Gare du Nord, Paris

All Hail The Rail: Summer In Europe

Before you know it, the polar vortex will thaw and summer will be here. Now’s the time to start planning that memorable summer in Europe vacation.

By Tara Weingarten

Il Stazione, La Gare: It’s How To Summer in Europes

train stationIf you’re heading to Europe, think about combining a rental car road trip with several train segments. This way, you’ll cover more territory in a shorter time, and still be able to see particular out-of-the-way sights accessed only by car. RailEurope has an easy to navigate website that can book rail passes and hotels. But you’ll need to book these things before you leave for your trip. You cannot buy RailEurope passes at the train stations.

Once you decide which countries to visit, book rail and car rental reservations right away, as these can become more difficult to get as summer approaches. For car rental agencies across Europe that have train station counters, try Budget and Europcar. It’s best to book the rail portion first, so that you can tell the car rental agency which train you’ll be arriving on and at what time. You don’t want to arrive at the station and not have your car ready.

It’s All In The Planning

High speed italio trainRailEurope is the premiere purveyor of European train travel, and offers packages and passes on the entire European rail network. RailEurope is one-stop shopping that will package tickets from various carriers in different countries. If you can swing the added cost, plan to book a first class car, which offers more room, tables on which to dine or play board games with the kids, and have dining carts that pass through the cabin and serve you seatside.

VroomGirls rode through Italy on Italo, a burgundy-red train owned in-part by the chairman of Ferrari. And yes, Italo trains are part of the high-speed rail system, so expect to get there Ferrari fast. Click here to read our Italo review. RailEurope frequently has discounted Italo fares posted on its website. VroomGirls also experienced TGV France, a super high-speed train, which operated exquisitely on-time, and provided a smooth ride at a shockingly quick clip.

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