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Alps Tour in July. Train or car?

I actually really like driving and I imagine I might get motion sickness on a train. Will I miss out on scenery only visible by train if I rent a car? As an American, how can I rent a car and take it through Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Lichenstein? Lastly, would it be possible to rent a sleeper/camper van and take that through this area and sleep in my car? Thanks!

Posted by
1732 posts

I get motion sickness as well but had no travel with the train. I would suggest Bonine or scopolamine if you are concerned. Trains in Switzerland are very efficient and the scenery is great from the train. You and the driver both get to enjoy the views if you take the train versus the driver having to concentrate on driving and occasionally getting a turnout to see the view.

Posted by
1217 posts

Each rental car company has a list of other countries you're allowed to drive in after you've rented it in the first country. From what I remember of Hertz, the Switzerland, France, Austria, Lichtenstein and German cluster has no particular restrictions- just make sure you purchase any needed toll stickers for Switzerland and Austria before getting on any roads that require them. Italy can be sightly problematic and there may be limits on which car types you can drive across the border.

We've been mapping out our own Swiss holiday for 2019, and have come to the conclusion that a car just isn't worth it because so much of the cool stuff is not only reached by mass transit but is sometimes only reached by mass transit and you're paying for your rental car to spend several days in a garage or lot while you take the cable car or train to your Lovely Car-Free Mountain Village stay.

To scratch the car itch, consider getting a nice proper German sedan at the Munich airport and doing a Bavarian loop for a couple days before turning it back in and picking up train travel from there. As long as you prepare yourself and follow the laws of the road exactly there, the autobahn can be a lot of fun. And then drop it off at the Munich train station and head onward by rail from there.

Posted by
7205 posts

The most beautiful place I've ever been is Murren, Wengen and you can't drive to either of those. Yes trains definitely go where cars do not. I get car sick very easily, never been sick once on a train because there's lots of space, get up walk around, sip your wine and have your snacks, read a book, take a nap. Trains are perfect.

Sleep in your car? Good luck with that.

Posted by
16764 posts

Can you rent a camper van? Yes, and just google "campervan hire Switzerland" and you will find many.

Posted by
1034 posts

One caveat about renting a car — while you can certainly rent and drive a car in all these countries, provided you have the proper vignettes, returning that rental car to a country different from where you rented it will incur huge additional costs.