i'm in the very early planning stages of a possible trip to switzerland next summer (june, july, or august). i thought the trickiest part would be airfare, but as luck would have it, it looks like our frequent flyer miles will work in our favor.
so now i'm thinking of the rest of the trip - mostly lodging and transportation. we have 4 kids, who will be between the ages of 3 and 12 next summer. i DONT want to rent a car (minivan), so i'm hoping we can make due with public transportation (vs. bringing car seat, renting a super big car, etc.) will the swiss pass be useful to us? can we swing a week/10 day trip avoiding a car rental altogether?
another issue is lodging. we typically stay in places like residence inn or hyatt place, where we can have 2 queen beds + a sleeper sofa for the younger two kids. european hotels don't seem to be quite so spacious. searching hotels online isn't yielding too much, even if it were just 2 kids. 4 kids likely means 2 rooms at a regular "hotel"... the price begins to really get up there. so where do larger european families stay?!
i'm up for a vacation rental property, like a condo or something, but i know that most of those rent by the week only, so we'd likely have to make a solid base somewhere and then venture out on day trips... any recommendations for a good base? or a chain of hotels that might work in our favor?
itinerary is a primary concern, yet last on the list! the motivation for the trip comes from our oldest child who is doing a year-long project on switzerland in school this year. we haven't said anything yet, but i'm sure they will want to assist in planning and picking out must-see spots to visit. hopefully if we choose a condo rental it will be well-located to do that!
HOWEVER, i do not want to dangle a carrot if it's just not going to be logistically/financially possible. hotels for $700/night are likely going to be out of the question. i know i haven't mentioned our vacation habits and what we're looking for - but keep in mind we have a 3 year old, so we are limited by him. we can do short hikes, maybe a few museums, train rides, boat rides, etc. he's pretty portable, but we still have to be low-key.
i just feel like if we can find a hotel chain similar to hyatt place/residence inn, or some kind of vacation rental that is centrally located to "the main things to see", and we can avoid a car rental, then we have plenty of time to plan details and an itinerary. i hope this isn't too vague! thanks in advance for any advice... it isn't so easy to travel once you have more than 4 people in your family!