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5 tips for Switzerland on a budget
We all know Switzerland is known to be an expensive country. With the regular grocery prices lying just above most countries and gas prices (currently) rising even more, you might think it’s not an option for vanlife.
Well, it is! It’s actually an incredible country for vanlife as long as you’re willing to adapt and use these 5 budget friendly tips!
Our first pro tip is downloading the EASYPARK app. This app is often a life saver for us because we never overspend on parking.
Easypark is a parking app that works on most parking spots in Europe. It uses your GPS to find out on which parking you are and then you can just set a timer, see the price and pay automatically by creditcard.
Why use Easypark
Using the Easypark app means you never pay too much. You can check in the app if you’re at a paid parking, which makes is a lot less likely to get a fine!
Also, we never quite know how long we will be out for. A hike might take longer, because of beautiful views or maybe bad weather. Once your time runs out, you get a notification. So, if you’re not ready to come back yet, you just extend your time! EASY does it.
Note: Always check the maximum parking hours that are allowed. You can get in trouble by resetting the timer, once you’ve used the maximum parking hours on that parking.
Just like in other countries you can choose to shop at a small local store, the big stores or the more budget stores like the LIDL. We love the LIDL for doing our grocery shopping in any country. because they have lower prices and a great product range.
Why go to LIDL
Like we mentioned, LIDL has a great product range with everything you might need for your daily life or trip. Some of the products we love most about LIDL that are cheap and make us come back everytime:
> Fresh bread and pastries
> Tasty and fresh fruits and vegetables
> Great beer and other alcoholic specialties for good prices!
> The best cat litter (blue box with white litter)
> Cheap but the best four cheese pizza
> Often a lot of ‘country/cultural’ themed products
Tip: LIDL is also great for vanlife, because these stores are mostly conveniently placed. Mostly in locations with other big stores, industrial areas or on the edge of towns. Therefore the parking lots are usually very wide and easy to maneuver with a camper.
Camping in Switzerland is beautiful! Rugged mountains, wide meadows and excellent food. But, although it’s an expensive country it doesn’t have to drain your bankaccount during a camping trip.
The magic trick? Park4night!
Park4night is an app that marks all the spots you can park at in the region you’re searching in. With a lot of great search filters to apply and lots of reviews, they’ve build a great community platform.
The trees? Yes, the trees! One of the Park4night app filters is a little green tree. This filter marks all the spots ‘available’ for camping in nature. Keep in mind that these spots are not official camping spots and are no guarantee.
The way we do it? Pick one on the map in your area, check out the photos and (latest) reviews and check out the place with your own eyes. Also, arriving at night can help with discretion.
Note: Leave not trace!
Another way to save money and help the earth at the same time is with the TooGoodToGo app. This amazing app fights against food waste world wide, by offering magic boxes full of amazing food for a small price.
How TooGoodToGo works
Download the app, search by location and see what stores offer a TooGoodToGo box that day. The app shows you the price of the box, the location and pickup time.
What to expect from a magic box?
You never know what is in the magic box you buy, it’s always a surprise!
One thing you can expect is a good amount of delicious products that are sold in the store you choose in the app. The shop prepares the box for you the same day (mostly end of the day) and will fill it with products that they can’t sell the next day.
So you get a box full of delicious products and the shop won’t spill food and even gets a small payment for it.
5.The best showers
You can find campers in all shapes and sizes, from basic to extremely luxurious. For a lot of vanlifers these days, the campervan or camper needs to have the basics and this doesn’t always include a (hot) shower. Well, whether you have a shower or not.. This next tip is perfect for anyone with a home on wheels!
We all love a good swimming session at the pool right? Well, why not make it your (weekly) shower session.
Depending on the country, a ticket to an indoor swimming pool is usually between €4 and €12. In alpine countries like Switzerland or parts of Italy, you’ll usually even get an indoor pool and warm outdoor pool for that price.
So swimming fun and great showering all in one!
Hi! We’re Tim & Ilse
Together with our fluffy cat Snowy we travel around the world searching for adventures.