In a couple of days time we will be jetting off for our first family holiday abroad.
We’re all excited about it, particularly the kids as they’ve never been on a plane.
It was a toss up between going to the Mediterranean for a week or to spend some time in the Alps.
I’m not one for sitting around a pool; I find it boring so I was glad when the decision was the Alps.
There’s something exhilarating about mountains that keeps drawing me back.
And in particular to the Swiss Alps but what’s so special about them?
We Know What To Expect
I started going to Switzerland on holiday in the mid 1990s with a friend who enjoyed hillwalking.
Since then I’ve been back several times, including a couple of times with my wife.
We had our honeymoon in the Bernese Oberland and we’ve also been to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn.
Because we’ve been quite a few times, we know what to expect and that makes it an ideal destination for our first family holiday abroad.
It’s a child friendly place and not somewhere you’d expect to have any issues travelling to and from.
Not that you should expect it but in general many people in Switzerland also speak very good English.
That makes it a very easy destination to spend time in.
The Travel System
The Swiss travel system works in a very joined up way.
Unlike much of the time in the UK, things tend to run on time and are relatively seamless.
Timetables for trains, buses and boats are designed to coincide with each other.
So you can get off a train and get straight on a bus or a boat rather than having to wait.
We had planned to use the Fly Rail baggage service which makes life even easier when travelling to Switzerland.
You check your bags in at the airport and they’ll be delivered to your hotel via the railway system.
That would have been perfect for our first family holiday abroad.
Unfortunately, the terms of the service have changed this year, meaning it’s less useful to us.
We might not see our cases for up to two days after we get there under the new terms.
So we upgraded our transfers from the airport to Grindelwald to first class and will take the cases with us instead.
As much as I love the scenery in Scotland, the Swiss landscape is something else.
Whereas you might have a five hour slog to get to a mountain in Scotland, it’s much easier to get where you want to go in Switzerland.
Trains take you to the Top Of Europe or you can get cable cars or funiculars to the less accessible spots like the Schilthorn.
A walk my wife and I enjoy along the Schynige Platte To Grindelwald First gives a great view of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch.
We won’t be attempting it with the kids although we do plan to visit Teddyland not far from the Schynige Platte station.
It’s not all about mountains though, if the weather’s hot and humid, taking a boat trip on one of the Swiss lakes will soon cool you down.
You can hop on and off at various quaint Swiss villages and towns and take in the unique Swiss culture.
Where Did You Go For Your First Family Holiday Abroad?
Would you have considered going to Switzerland for a family holiday?
What’s your favourite place to go as a family on holiday?