- How to decide if you should rent:
- Consider what mass transit and ride share options are available
- If trying to cover a lot of ground and see a variety of sights, you will probably want the convenience of having your own car.
- Costs can also be a factor. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent a car to get to and from your destination than ride share or taxis.
- Rental tips:
- Loyalty programs can have advantages for rates and efficiency – often getting to skip past the rental counter and go straight to the car
- Cars may also be cheaper through 3rd party booking sites like Orbitz, Priceline & Expedia
- Prices can fluctuate so it is worthwhile to look frequently in case a better deal is now available. Most reservations can be cancelled ahead of time with no penalty so you may decide to rebook a cheaper rate or to upgrade to a larger car class.
- Reservation tips
- Never pay full price – look for coupons (like in the Entertainment book)
- Pay attention to what kind of deposit the rental car company expects – this can vary greatly when you travel global
- Research the baggage space to know you have enough space
- Smaller cars generally work better in Europe
- Check the car before you leave the lot
- Take picture of any damage on the car before you leave the lot
- Don’t sign a damage form before looking the car over
- Adjust your seat, mirrors, etc. before you leave the rental lot
- The gas gauge tells you which side to pump the gas
- Plan your route ahead of time
- Leverage GPS
- Audio book options- Libby & Overdrive
- Renting movies & TV shows is also an option on iTunes
- Download movies before your trip – you’ll likely need WIFI to do the download
- Road trip games – apps & bingo cards
- Pack headphones if you want to listen or watch something different from your fellow travelers
- See past posts for more tips
- Snacks – we like a variety of healthy (nuts & fruit) and unhealthy (soda & candy)
- Yelp & Open Table are good for restaurant recommendations
- Each kid might like their own snack bin – like a personalized kid bento box
- Starbucks has nice protein snack pack options
Safety tip – For long trips, you might want to get a tune-up and have your car checked over by a professional before heading out.
More #roadtrip posts from our #100days100traveltips series.
Rental car companies give preferential treatment to their loyal members. They may provide car upgrades or let you select your own car. But one of the biggest perks is the ability to be automatically assigned a car such that you never need to stop at the rental car desk. You can move from baggage claim directly to your car’s parking space. No need to wait in lines!
Taking your favorite pet with you on your next trip? You will want to do your research on pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, flight guidelines and more.
Here’s some advice to get you started:
If you travel regularly with your pets, what tips would you recommend for someone less familiar?
Time for a #crowdsource question! What is your favorite snack to pack for a road trip?
Comment below with your favorites! We are excited to hear what our @leadtravelpray followers recommend.
We have previously shared advice on packing mix-and-match outfits to save room and reduce the amount of clothes you pack, but it is still tempting to cram our bags full. Recently one of us took a 10 day trip and packed 4 outfits that were never worn. We’ll protect the guilty, but it’s a good reminder that even seasoned travelers struggle to keep with the minimum and not pack for every worse case scenario.
Rolling clothes is definitely our favorite way to keep items visible (like packing vertically versus layering clothes on top of one another). This helps you remember what you have added to your bag to increase the chances you pick more items to mix and match. It also helps the clothes arrive at your destination less wrinkled.
We found some more good advice on packing light here:
Did you know you can give a rental car company your airline frequent flier number to earn extra points? The same works for hotels! It’s called “double dipping” or “crossover rewards”. Next time you travel, ask if there is a benefit to giving the hotel, airline, or rental car company an additional rewards number to record in their system. Chances are you can earn more points!
Here’s some more info on the current programs that allow you to “double dip”: https://thepointsguy.com/2016/05/maximizing-crossover-rewards/