Individual travel to European resorts is more complex than heading for a ski holiday in Vermont or Colorado. First there’s the usual problem of time - leaving the East Coast in the evening and arriving in Europe when your body thinks it should be the middle of the night. Then there’s getting from the airport to the ski area. This can involve renting a car - make sure your rented car has chains as well as a ski rack if you’re bringing your own skis - or taking a train or bus. If you’re arranging your own travel schedule, allow for the type and time of transportation.

An American driver’s license is generally acceptable throughout Europe if you’re 21 or older and the license has been in effect for at least a year. The international license issued by the AAA is not necessary, but it’s good to have as an alternative.

Unless you’re willing to take the time and effort required to search out the best ski holiday bargains on your own, check ski clubs and charter groups. Not only will a group trip likely be the least-expensive way to
enjoy your holiday in the Alps, but it will also take care of all the problems of flying, getting to the resort, and housing efficiently.

The best rates for housing and at many restaurants are during low season, when they may run 15 to 20 percent less than during high season. Low season normally runs from December 1 to the weekend before Christmas, then from the weekend after New Year’s through early February, and finally from the end of March to the end of skiing.

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