Our favorite vacation destination when Devam was 1 year old was Switzerland. In fact we visited Switzerland twice in the same year. As parents of a 1 year old we carried with us stroller, car seat, portable bed, bottles and lots of food. It was also our first trip with our son and we were being extra cautious on everything. We were also concerned about hygiene and just overall health of our son. With all this baggage we made our first trip with our son to Switzerland. The Swiss Tourism website was a great source of information for booking rail, air tickets and hotel – also provided some exciting offers for group travel. One must credit the tourism industry and the government for making travel within Switzerland accessible for all. This is probably the reason Switzerland attracts 8-10 million international visitors every year. It was extremely easy to make all the bookings without the help of a travel agent. One phone call or an email to the direct booking office (especially for rail) is all it took to book a vacation for about 16 people. But you know me – I confirmed everything atleast twice 🙂 In hindi we call this “Aadat se majboor”.
With Devam and all our luggage we never had to arrange for a cab or rent a car and we choose to never stay in major cities. Our flight landed in Zurich and we took a train from the airport to Interlaken and from there visited Zermatt, St.Moritz, Lucerne, Engelberg, Montreux and took the 8 hour train ride on the Glacier Express. The trains are extremely handicap friendly – from the infrastructure to the staff that assists you in every way possible. Most hotels and tourist destinations are located close to the train station – so we were able to walk to our destination every time. The local grocers stocked the basic food items – yogurts, cheese, fruits and milk which made it easy for us to keep our little one happy at all times. Besides everything being very clean – it was extremely eco-friendly too, it was great to see a country focused on preserving the most valuable resource to humankind – our environment.
Quick tip: When traveling with a young one – get your close family to join in. You will have all the support you need with the little one and will get an occasional break from managing your little one to enjoy the vacation yourself.