Explore Zurich and Take On The Alps!

June 18-25, 2017  |  8 days / 7 nights |  $2,995

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Discover the real Zurich – beyond chocolate, timepieces and banking – before hiking through little-known areas of the Swiss Alps. There’s nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than these magnificent mountains – awe inspiring and soothing all at once. Your travel bags will be transferred to our next stop on days when we’ll be hiking. All you’ll need to carry is a daypack of essentials.

Trip Agenda

Day 1 – June 18
Mary will meet you at Zurich’s International Airport and escort you back to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or getting your first glimpses of Switzerland’s capital city. Over dinner you’ll meet the other women on the trip and learn more about the adventure ahead. Dinner included.

Day 2 – June 19
A local guide will take us on a morning walking tour to learn about the city’s past, present and culture. After our walking tour we’ll take a series of train, lifts, etc. to our first mountain town: Mürren. You’ll immediately feel a thousand miles away (and above!) civilization. All meals included.

Day 3 – June 20
Spend your morning as you wish. Relax on your balcony overlooking the Bernese Oberland Mountains, join a morning yoga session or visit the local spa. Then get ready for an afternoon hike with vistas and waterfalls that will take your breath away and lead us to a hillside farm that makes Swiss cheese and serves delicious grilled bratwurst and other traditional fare. All meals included.

Day 4 – June 21
A local guide will escort us as we hike for 6-7 hours to the small town of Obersteinberg and stay at a working alpine farm where there are no showers, hot water, and electricity. But trust us, the setting is worth it. And hey, it’s just one night! Dinner by candlelight will transport you to a simpler way of life — one you will never forget. All meals included.

Day 5 – June 22
We’ll say goodbye to the cows and friends made at Obersteinberg and hike back to Mürren. Stopping en route for a picnic lunch and beautiful views, we’ll end the day with dinner and games at a nearby pub. Gin or Jass (the Swiss version of Pinochle), anyone? All meals included.

Day 6 – June 23
We’ll head east by train into one of the most authentic corners of Switzerland: Appenzell. Here you’re likely to see cows walking the street and hear yodeling from the nearby mountains. (Seriously.) After lunch and a stroll through town we’ll ascend 5,380 feet on a lift to a mountaintop, pass a 400-year-old church in a cave, and round the bend to our overnight destination: a guesthouse built right into the mountain. Here we will be guests at Claudia and Benny’s table for a traditional rössti dinner, local beer and cheese, games and storytelling. All meals included.

Day 7 – June 24
This is a morning view you’ll never forget: breakfast overlooking the mountains. After breakfast we’ll (sadly) say goodbye to the mountains and start the journey back to Zurich. We’ll rest and relax with a visit to Zurich’s ‘Bathing Sanctuary.’ Here you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime experience navigating their Irish and Roman bath ritual. It’s the ideal treat for your body after a long week of hiking and before your flight back home. After our spa visit we’ll toast our adventure with a final celebration, this time in Zurich’s trendy West neighborhood. All meals included.

Day 8 – June 25
Swap phone numbers, emails and photos. Head home or start the next leg of your journey.

Trip itinerary is subject to change but will always maintain a spirit of adventure and diverse activities.

Questions? Check out the FAQs for this trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is going on the trip?

This trip is made up of 10 women: 9 guests and your hostess, Mary. A major tenet of Living Big is to make international travel more accessible to women who don’t want to go at it alone.

Can I join the trip solo? Or can I invite a few of my friends to join me on the trip?

Yes and yes to both questions! Some people join Living Big trips on their own; there to make friends and see the world, and others join Living Big trips because they want to share the experience with their friends, sisters, mothers or daughters and don’t want to do any of the planning!

You’ll find that the trips are structured in a way that you’ll have a good amount of group time, but also a fair amount of independent time to explore on your own, with new friends you met in the group, or with the friends joining you on the trip.

How much does the trip cost? And what is included/excluded in this price?

The total price per person is $2,995. This includes the following:

  • Planning: all trip logistics, including pre-trip negotiations with all hotels and vendors, onsite coordination, useful information leading up to your trip such as advice on what to pack, how much to budget for spending money, a cheat sheet for learning the local language, advice on local currency, etc.
  • Hotels: 7 nights accommodation based on two people sharing a room.
  • Meals: see the daily itinerary for meals included each day. On some days, you’ll be on your own for a meal. Some alcohol, water and snacks are also included.
  • Transport: all ground transportation, including airport transfers and hired ground transportation, are included.
  • Activities: all activities, unless specified in the itinerary, are included.
  • Gratuities for all local guides.

The following expenses are not included in the total trip price:

  • Round-trip airfare is not included, but gives you flexibility in using airline reward miles or to extend your trip as you wish. Each guest is responsible for organizing their own airfare and transportation to the stated start and end cities. You will be required to share flight details at least 8 weeks before the adventure commences. Inbound flights should arrive on June 18 before 5PM and depart after anytime on June 26.
  • Once you pay your trip deposit, Mary will watch airfare rates closely and keep you advised on good times to buy. If possible, she can also connect you with other trip goers who may be on your flight(s).
  • A set amount of wine and beer will be purchased with each hosted dinner, but each guest will be responsible for alcoholic beverages beyond this amount.
  • While not required, each guest is encouraged to consult their existing insurance policy to determine what is covered while on the trip, and if needed, secure an individual insurance policy for the trip.
  • Any additional activities you want to book along the way or outside of the coordinated group trip: spa visits, private tours, cooking classes, etc.
  • Spending money, additional tips and excess luggage fees.

Is airfare included in the trip fee?

Round-trip airfare is not included in the trip fee, but this gives you flexibility in using airline reward miles to extend your trip and to select the routes and airlines you prefer. Each guest is responsible for organizing their own airfare and transportation to the stated start and end cities. You will be required to share flight details at least 8 weeks before the adventure commences. Inbound flights should arrive on June 18 before 5PM and depart after anytime on June 26. Zurich’s airport code is ZRH.

What should I do to secure my spot on the trip?

Register online to secure a spot on the trip. Mary will contact you with further information and payment instructions. Registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Will I be sharing a hotel room? Can I choose my roommate?

Yes, all of us will be sharing a room with at least one other person. In most instances, you will have your own bed. You can request a roommate preference on forms that will be included in your Trip Packet, which you will receive approximately 12 weeks before our adventure begins.

Can you tell me about the type of accommodations we'll be staying at?

You betcha! In Zurich and Mürren we’ll be staying at three-star hotels, all with private bathrooms and showers. The hotel in Mürren does not have an elevator so you will need to carry your luggage up 2-3 flights of stairs. We will be spending one night each, at two different mountain inn’s with very minimal services. In fact, one of the inn’s does not have electricity, and both have shared bathrooms.

What kind of ground transportation will we use?

We will be riding local trains (so less then one hour with frequent stops) as well as regional trains (2-3 hours) to get from the airport and between cities. In addition, we will occasionally be riding in shuttled vans/buses. To get to the various mountain towns we will be taking lifts, cable cars and mountain trains that ascend hillsides and gain altitude.

How high will we be hiking? Do I need to worry about being at such a high altitude?

The altitude of the three mountains areas we’ll be visiting are Mürren (at 5,413 feet) Obelsteinburg (at 5,833 feet) and Ebenalp (at 5,380 feet.) You should plan on walking, hiking, carrying luggage (although not for long periods of time) and carrying a back pack with an overnight change of clothing and supplies at these altitudes. Please see the FAQ on the health and physical fitness requirements for this trip, and plan on training and being in good physical condition for this trip.

What should I pack?

Prior to the trip, you’ll be given a packing checklist and advised on what type of clothes and supplies you’ll need.

Do I need to carry my luggage?

Yes, plan on carrying your bags to/from the airport, on/off buses and vans and in/out of hotels. Some hotels may not have an elevator, so be prepared to carry your bag up/down stairs. Bring a daypack to carry daily essentials while we’re out exploring, including two overnight trips that can carry a change of clothing and supplies for one night.

What are the health and physical fitness requirements to join on the trip?

Guests should take personal responsibility to ensure they are physically able and healthy to participate in all group trip activities, such as hiking at high altitudes and for durations up to 7 hours a day, riding in trains and mountain trams, walking on uneven surfaces, carrying luggage, and getting on/off various modes of public transportation. The trip is moderately strenuous and best enjoyed by anyone who is physically fit and enjoys active days. You should consult with a medical doctor to determine if you are healthy and physically able to participate.

I don't speak the local language. Is that OK?

Don’t worry about mastering the lingo to join our trips. When traveling internationally, locals do appreciate it when visitors know at least a few key phrases. Mary will provide a quick language lesson and cheat sheet.

What will the weather be like?

Weather in June is relatively warm, with temperatures averaging between 70-80 degrees fahrenheit. There might be occasional light rain and winds.

What if I don't need every hotel/activity/etc. on my trip?

Unfortunately, refunds aren’t possible for unused hotel rooms, meals or activities. The total trip price is a package deal; credits are not given for services not used. Please contact Mary if you have questions or concerns about any trip activities due to a physical condition. If there is a reasonable alternative, we can explore it.

How do I communicate information like allergies, roommate preferences, etc.

About 12 weeks before we begin our adventure, you’ll receive your Trip Packet. It includes forms, questionnaires and waivers that you’ll need to submit no later than 8 weeks before the trip begins. The forms in the Trip Packet allow you to share these important details. Living Big LLC will provide meals as outlined in the official trip itinerary and will work with you to try and accommodate special dietary requirements; however, Living Big LLC is not required to provide such meals, supplements and/or any special requests beyond what is outlined in official trip itinerary.

Do I need a U.S. Passport or Visa for this trip?

Yes, a U.S. Passport is required to visit Switzerland. Your U.S. Passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date and have one blank page for entry stamps. A Visa is not required. Entry requirements may change. While Mary will attempt to keep you informed of changes, you should take personal responsibility to ensure you can satisfy entry requirements. Click here to learn more about entering Switzerland with a U.S. Passport. If you plan to visit another country before or after your Living Big trip, contact Mary to discuss any additional entry requirements.

What if I need to cancel the trip?

If you decide you need to cancel your trip the following refund schedule applies upon written notice of your cancellation:

  • Cancellations made on or before February 28, 2017:
    • Your trip deposit is nonrefundable. If you paid in full for the trip the deposit is $500.
    • You will be reimbursed 50% of what you have paid to date, less the nonrefundable deposit.
    • As an example, if you made a $500 deposit, then made two additional payments each for $250 (total paid = $1,000) then the amount you would receive back is $250.
  • Cancellations made on or after March 1, 2017:
    • All payments made to date are nonrefundable.

Travel insurance helps protect against last-minute cancellation, trip interruption, and to cover medical treatment or emergency medical evacuation during your trip. We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance and flight cancellation insurance in advance of your trip. To learn about travel insurance, click here for a quick lesson!

Is there a minimum/maximum age to participate?

Women over the age of 21, that are physically able to participate in the trip itinerary, are welcome to join for this adventure. Please see the detailed itinerary and FAQ on minimum physical fitness requirements to learn more.

What if the trip doesn't fill up or is cancelled?

The trip requires a minimum number of participants in order to take place at the stated price, since it takes into account group discounts, shared accommodations and other factors that create cost efficiencies. Once an adequate number of participants sign up for the trip, you will be notified. If a trip does not have enough participants, or if someone unexpectedly cancels, you will be refunded your deposit or you will be given the option to pay a trip supplement to continue the trip with fewer participants. Should additional participants sign-up after you have paid the trip supplement, this fee will be refunded. Your air travel itinerary is yours to decide, and we recommend you purchase flight cancellation insurance. Living Big LLC is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip including non-refundable air tickets, gear, medical equipment or travelers insurance.

Do I have to pay for the entire trip up front or can I make payments?

No, you do not need to pay for the entire trip up front. (Although you can, if you prefer.) Check out the Trip Pricing tab for payment details.

What if I can't make payments according to the payment schedule?

If unusual circumstances arise and you can’t make payments on time please contact Mary to discuss. Generally speaking, failure to make payments according to the schedule may result in losing your spot on the trip.

I like the sound of this trip, but what if I want to do this trip with a big group of my own friends?

Please contact Mary to discuss – there might be room on this trip for your entire group! Or, if you want Mary can host your group on a private trip. Learn more about custom adventures.

Trip Pricing + Payment Options

See below for key details and next steps to save your spot!

This trip is all-inclusive of nearly all meals, all hotels, ground transportation in Switzerland, all activities outlined in the trip itinerary, all the planning and booking (so you don’t have to do ANY work but show up!) and advice on what to pack, tips on international travel and a go-to resource (Mary!) who is here to answer any questions you have leading up to the trip, and on the trip, to make sure you have an amazing experience!

There are two options for payment:

  1. Pay the full amount by credit card or by check.
  2. Break your payments into equal monthly installments. Make a deposit of $500 today to save your spot, and then on the first of each month {following the month you made your deposit} your credit card will be automatically charged a set amount, so that the final payment is applied on March 1, 2017. If you go this route, Mary will provide a payment schedule based on when you register.

To reserve your spot submit a preliminary registration by clicking here. After you submit this registration Mary will contact you to discuss the trip in more detail and then provide you with details on completing your full registration and applying payment.

Ready to join Living Big in Switzerland?

If you’d like to request a spot on this trip, or if you just want to learn more, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch very soon!
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