Help and apologies up front-I usually overthink things! =) My brain is just on overload currently as we prepare to go into unfamiliar territory!
The airlines have changed my return home and my husband also had a change of plans and has to fly home a few days early. My 11-year-old son and I are trying to figure out how to work our departure morning alone. We have lots of luggage, heavy, and my back is disabled so I can't lift. This complicates things. I can roll short distances. More on that in a minute.
My new flight ZUR - AMS (Amsterdam) is leaving at 07:30am, connecting to a US flight to Dallas 2.5 hours later.
We currently have a hotel booked 18km away at the Ibis Winterthur. This was going to be easy with our later flight before our plans changed. The affordability made it very attractive.
I have a rental car to return but none of the opening hours appear to be before 06:00am, and I'm not sure there are options to drop off the vehicle before opening hours. If I wait until 06:00am to check in my car, I think that is too late to maybe get over to my plane?
I have considered dropping my car off the night before....perhaps even the bulky luggage and storing it in lockers, and then taking the train (We also will have a half-fare card) back and forth to Winterthur that night and again in the morning...if it runs at 04:30am??? I don't know if the same check-in rule applies to flights over there and 3 hours early is the recommended check-in time here in the US for international fights. I could also take a taxi from Winterthur but I believe it's around 75CHF.
The hotels close to the airport are much more expensive and charge for parking...but then there wouldn't be all the back and forth stuff. The downside there is they are completely non-refundable, pay up front, no changes. There is an apartment about 1km from the airport and a taxi would be $10. Then I could get a porter at the airport if they work that early? Staying close would make it easy to drop the car the night before.
We are going to be in the country a month and needed the car for other reasons but will be close to Zurich (Luzerne, Zug) for the last 48 hours). Maybe I could check in my car a few days early and just train locally with my boy?
Luggage for each of us consists of a large 50lb rolling duffle, a full-size carry-on large rolling backpack and a computer bag or smaller backpack to also carry on. If need be we could condense just down to the rolling carry-on the night before if we could figure how to store the larger checked bags and the smaller personal carry-on's.
I would appreciate thoughts.
I have to think of $$$, convenience, ability, disability, and do-ability.
1) How big/How much are lockers at the airport and would they hold luggage our size? (I think we would have to have lockers we could access after hours if we need to be there super early)
2) Does anyone know if you can drop off rental cars outside of opening hours
3) How early do the porters work at the airport and how much to tip them?
4) How early do trains and taxi's run?
5) How early do we REALLY need to check in?
Many thanks in advance!