK Peter let me try to explain. Let's suppose your home currency is the Canadian dollar (as mine is). Let's say I go to a hotel in Switzerland and the price is $100 CAD when I convert it from Swiss Francs. It doesn't matter whether the exchange rate has gone up or down since last year or not, that is the price in my currency, $100.

Now let's say I go to England and the price for a similar hotel is $150 CAD when I convert it from UK Pounds. Again it doesn't matter whether the exchange rate has gone up or down. The price is $150 today.

Now I could compare those 2 and say that for the same product the price is more expensive in England. You have to compare one place to another to determine if one is more expensive. While the currency exchange rate is a factor in determining what that price is in my home currency, it is only the comparing of 2 or more places for the same product that can tell you if one place is more expensive than another.

When someone says the exchange has gone up 25% from the past, they are not saying anything about whether one place is more expensive than another at all. They are simply complaining about the exchange rate having gone against them. They are only talking about one place being more expensive than it was in the past because of the exchange rate having gone against them. I'm comparing 2 or more places and Kathrin E is talking about only one place. That is simply not the topic of this thread. I did not write 'Switzerland is now cheaper than it was in the past'. If I had, Kathrin E would be correct to say, 'that isn't the case for my home currency'. But in regards to comparing Switzerland to other countries, such a comment is simply not relevant.

What I am saying here is that if you compare the price of similar hotels in France, Italy, the UK, Spain, etc. to the price in Switzerland, there is no truth to the common perception many people have that Switzerland is always 'more expensive' to visit and I have given a specific example that people can use if they wish to compare to other countries and prices for a similar product.

If you live in Australia Peter (as I think you do), what price would you pay there for a 3 star boutique hotel of what in your opinion is of similar quality to the example I gave? For the Swiss hotel example it would be $78 AUD, the same as for the Canadian dollar. What would a typical/average price in Australia for a comparable hotel? I'll throw one out there for you. How about http://www.lazylizardinn.com.au/WELCOME.3.0.html A nice little hotel in the Port Douglas area that gets good reviews. I'll say a fair price would be around $100 AUD per night. That's 'more expensive' than the example hotel I gave, in the Swiss Alps. So should an Aussie listen to people who say Switzerland is 'expensive' to visit?

If you are familiar with Scotland, I would say a comparable hotel would be the http://www.athollarmshotel.co.uk/special-offers/late-deals.html
It's a good example because they also have an annual spring offer. They are offering 5 nights for the price of 3 at their off-peak season price as you will see. It is 51 GBP per night for a couple. That compares to the 48 GBP offer for the Swiss hotel example I have given. So they're quite comparable although I would say (having stayed in both) that the Atholl Arms is not quite up to the standard of the Bellevue in Switzerland but it's close enough to give a fair comparison.

What that tells me is that a good deal in Switzerland is quite competitive with a good deal in Scotland. So who says Switzerland is 'more expensive'? That's a misconception that needs to be debunked in travel forums.

12. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 710 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

We've found that if you are willing to take the time to look for budget hotels and restaurants, they are there in nearly every European country. France is supposed to be expensive but it's our favorite budget destination. We stay in Gites de France or Logis de France and have camped before airport security got so nasty. You can spend as much or as little on food as you like depending on where you eat. We recently rented an entire chateau (very small one) for $300 US dollars for the week. Yes, it was out in the boondocks but it was lovely, cheap and an easy drive to all sorts of fun sights.

The trick with going budget is doing your research and it does take time until you get to know an area. That's why travel forums can be a help. People who have found inexpensive but very nice accommodations or restaurants can share the information.

13. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Well said Beausoleil, you can indeed visit any country in W. Europe on pretty much any budget you need to work with. Unfortunately, some things become accepted as true simply by the process of people repeatedly saying it is true, whether it is or not. That is a 'meme'. In this case, the common belief that Switzerland cannot be visited on the same kind of budget as other countries in W. Europe is such a meme.

Unfortunately, the majority of tourists do not do their own research to seek out the places that will allow them to visit on their budget. They just accept the belief that 'Switzerland is too expensive' and that's the end of that.

You do raise another interesting point and that is what impact a travel forum can have on people considering visiting a place. While as you say they can help with finding inexpensive places, they can also hurt by repeating things like, 'Switzerland is too expensive to visit'. In my experience, in travel forums, you will find more people repeating that misperception than people saying, 'of course you can visit Switzerland on your budget'.

What I always wonder is, if they think it is too expensive to visit and therefore have never visited, how it is they presume to know what the truth is? Or if they have visited and found it expensive, how they presume to know that it can't be visited on a lower budget? What I find is that those who have visited and say it is 'more expensive' have very limited experience they are drawing from.

On a side note Beausoleil, have you tried Alistair Sawday's website for places to stay in France? What we like about Sawday's is that they look for 'special' and 'unique' places to stay. They do not list any 'corporate' type hotels etc.

14. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 710 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes, I checked Alistair Sawday many years ago and quickly decided that although they were beautiful, they were beyond our budget. I've never gone back because we discovered the Gites de France, Logis de France and the wonderful agriturismi in Italy. They are equally nice and very inexpensive . . . although you can spend quite a lot on these if you want to since they have some very high-end properties.

We started our trips to Europe packing our tent but security in the past 15 years has made that difficult if not impossible. We like to stay in one place for a week to a month and explore the area within an hour drive. You learn a lot about a place that way and it is incredibly fun. Depending on where you go, prices vary. We rented an entire chateau in the Pays de la Loire last September for $300 for the entire week. For four bedrooms, 2 baths, a huge kitchen, dining room, living room, two game rooms and fun hidden staircases, that was a bargain. We didn't know when we booked if our daughters might join us so I wanted the extra rooms and this was one I couldn't turn down.

Everyone travels in their own way. Some people don't have the time or the knowledge to spend in research and I put them up for going ahead and traveling anyway. That would be difficult for me so I feel they are brave to try this. They may miss a lot by not doing the research, but not as much as they would miss if they stayed home. Even if you go on a tour, you are exposed to different countries, different foods, different cultures and different people. That has to be a good thing. I'm happy to see people travel however they can manage it. I'm also very happy that I have the time to do the research to find interesting, out-of-the-way inexpensive places. As my mother used to say, "Different strokes for different folks . . . " The differences are, after all, the reason many of us travel. :)

15. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Oops, hit enter button when I shouldn't have.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Feb-2017, at 09:15 by OldPro ]

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