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Late last year the folks at Eurail made some big changes in the venerable Eurail Pass program. Now, your choices are either a one-country pass, available in 29 countries or small country groups, or a "Global" pass that covers 31 European countries. And Global pass options have expanded greatly: They now cover both first- and second-class travel, with discounts for...

Every time I travel to Europe in the off-season, I find myself enjoying a cool and comfy tranquility-- and not missing the heat and crowds that so often come with peak season. But even more than that, I enjoy catching Europe by surprise-- at its candid best, living everyday life. When I travel outside of the tourist season, Europe seems even more welcoming than normal.

The sharing economy offers two major opportunities for travelers to depart from the conventional: Airbnb rather than hotels for accommodations, and Uber/ Lyft in place of taxis for local transportation. --The seven cities where hotels outscore Airbnb, in decreasing order of hotel advantage, are New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Diego and San...

Along the western Mediterranean coast, two easygoing-- and easy-to-enjoy-- beach towns stand like sister cities on each side of the border between France and Spain. Both Collioure, in France, and Cadaques, in Spain, are off the grid when it comes to glitzy resorts. And each has a delightful ambience, with...

Shopping in Europe can be fun, but don't let it overwhelm your trip. I've seen half the members of a guided tour of the British Houses of Parliament skip out on the tour to survey an enticing array of plastic "bobby" hats, Big Ben briefs and Union Jack panties instead. Focus on local experiences, and don't let...

Like many travelers, last spring I visited Barcelona dreaming of seeing Antoni Gaudi's breathtaking Sagrada Familia church. When I got there, the ticket office was closed, with a posted sign: "No more tickets today. Buy your ticket for another day online. "

Twenty eighteen was a "win some, lose some" year in travel. Travelers neither gained nor lost across the boards, and these days not losing is almost as good as winning. Here are my awards for the 2018 events that will have the biggest impact in 2019 and beyond.

When I arrive in a new city, I book a private guide straightaway-- someone who can bring the architecture, history and culture to life. Lately, in the spirit of experiential sightseeing, I've been taking specialized tours that highlight unique, local experiences or historical themes.

I'm so glad borders and walls are out of fashion in Europe. The continent's many proud nations don't always get along, but they have learned to respect each other-- making it possible for peace to flourish. Historically, though, Europe has a rich past when it comes to wall building.