We get three weeks off in October/November. Today I worked on coming up with a travel plan for the second week of the break.
Sunday: Fly into Zurich in the morning, stay at at Youthhostel Zurich
Monday: Train day #1: Go to Lugano, stay at Youth Hostel Lugano-Savosa
Tuesday: Spend the day in Lugano
Wednesday: Train day #2: Take morning train to Lucerne, stay at Youthhostel Luzern
Thursday: Train day #3: Spend morning in Lucerne, go to Interlaken, stay at Alplodge/Backpackers Interlaken (the cheapest hostels I've found in Switzerland are in Interlaken for some reason)
Friday: Spend the day in Interlaken
Saturday: Train day #4: Take morning train to Zurich, fly back to Copenhagen in the evening.
Comments: This seems to be the most feasible way for me to see Switzerland. Plane tickets into Geneva/Montreaux are significantly more expensive and there's no good way to get there from the Ticino. So I'll miss that. I also won't be able to see France at all, but that's alright. If I were going to see more than one country, I'd want to have more than a week to see it all--otherwise you'd be too rushed to see anything! And I don't have the budget to travel for more than a week. So there it is.
Airfare: $226 on Snowflake (Switzerland is, conveniently enough, the one place in Europe Ryanair *doesn't* fly too. I looked at going by train, but that's more than $100 more expensive.)
Four-day Swiss train pass: $185.
Hostel stays: Est. $30/night; some are more or less than that estimate (read: Interlaken rocks), but it should be around $180 total.
Food: Find me a grocery store where I can buy bread, cheese, apples, and a carrot or two. At the cheapest I imagine I could get by for a week on $20. If I eat out at all, though, it'll be more. Throw in a fondue night or two and call it $40.
Souvenirs: I guess we'll see... Maybe $20 for chocolate? I don't think there'll be any cuckoo clocks in my future, though.
Comments: Oof. I thought travel in Europe was cheap? If I cut Lucerne and Interlaken out by just getting a Zurich-Lugano ticket instead of the train pass and also cut the trip two nights shorter, it'd be down to $550. But even then...