Frequently Asked Questions

Lausanne ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 29 August – 1 September 2019

How long does my passport need to be valid for?

Everyone travelling to Switzerland will require a valid passport.  If you are not travelling on a New Zealand passport please advise us immediately as different requirements may apply.  For a visit to Switzerland your passport needs to be valid for at least three months past the date of stay.  If you do need to renew your passport please do this as soon as possible via

If you are travelling to another country as part of this travel, then different passport validities may apply, with some countries requiring your passport to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the expected date of your departure from that country.

A visa is not required for New Zealand Passport holders but like other countries in the Schengen area, you can only stay for holiday purposes for a period of less than 90 days and will likely be asked for proof of return flights out of the Schengen area.  If you have a criminal conviction specific regulations will apply.

What is the luggage allowance on the group flights?

International flights with Emirates - as many pieces of baggage as you need as long as the total weight is less than the maximum luggage allowance of 30kg is included as checked in luggage.  Additional baggage will be charged.

Domestic flights with Iberian – maximum luggage allowance is 1 piece at 23kg is included as checked in luggage. Additional baggage will be charged.

How do I travel with my CO2 Canisters?

Up to 2 CO2 canisters are permitted when carried in your checked luggage only with Emirates.  They will not be permitted as carry-on luggage.

Bike damaged from your flight?

Please report to the airlines luggage desk and fill out the relevant paperwork. There will be a HOT Events representative who will be able to assist with any questions you may have.  Please also follow the advice from your insurance company if you bike sustains any damage during the flight or by the airline.

Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required, but if you have any concerns, we recommend contacting the Travel Doctor by visiting

What is the best way to get around?

The easiest way to get around Lausanne is using public transport; metro/bus or walking/biking, to explore further afield a rental car can be arranged.

The Lausanne Transport Card gives any guest staying in Lausanne and paying the overnight “taxe de séjour” free and unrestricted access to all public transport services in the city (bus, train, metro).

What is the time difference between New Zealand and and Switzerland?

During August/September Switzerland is 11 hours behind New Zealand.

What will the weather be like?

During August/September, the average low temperature is between 12-15C degrees and average high is between 19-24C degrees. The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. The seasons are clearly distinguishable .

Team Hotel

Hotel Mirabeau, Avenue de la Gare 31, Lausanne 1003, Switzerland

Tel: +41 21 341 42 43

The hotel is one of the unsung treasures of the city. It is located next to the bus stop that bears its name, just 400 metres from the train station and Lausanne's Métro. It is a haven of peace and tranquility as you would not expect in such a central location

The Hotel Mirabeau is located approximately 1.5km from the race site; 15 min walk or bike ride. Easily accessed by public transport; walk 500m to the Lausanne Metro stop and then the Metro M2 directly to the race site area, or walk 300m to the closest bus stop and then a direct Bus 2 to the race site area.

What time is check in and out of the hotel?

Check in is from 2pm and you do need to vacate your rooms by 12 noon.

Please note that due to hotel policy, they will require photo identification on check in (passport) and credit card provided with a bond on your credit card. This is refunded if not all used at time of checking out.

Can I get ice at the property?

Please see reception or room service for ice delivery.

Is there a laundry?

Please see reception to arrange laundry pick up.

What are the hotel facilities like?

The hotel has:

  • Bar/lounge

  • Restaurant

  • Free Wifi

  • Hair dryers and toiletries in rooms

  • Satellite/cable TV

Can I take my phone charger or hair straighteners?
The power voltage in Switzerland as in most of Europe is between 230V and you will require an adaptor to use any NZ appliances over there to fit their sockets

Switzerland uses type C (2 pin) and type J (3 pin) plugs. Type C also fit Type J. Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, may be used without problem. Adaptors are available in most hotels.

Are taxes included in prices?

Yes.  The VAT you pay on purchased goods in Switzerland is 8%.

Is there a tax refund schemes?

The VAT you pay on purchased goods in Switzerland is 8%. You may ask at the shops for your Tax Free Form and reclaim the VAT. Your total purchases in a shop must amount to more than CHF 300 (including VAT). You must be a resident outside Switzerland and the goods must be exported within 30 days

To find out more visit

Do I Tip?

You never have to worry about tipping in Switzerland, as tips are included in the price. You can, however, add a smile to the face of someone who has provided good service by rounding up to the nearest franc or round figure.

What do I do about money?

The Swiss currency is called “Swiss Franc”. 1 NZD is approx. 0.65 CHF and 1 Euro is approx. 1.15 Swiss Franc. You can pay with international cards many places in Switzerland and always at hotels.  It is best that you have a pin on your credit card otherwise some shops and restaurants may not except payment from your card.  Banking hours are Monday to Friday 8.30 – 12.15pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm. 

Please note that Switzerland remains with the Swiss franc, usually indicated as CHF. While Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros so that visitors may compare prices. Merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back to the client will most likely be in Swiss francs.


Remember to inform your credit card's issuing bank about your intended trip or else you will risk getting your credit card accounts frozen from 'un-expected activity'. For the latest exchange rates check out We do recommend that you exchange money at the airport prior to departing, thus ensuring you have cash upon arrival. ATM machines are also readily available throughout Europe.

What are the opening hours of shops?

Retail shops generally open from 8.45am – 6.30pm Monday–Friday, 8.45am – 6.00pm Saturday, Closed on Sunday.

Various supermarkets are located within walking distance of the hotel, for you and offer a wide selection of food, beverages and essentials.

What are the prices of general items?

  • Coffee – CHF3.60-5.50 dependent on size

  • Local Beer (in restaurant) – CHF5.00-8.00

  • Local Beer (at shop) – CHF1.00-3.00 bottle

  • Wine (at shop) CHF10.00-15.00 bottle

  • Bottled Water – CHF0.60-2.00 bottle

  • Coke (in restaurant) – CHF2.50-5.00 bottle

  • McDonalds Combo (or equivalent) – CHF12.00-15.00

  • Mid-Range Restaurant for 2 people – CHF70.00-120.00 (three course meal)

  • Inexpensive Restaurant – CHF18.00-30.00 pp (one course only)

How much Duty Free can I take in and out of New Zealand?

We recommend that you pre order for collection on the way home your Duty Free:

When returning to New Zealand your allowance is:

  • 50 cigarettes or 50g of tobacco or 50 cigars

  • No more than 3 bottles of spirits (up to a maximum of 1125ml each)

  • 4.5 litres of wine, port, sherry, champagne (six bottles) or beer (12 cans)

  • Goods to the value of NZ$700 purchased Duty Free or overseas

Heading into Switzerland

  • 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco or 50 cigars

  • 5 litres of alcoholic beverages up to 18% vol. and 1 litre over 18% vol.

  • Goods to the value of CHF300 per person

Subject to change

For more information on customs offices and regulations when entering Switzerland, visit

What is the drinking age?

Alcohol is sold in supermarkets. The age limit for the purchase of wine and beer is 16 years, and 18 years for high-proof alcohol.

Can I use my phone in Spain?

Using your mobile phone overseas depends on your phone type, plan and provider; please check with your provider prior to travel that it is set up for roaming. Costs do depend on your provider and the supplier in Switzerland, so visit the provider's website for a guideline on costs. HOT Events recommends that if your iPhone or android phone is automatically syncing online, to turn this off prior to departing New Zealand or you will come home to a shocking bill!

Tips to help with your Travel
Studies show ginger root may reduce motion sickness. Avoid eating a heavy meal for at least two hours before travelling and refrain from eating acidic foods.

The air that you breathe on the plane is drier than normal, so it will increase your risk of dehydration. Drink at least 200ml of water for every hour you are in the air.

Keeping yourself hydrated also reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Eat oily fish or take an Omega–3 fatty acid supplement for several weeks before travelling.

HOT Events also recommends purchasing a pair of flight compression socks from your local pharmacy if you are a regular traveller. Travelling in your compression tights (eg Skins) is a great option for comfort and recovery

Switzerland at a glance

  • Capital: Bern

  • Population: 8,508,898

  • Religions: Christianity 71.5%, Non-Christian 6.5%, No religion 22%

  • Currency – Swiss Franc CHF

  • Time Zone –Central European Time. New Zealand is 10 hours ahead of Switzerland

  • Weather - Summer (June to August) is the warmest months of the year. The average temperature in August/September range from 20 to 24°C

On the ground

Water is safe to drink in Switzerland.

Around 25% of travellers will get diarrhoea. We recommend packing some Imodium tablets (available over the counter at your local pharmacy) into your toilet bag before leaving. They are a great treatment that stops diarrhoea fast. And remember not to get over excited eating the different types of food. If you are not used to eating some of the types of food available on a daily basis your body may not handle the change in diet well. This is one of the most common reasons for diarrhoea when travelling.

How do I keep safe?

Switzerland is one of the safest countries that you can visit, but like any tourist destination there is always a risk of petty crime so keep your wits about you and your valuables in sight. We recommend safely and securely storing three important travel documents (your passport, credit card and driver's license) on your phone. Use an app such as Traveler ID which will store a series of documents in one place. Of course, you might lose your phone, so also store them in the Cloud, or your saved emails.  We recommend you be street wise. Crime is uncommon, but take the same precautions you would in any urban area.

We recommend that all travellers overseas register their travel with MFAT on

Emergency phone numbers
You certainly hope it will never be necessary, but something might happen during your visit which requires medical attention. Keep the following numbers close at hand for Emergency services in Switzerland.

Phone number: 144 for Ambulance, 117 for Police, 118 for Fire

Or contact The New Zealand Consulate-General Geneva, Switzerland for consular assistance, phone +41 22 929 0350 or email  Office hours Mon - Fri 8.30am – 1.00pm then 2.00 – 5.00pm.

How can I pay for my TRI NZ Travel package or extension travel?

Payment can be made:

  • Directly into our bank account (details will be given as part of your confirmation)

  • With your chosen credit card (fees apply with Visa and MasterCard @ 2.5% and Diners and AMEX @ 3%)

  • You can also apply for finance with our preferred partners GEM and Q Card

Click here for finance offers with Q Card and here for GEM visa finance offers

Here are some apps we recommend you down load to help with your travels. We love travelling with Apps and these are our suggestions to download prior to getting on the plane

House of Travel - Simply download from:

Register your details and receive access to all of your upcoming travel plans booked with House of Travel.  Your HOT App offers you:

  • Access to all of your upcoming itineraries

  • A countdown timer to the big day of departure

  • Destination guides, maps, currency converter and weather guide

  • A secure locker to store passwords and travel documents

  • Flight search and book function

  • An easy way to book activities on the go

  • Direct contact with your travel specialist

Once you have registered on the app you can access this booking by using the reference number in the bottom right corner of your travel itinerary.

XE -

Convert every currency on-the-go with the XE Currency App for iPhone or Android

St John Ambulance -

The St John NZ CPR mobile app teaches the lifesaving skills of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR.

The phone number for Police/Fire and Ambulance in Spain is 112.