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Questions about Swiss PTW - pills tipping & watches!

Questions about Swiss PTW - pills tipping & watches!

Old Sep 12th, 2022, 06:22 AM
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Questions about Swiss PTW - pills tipping & watches!

We are off to Switzerland next week - after a 5-year hiatus from traveling abroad. We are old and have all the niceties - Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, Priority. Appreciate your sharing your wisdom.

Pills - I always just carry in a pill case. Do you see any reason to take the bottles? I have taken a photograph of the bottles to carry with me - they look like the tin soldiers.

Tipping - I always rounded up Euros to about 10% of total dinner bill. Any changes in the last 5 years and/or Switzerland?

Watch - I wear a nice watch and have always worn through US customs. Any concerns about coming back from Switzerland with an "old" Swiss watch?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 07:09 AM
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We're off to Switzerland next week too. Last visit was about a year ago. We pack our pills in those weekly pill boxes - in my case eight weeks worth as we'll be in Switzerland for a month and then I'm heading to Spain for two weeks. Plus a few extra weeks just-in-case. I've always done this, never had a problem anywhere.

You won't be rounding up euros in Switzerland, you'll be rounding up francs. And it's not necessary, so completely up to you.

And the watch...not sure I follow.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 07:32 AM
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Thanks Melnq8. Looking for some guidance on whether US customs may try to tax me as if I had just purchased watch in Switzerland.

Appreciate your input.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Thanks Melnq8. Looking for some guidance on whether US customs may try to tax me as if I had just purchased watch in Switzerland.

Appreciate your input.
Do you have the receipt still? Can you photograph it and it's serial number with a GPS location on it before you leave for Switzerland?
If you've never had a problem in the past with it I doubt you will have now. Swiss watches can be bought worldwide after all.

As to the pills it may depend on what they are - not all pills prescribed in the US can be imported into the EEA - if they are narcotics you need a certificate for them for instance. Look online - I am sure the Swiss will have a website about such things. Make sure you have the generic names of the pills in case you need them for any reason - to tell a doctor what you are taking for instance.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 09:06 AM
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We just came back from Switzerland a week ago. We also have Global Entry, etc., and at least in our case, the interactions with CBP officers were so fast that no one would have even noticed if I was wearing a watch. It took about 20 seconds to get through the GE terminal (you don't even insert your passport anymore). I was handed a card that I in turn gave to the officer on the way out of the customs hall without breaking stride.

Re: tipping, as Melnq8 says, it is optional. We did round up a few times for great service. Many of the servers we encountered were from other countries - Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, even South America.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 09:12 AM
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I always carry my meds in their original containers, and I have quite a few, but itís best not to try saving space in your carry on bag by combining them in one container. Do put them in your carry on bag, not in checked luggage.

As for your Swiss watch, you can buy Swiss watches anywhere, so returning from Switzerland with a watch you already own shouldnít raise any eyebrows. As an aside, I recently sent one of my watches back to the maker in Switzerland for servicing, and there was no question of taxes when it was returned to me, other than the VAT on my repair bill.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 09:30 AM
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I have never taken photos or carried pill bottles on any trip to any continent or foreign country, or taken prescriptions, etc. I am always surprised how many people think they have to do that and wonder why the worry, do you know anyone who had some problem with that/ I could see if you are taking some questionable controlled drug, sure but I have a couple routine generic medications I take for high BP and hypothyroidism and it just carry them in a small pill box in my purse. Taking a photo of a pill bottle or putting pills in a bottle obviously wouldn't prove anything anyway., you could stick any pill in a bottle with a different label.

And I have flown into Switzerland a couple times.

I don't own or wear expensive jewelry, so have no idea. If it looks fairly good/new and you have the receipt, I can see carrying a photo of that in my phone or something.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 09:40 AM
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re the watch... i see no issues, but if you are concerned, take a picture of yourself at home wearing the watch.
You could place your wrist on top of today's newspaper, or something else to document the date.....

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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 02:16 PM
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I have never taken photos or carried pill bottles on any trip to any continent or foreign country, or taken prescriptions, etc.

Me either. With the notable exceptions of when I lived in the Middle East and carried back a year's worth several times. All for naught as it turned out.
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Old Sep 12th, 2022, 05:41 PM
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Wow! I leave for Switzerland next week as well! Travelling with a newbie, but we plan to do more hiking than my previous trips, so praying for good weather!
Also my first trip with trekking poles (which I will box and have to check). SO excited!
I also dump pills in one container to save space. Never had any problem.
I round up 5% generally at restaurants, 10% if wonderful.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mokka4 View Post
Wow! I leave for Switzerland next week as well! Travelling with a newbie, but we plan to do more hiking than my previous trips, so praying for good weather!
Also my first trip with trekking poles (which I will box and have to check). SO excited!
I also dump pills in one container to save space. Never had any problem.
I round up 5% generally at restaurants, 10% if wonderful.
Forget about customs for a moment. If while travelling you have an emergency and are admitted to hospital, the doctors will want to know what medications you need. For that, the labels on the original bottles will tell them not only the name of the drug, but the dosage and the name and contact information of the doctor who prescribed the medication.

As for customs, just because you have never had a problem with drugs all in one container doesnít mean it wonít happen in the future.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 01:43 AM
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I'm not trying to start a tipping argument but before cards became the thing I rounded up to the Franc, now I round up meals to the 10 Franc and my Swiss friends think I'm crazy.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 02:06 AM
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I used to carry around a lot of expensive camera gear and had something to prove it had already gone through US customs but it was so long ago I have no idea where I got the certification. Was never asked for it. I do not bring my expensive watches while traveling. Just my I watch.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 05:53 AM
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Let's say the bill is SFr. 18. You could round it up to SFr. 20. Or if you're coffee is SFr. 4.50, you could round it up to 5.00. There are no laws about tipping but it is considered polite to round it up a bit as a token of appreciation.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 07:11 AM
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now I round up meals to the 10 Franc and my Swiss friends think I'm crazy.

So, you'd round a 42 chf purchase up to 50 chf? If so, I think you're crazy too Switzerland is expensive enough.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mokka4 View Post
Wow! I leave for Switzerland next week as well! Travelling with a newbie, but we plan to do more hiking than my previous trips, so praying for good weather!
Also my first trip with trekking poles (which I will box and have to check). SO excited!
I also dump pills in one container to save space. Never had any problem.
I round up 5% generally at restaurants, 10% if wonderful.
10% isnít rounding up - 10% is the largest tip Iíve ever left anywhere in the world
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 09:13 AM
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My other bit of advice for Switzerland is to make sure you have plug adapters that fit into the hexagonal, recessed outlets. We've visited at least a dozen other continental European countries in the past 10 years and haven't encountered these -- and none of our type C plug adapters fit in the outlets. Admittedly, I'm a little rusty on pre-trip due diligence after two years of no travel and should have checked before we left. Fortunately, we found a small electronics shop in Saas-Fee where we could buy a couple.



Last edited by ms_go; Sep 14th, 2022 at 09:55 AM.
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 10:36 AM
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This should be the plug to which ms_go refers. I’m not sure “hexagonal” sockets is the right word, because a hexagon has five sides, and these plugs have six sides. They will need the triangular shaped ends to fit into a recessed socket, though.

https://www.worldstandards.eu/electr...and-sockets/c/
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 11:15 AM
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triangle = 3
rectangle = 4
pentagon = 5
hexagon = 6
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 12:32 PM
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Whoops, what was I thinking? You’re right of course! And the two pin Type C plug in my link should fit in the Type J socket in your illustration. The Type C plug also fits in the Italian Type L sockets, as I found in a trip to Sardinia.

https://www.worldstandards.eu/electr...s-and-sockets/

Last edited by Heimdall; Sep 14th, 2022 at 12:47 PM.
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