An Insider's Guide to Skiing Europe: Transportation

From renting a car to cheap places to stay and where to go, 15 tips for skiing the Alps

View over the valley from Nendaz, Switzerland.     Photo: Dennis Kleine/Wikimedia Commons

TIP 09: Train travel in Europe is a delight: it’s efficient, extensive, and affordable. If you plan on visiting several countries or staying abroad for an extended amount of time, purchase a Eurail pass. Save money by deciding in advance which countries you plan on visiting and buying a Select, which grants you travel in three, four, or five countries, rather than the more expensive global pass, which covers travel in all 17 countries in the network. The three-country Select allows for five travel days over two months in three countries—say, France, Switzerland, and Austria—for $506. Save $76 when you book it with a buddy.

TIP 10: Rental cars in Europe are cheap. For as low as $287 a week, rent a manual, economy-class car with winter tires. Remember, though, that gas is more expensive and there are many more tolls than in the States (figure about $4 to $9 per hour you drive), but a car offers unmatched flexibility, spontaneity, and ease. Things to keep in mind: Automatic transmission is more expensive. It’s often more costly to pick up a car at the airport, so take a train to the town rental hub for cheaper rates. Companies charge more to pick up a car in one country and drop it off in another. Rental car agencies with the best deals vary by country. Booking online yields the best rates. Try Auto Europe or Europcar.

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