I’m moving from the USA to Switzerland soon. Are there things I should definitely pick up here before moving?
Soon in Lausanne
Dear Soon in Lausanne,
Is Obama the U.S. President? Is Switzerland full of chocolate? Is this blog worth reading? The answer is yes.
Yes, you should definitely pick up things before moving to Switzerland especially if (1) you have a paid move and (2) want to save money.
It’s not that Switzerland doesn’t have stuff, it’s just that the stuff they sell is overpriced compared to its U.S. equivalent. And if you plan to go car-less like me and many expats living here, it makes living great, but buying things a hassle. (This comes from someone who knows hassle—she brings her six-foot Christmas tree home on a Swiss bus every year).
If there are certain non-perishable foods (and let’s be honest, in U.S. grocery stores that’s pretty much all there is) that you crave, make sure to stock up on those.
If you are moving American beds, it might be smart to buy an extra set of sheets because European bed sizes are different and if you soil your sheets, well, you don’t want to end up having to buy an entire new bed because of it.
If you’re a book-a-holic like the Frau, stock up on English books you want to read because they go about $30 a paperback in Switzerland. Planning on traveling around Europe? Buy a few guidebooks in advance. What about a French-English dictionary, n’est pas?
Shoes are another consideration to bring, especially athletic shoes, which in Switzerland can run $150-200 for a basic pair of running shoes. The Frau does not pretend to understand Swiss prices; she just tries to avoid paying them. (She recently discovered that Intersport sells sweatsuits for the reasonable equivalent of $150. Wow. No wonder Swiss people don't wear these things).
Cold/Flu medicine, aspirin, these would all be smart to bring since Swiss colds are nasty and the amount of foreign languages thrown around this little country can often cause headaches.
If you’re not being moved, that sucks but you’ll survive. And paying for a few extra suitcases on the plane may be worth it. Your best bet for affordable furniture in Switzerland is either IKEA or Interio.
Oh, and if you have room in your luggage after all of this, the Frau wouldn’t mind some Reese’s Pieces. The ones her sister brought her last week are almost gone already.
Now the Frau is tired, craving peanut butter (put that on the packing list!), and has run out of ideas. Anyone else have packing suggestions for our soon to be expat? What did you not bring and wish you had?