Ultimate Rail Tours Packing List
Getting ready for your trip of a lifetime touring Switzerland by train? The ultimate rail tour packing list below covers everything you’ll need to make your 12-day grand train tour a success. If you’re planning a different type of tour, we have a packing list for hiking the Alps, or a packing list for your 3-day train tour with Echo Rails & Trails.
Our favorite packing suggestion – Packing right & less is always good!
Comfortable walking shoes are essential.
We will be walking to and from the train stations and our hotels so you will want to be in comfortable shoes. We recommend 2 pairs. One pair of comfortable walking shoes with good traction. Sturdy, low-profile tennis shoes with a good tread are fine, too. During the evening, women may like to wear flats and sandals. Be sure to break in your shoes before you come.
Below you’ll find a complete packing list for both men and women, information about luggage transfer during our rail tours, essential documents, and other helpful facts.
The following items will be provided by Echo Rails & Trails at your Day 1 Lucerne Hotel Briefing:
Day pack –You will receive this day pack that provides enough room for your daily needs such as sweater, water bottle etc. After you use this, it folds up into the zipper in the front and easy to pack in your suitcase.
Swiss Adapter plug-ins –The electric outlets are different in Switzerland as the current is 230V/50Hz. We will give each of you one adapter.
Hats – Each of you will receive a “Swiss Alps Adventurer” ball cap; white for women & light red for men.
Rail Tour Packing List for Women
Clothing for Women
- 2 pairs of walking/comfortable shoes (one closed toe/one open,)
- 1 rainproof jacket (Under the jacket you may need to add a sweater or fleece as we go up to
- the St. Moritz, Grindelwald and Zermatt summits.)
- 2 pairs of shorts/capris
- 2 to 3 pairs of pants (one dressy, two casual; cotton blend is recommended: when washed, it dries faster than jeans) women may like capri pants for warm weather
- 1 belt (optional)
- 1 swimsuit
- 4 pairs of socks (cotton blend)
- 5 pairs of underwear (silk, lace, or micro-fiber dries quickest)
- 1 extra bra
- 4–6 shirts (long&short-sleeved)
- 1–2 light cardigans for layering
- 1–2 skirts (optional- wrinkle-resistant)
- 1 dress (optional)
- Hat (is desirable – although we will provide you one at the briefing)
- Scarf (optional)
- Gloves (sometimes cool in the high elevations in St. Moritz, Zermatt & Jungfraujoch)
- Vest (optional; great for layering)
Women’s Toiletries / Personal Care Items
- Body soap/puff/synthetic washcloth; not all of our hotels supply washcloths
- Lotion (spf recommended)
- Razor (non-electric)/shaving cream or soap
- Prescription drugs (in original container with your name and your doctor’s name, write down generic name)
- First aid kit
- Feminine hygiene products
- Nail clippers/file/tweezers
- Spare glasses and/or prescription, mini-eyeglass repair kit, or contact lenses and supplies
- Hand sanitizer
- OTC remedies (whatever works for you): Pepto, decongestants, neosporin
Rail Tour Packing List for Men
- 5-6 shirts (short-sleeved or long-sleeved)
- 2-3 pair pants/shorts (lightweight cotton and super-lightweight pair)
- 5 sets underwear and socks. (lighter dries quicker). Cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried.
- 1 jacket. Bring a light and water-resistant windbreaker with a hood. A hooded jacket of Gore-Tex or other waterproof material is good. Under the jacket you may need to add a sweater or fleece as we go up to the St. Moritz, Grindelwald and Zermatt summits.
- 1-2 sweater or lightweight fleece— for layering and dressing up.
- 1 hat highly recommend for sun protection and sometimes wool cap for higher elevations.(you receive our “Swiss Alps Adventurer” ball cap at the briefing)
- gloves Sometimes cool in the high elevations in St. Moritz, Zermatt & Jungfraujoch.
- 1 swimsuit – The Zermatt spa hotel has a beautiful indoor/outdoor pool so you will want to enjoy this.
Men’s Toiletries Kit
Each bathroom has soap, shampoo, conditioner, and hand lotion. However, you may wish to bring your own.
Shaving – either electric or razor is OK.
Medicine and vitamins
You should carry your prescription medication with you on the plane and not pack in your luggage. Keep medicine in original containers, if possible, with legible prescriptions. Always good to bring some Neosporin in case it is needed.
Medical care – Switzerland has excellent medical care. In every place we have designated medical Dr.’s who speak excellent English. Our guides always available to help you if anyone ends up needing medical care.
First-aid kit. Our guide has a complete first aid kit.
Glasses/contacts/sunglasses. Contact-lens solutions are widely available in the local stores. Carry your lens prescription, as well as extra glasses, in a solid protective case.
Money, Documents and Travel Info for your Swiss Rail Tour
Money. The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc; not the Euro. Because most all of the tour features are included, you don’t need to have much Swiss Franc cash with you. For Swiss currency it is recommended you bring your debit card and at the Zürich airport or in the Lucerne train station there are ATM’s where you can withdraw cash @ the best exchange rates. Also all the stores accept VISA and Mastercard credit cards. So for things you may wish to purchase you can use your credit card(s). A suggestion is to check with your credit card company to see which one does not charge an extra “currency exchange fees”.
Money belt or Neck Wallet – This flat, hidden, zippered pouch — worn around your waist (or like a necklace) and tucked under your clothes — is practical for the peace of mind it brings. Wallets in zipped pockets are a good idea. Optional Money belt or fanny pack are good things to think about using too.
Documents Bring your passport; plane ticket, driver’s license and any other useful cards. Photocopies and a couple of passport-type photos can help you get replacements more quickly if the originals are lost or stolen. In your luggage, pack a record of all reservations. Bring any necessary contacts for health or travel insurance. Also, bring your detailed itinerary along.
Electronics for Your Rail Tour
Smartphone/mobile phone. Bring smartphone. Good to call your service provider to learn what the “International” calling services are; bring a charger
Laptop. It’s best if you don’t bring your laptop. Your smartphone or tablet is all you need. Bring charger
Digital camera / Smartphone camera Take along an extra memory card and battery, and don’t forget the charger and a cable for downloading images. Most of the trains have smartphone plug ins.
Reading Material – Decide in advance what you want to use in your leisure time. Some people find a Kindle is a practical way to read.
Headphones/earbuds. These are practical. Bring a Y-jack so you and a partner can plug in headphones at the same time.
Chargers and batteries. Bring each device’s charger, or look into getting a charger capable of charging multiple devices at once.
Plug adapters –We give you adapters in Lucerne during the briefing.
Hair Dryers – All our hotels have them in bathrooms and or provide them at the counter.
Water bottle. A 14 0z water bottle fits nicely in the day-pack we provide. All the water fountains in Switzerland provide “drinkable” water and it’s free.
Small binoculars. For the spectacular Swiss scenery – a good idea.
Sealable plastic baggies. It might be a good idea to bring two or three bags.
Handywipes / Sanitzer / Purse size Kleenex packets – You should bring your own.
Laundry soap. Not needed, you can use the hotel shampoo to hand wash your “necessities”
Washcloth. Not all the hotels provide a washcloth. If you prefer a washcloth, you might want to bring one from home in a plastic bag.
Earplugs. It’s a good idea to bring your own set. Inflatable pillow or neck rest. These are great for snoozing in planes, trains, and automobiles.
Address list. If you’ll want to mail postcards, you could print your mailing list.
Pictures to share. A collection of show-and-tell pictures (either digital or paper) is always a great conversation piece with the people you meet.
Helpful Facts to Know About Echo Rail & Trails Train Tours:
- The luggage is transferred from hotel to hotel for you. This service consists of 1 unit which can be one piece of luggage plus whatever you bring on as carry-on in the plane. This needs to be placed on top of your suitcase and is considered 1 piece of luggage. You will receive two luggage tags along with your detailed itinerary.
- Your detailed itinerary will be mailed to you at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip so you will have all the specific hotel contact information available as a leave behind for family members to see and have.
- To help you with your clothing decisions, here are some elevation ranges we will be experiencing. Where we stay in the Lucerne, 1,320 ft to St. Moritz 6,000 ft are the hotel overnight ranges. During the day the highest summits we ride up to include; Moritz -Diavolezza 10,000 ft, Jungfraujoch 11, 400 ft where you arrive indoors and are able to go outside as well.
- Stores in Switzerland – You will find the local stores have everything you can find in the USA. So if you forget something, it will be easy to purchase en route.
- Most of the trains will have smartphone plug ins and WIFI.
Sharing Your Trip with Friends & Family
The following materials will help you remember the names of places & experiences you’ll want to share when you return home.
Guidebooks & Maps We will have some guidebooks to pass out on our free time on the trains. Also we will print out the Daily Itinerary and give you a copy the night before.
Small notepad and pen. A tiny notepad in your back pocket or day pack is a great organizer, reminder, and communication aid.
Journal. An empty book to be filled with the experiences of your trip will be your most treasured souvenir. Attach your daily itinerary against an empty page and write down “highlights”; this helps you remember the names of places & experiences later.
Your ECHO Rails & Trails Team