Lake Garda Hotel and Minivan

Jul 17th, 2014, 04:14 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
Lake Garda Hotel and Minivan

We're thinking next year we might drive from Rome to Fussen (Bavaria) with a stop at Lake Garda. There would be 6 of us so we will need a minvan. I read somewhere that some of the roads at Lake Garda are narrow with tunnels, is this not a good idea?

Also, I was looking at staying in Malcesine, some of the Hotels I have been looking at have a high minimum stay required in season (5-7 nights), we would only stay 2-3 nights. Has anyone stayed at a Hotel in that area for a short time that they could recommend? I would like the Hotel to be on the water, but it doesn't need to be 5 star with spas etc.

Thanks for any help!
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 04:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,617
The tunnels that you are mention are situated on the upper west side of the lake and you won't need to go through them if you stay on the east side at Malcesine. They are narrow and twisty and a bit unnerving with a construction vehicle coming the other way!

Most of the hotels round the lake are by definition close to the water. Have a look at

www.venere.com
www.booking.com

You should be able to book for a shorter period, but you don't mention when you're going and if it's high season, you might struggle a little.

If you are hiring your vehicle in Rome and heading for Germany and not returning to Italy, bear in mind that you will pay a very high fee to drop off in a different country. If you do return to Italy, then you need to tell the rental company to check that the insurance is OK.
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 06:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I have driven the tunnels of Lake Garda with my Ford Galaxy minivan. You will be comfortable unless you drive a 50-seater.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
Thanks, I feel much better about the van!

We would be there the end of June, so yes, I assume high season.

I figured the drop off fee couldn't possibly be as much as 6 tickets from Rome to Munich, which was our original plan ~ to fly to Munich and pick up the rental car there for our time in Germany

And driving will allow us a stop at Lake Garda! We have been to Como and Maggiore, but not Garda.
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I was so shocked at how cheap advance ticket purchases were from Genova airport to Munich that I went to Munich!

I was traveling off-season and had plenty of flexibility in my dates, but you might at least take a look at costs from various Italian airports. While I was waiting for my return flight in Munich, I noticed Lufthansa had about six other flights leaving to various parts of Italy.

Also, my original plan was to fly to Munich and switch planes for Nuremburg, and adding the extra leg was also cheap (and conveniently timed).

The prices I paid in advance for my dates might be unavailable for yours, but you might call Lufthansa and see what they're offering.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 12:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,617
"I figured the drop off fee couldn't possibly be as much as 6 tickets from Rome to Munich"

You might be surprised at how high some of these fees actually are and as sandralist says, how low the one way airfare can be. Plus of course the cost of fuel, tolls etc.

Maybe a little homework on fares and charges is called for.
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 01:11 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,617
I've just had a look at flying from any airport close to Garda and it's just too much hassle. Nowhere flies to an airport close enough to make it a worthwhile alternative.

Maybe a train is a better choice?
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 01:44 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
My husband is going to check into the car rental.

If we flew all three legs we would fly IAD to FCO, FCO to MUC, MUC to IAD.

If we drive the middle leg from Rome to Fussen (where we are actually staying) and the airline tickets are open jaw IAD to Rome, MUC to IAD, the savings are about $1000 a ticket. So surely the drop off fee isn't going to be $6000
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 03:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I am not sure I am following what you or Rubicand are saying, or maybe you are not following what we are saying.

If you are saying that if you booked a multi-city ticket though a consolidator like Orbitz to include Munich in the middle, it would up the price of each ticket by $1000, I am not suggesting you purchase the entire itinerary on one ticket. I am suggesting that you depart from Italy to Munich from an airport that offers a low cost one way flight to Munich (or some other German airport convenient to Fussen) and rent your car in Germany. That might mean traveling to Pisa from Rome by train (or to Bologna or Genova or Naples) by train and taking the flight to Germany from there rather than rent the car in Italy and drive. I am assuming if you found a cheap enough flight you would drop the idea of Garda and overnight someplace else.

It may very well be that the drop off is not an eyebrow raiser. I really have no idea. The way I would compare costs is go to the Munich airport website (or other German airports convenient to Fussen) and see who has regular flights to Italy.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 06:29 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,617
I now see that you are comparing prebooking your air tickets to include FCO to Munich with car hire. Like sandralist I assumed that you were looking at separate flights from Italy to Germany.

Logistically what you say doesn't make a lot travel sense unless you cost the options and then make a decision. Once your husband has spoken to the rental company and found out what the drop fee will be, you can make a clearer judgement.
Rubicund is offline  
Jul 19th, 2014, 02:53 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
Yes, we have not booked yet, just looking and thinking

We are not interested in the "cheapest option" at the expense of having to make multiple connections. And I think I like the idea of not having to leave our Rome apartment "on a schedule" to make a connection. So at the moment, driving is appealing for several reasons

*Less stress, we don't have to make a connection when leaving Rome
*A reason to stop at Lake Garda
*At the moment when checking UA site ( we gather miles) it's $900-$1000 for the one way flight (x6)

I'm sure it's possible at some point it might be less, but when it's 6 tickets x $900-$1000 it just seems to me that driving will be cheaper.....and maybe more fun?
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 19th, 2014, 03:40 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I think those are perfectly valid considerations. I do my own trips the same way, and always feel that "cheaper" is a false economy.

I doubt the talk about possibly flying would have ever come up had not you posted:

"I figured the drop off fee couldn't possibly be as much as 6 tickets from Rome to Munich, which was our original plan"

rubicand and I were just pointing out that low-cost carriers could possibly turn out to be less euros than driving, and were suggesting you not assume if your original plan still appealed to you.

If you are curious to crunch the numbers, then there is a real world answer as to whether 6 air tickets x $900-$1000 is not cheaper than driving. But only you can come up with the real answers based on your travel dates, the minivan rental costs, hotel costs, etc -- let alone knowing whether driving is just overall better for your group for this trip.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 19th, 2014, 04:09 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,285
Lake Garda hotels..When looking we also saw required stays of 3 n or more at many hotels. We spent one night each at Hotel Bellerive in Saló and Hotel Il Castelo in Malcesine, coming and going from the Dolomites.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 20th, 2014, 02:23 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
HappyTrvlr what time of year did you stay at Hotel Castello, and recently? They replied to my email that they required a 3 night minimum stay.

sandralist I agree ~ cheaper can be a false economy, especially on a vacation with family members!
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 20th, 2014, 02:32 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
Why don't you drop off the car/van in Bozen and take the train from there to Füssen via Innsbruck? I am sure there are cheap train tickets available, especially if you book in advance.
Ingo is offline  
Jul 20th, 2014, 06:36 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
Hi Ingo

But we will need a car in Fussen?
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 20th, 2014, 07:09 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,285
We were at Il Castelo the third week of June.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 20th, 2014, 09:04 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
Depends on what you plan to do in Füssen. Public transportation in Germany is pretty good!
Ingo is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 03:52 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,853
We're planning on Ludwigs Castles, GAP, maybe Chiemsee and another Castle further north that starts with and E and I can't remember the name right now, pretty sure we will want the car.

My husband talked either AutoEurope and Europcar, who said the Ford Galaxy would be available, drop off fee would be about $1200.

The lady he spoke with at Hertz said that you aren't allowed to drive a minivan from Italy into Germany (?????)
wrenwood is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 06:02 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,617
Maybe not with Hertz, but in the normal course of events, why not?
Rubicund is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:08 PM.