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Zurich to Montreux to Paris round trip - drive or train??

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Hi all,

My husband and I are spending 12 days in Switzerland and France visiting relatives and touring around. We'll be there in late June, early July. Confused about whether to rent a car or take the train. What's more economical? Based on many posts I've read, most seem to prefer the train. But car rental prices are listed at around $30/day. Even factoring in the cost of gas and parking, this seems much cheaper than prices I have seen for the train, for the two of us. Am I missing something?

Also would love recommendations for special attractions, reasonable hotels in Montreux and Paris (ideally under $200/night) , restaurants and any stops we MUST make along the way. We like off the beaten path stuff, museums, art, history. Here's our planned itinerary

Day 1 arrive Zurich, 1st night near Berne with family
Days 2-3 Montreux
Days 4-8 Paris
Days 8-12 back in Zurich area with family

THANK YOU for your suggestions!

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