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SIM card

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Doing a driving trip around Switzerland and exploring options for using mobile phone (Verizon). Verizon does not have an "international plan" and suggested I buy a SIM card for the phone. Having never replaced the SIM in my phone I have the following questions: Will I lose all the contacts and apps currently loaded? If so, do I assume I can reload the ones needed, i.e., weather, maps, etc.? Does the local SIM reduce/eliminate roaming charges? With a local SIM can I use something like Google Map for turn-by-turn driving directions? If I buy the SIM in Switzerland will it still work if we wander into Germany, Austria, France or Italy? Any trouble finding places to buy more time, if needed?

I assume I just put my original SIM back in when home and everything will revert to the current settings, right?

Thanks for the help.

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