- 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
Occasionally we hear things- people’s fears, their hesitations their personal
opinions- that may or may not be based on facts. In this episode, we’ll be further exploring some of these travel ideas for some Myth Busting fun!
Myths we tested on this episode:
#1: “It costs too much to travel to Europe”.
#2: “Cruises are boring. There’s nothing to do on the ship”?
#3: “Mexico is unsafe.”
#4: “Airbnb and other vacation rentals seem more complicated than booking a hotel.”
#5: “Lyft and Uber are dangerous.”
What travel myths did we miss? Please add yours below in the comments. And, we’re open to rebuttals on our “busts” above!
We’re not sponsored by nextvacay.com, but we’d be open to it! 😉 Rebecca just flew to Iceland for a bit over $200 from a deal she was made aware of by nextvacay.com. For $25/year, they alert you to awesome deals and then you book as normal through the actual airline website or your favorite booking tool. We recommend you check it out!
- Hawaii –
- Maui – great beaches and relaxing environment (see our Maui podcast for more details)
- Tip: take Toilet paper with you – you can’t rely on it to be available at tourist stops, restaurants or on bus tours
- Blue Lagoon hot springs
- Be prepared to pay a lot for most food; lamb and seafood are the way to go as they are native
- Indonesia – Lombok
- Black “Sand” beach
- Australia – Sydney
- Bondi Beach
- Sydney Harbor bridge climb
- French Polynesia
- Bora Bora
- rest & relaxation
- catching up with friends
- time for self (escaping daily work and parenthood demands)
- Elizabeth Lombardo lists more benefits in her book “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness“
- Mom guilt is hard to overcome but it is worth it for the whole family for Mom to get a quick recharge
- Money and time are other challenges
- Prioritizing self vs family or home expenses and spending money on self vs family//home
- Start small – consider a driving trip that is only a few hours from home and not as costly
- Divide and conquer on the tasks
- Make a goal to get away and budget ahead for the trip
- Decide how you want to split costs and track spending
- Sometimes I don’t do much planning at all…it’s so rare to just “show up” as many people share the burden of planning.
- Less stress only worrying only about myself (and cheaper than taking the whole family!!)
- Rebecca – somewhere near home so more people can afford to go
- Michelle – a retreat hotel with a lot of variety in options
- Sandy – consider vacation home rental with a lot of bedrooms and common shared space
- Rebecca – Vegas (#sorrynotsorry) – recommend Priceline for good hotel deals
- Michelle – Driving trips with nearby free festivals or museums
- Sandy – Visit friends and take advantage of some nights with no hotel; Pagosa Springs was a recent favorite near a friend’s house in Colorado Springs
- Rebecca – Napa
- Michelle – Any beach
- Sandy – Lake Austin near Austin, TX
- Rebecca – Chicago – recommend the architecture boat tour
- Michelle – Austin, Napa/San Fran, Nashville, Austin
- Sandy – San Francisco and wine country
Quick and impactful?
- Rebecca – French Lick, Indiana & Downtown Indy (where we get to mention riding elephants again…oh, and a biofreeze massage)
- Michelle – Sarasota & Epcot Food and Wine Festival (Orlando)
- Sandy – short cruise from Florida to Bahamas
- Rebecca – Memphis – Graceland but more seriously the Civil Rights Museum
- Michelle – Trips to a faith-based conference with sightseeing on the side
- Sandy- Lake Austin
- Rebecca – Maui
- Michelle – Maui; Lake Austin gets honorable mention
- Sandy- French Polynesia island cruise including Bora Bora
- Rebecca – Lisbon, Portugal & the Canary Islands
- Michelle – Palm Beach, Florida
- Sandy – Asheville, North Carolina
- Save a date and book well in advance; unless you pay upfront for a hotel, you can usually cancel very close to your travel dates without penalty
- Create a schedule of events with variety; make plans that suit nearly everyone’s needs and then just go with the flow – not everyone may want to do everything and that’s ok
- Agree on a budget and secure some of the costs so you have real commitment
- Don’t sweat the details – you’ll have a blast even if some small things go wrong
Ugh, yeah…it’s a thing. A sad phenomenon that seems to likely be growing.
Here is the best advice we found on how to guard against being secretly filmed at a hotel or rental: https://www.smartertravel.com/2018/03/14/check-hidden-cameras-hotel-vacation-rental/
Luckily we haven’t needed it yet, but we scan and email ourselves copies of our passports before a big trip.
My parents like to take physical copies with them, but I have decided electronic copies are ok for now.
What has worked best for you? Have you found this helpful in the event a passport is stolen or lost?
You don’t know what is possible until you ask. When checking in, see if there are options to upgrade for a better view. Often there is a cost, and you might find it’s not worth it. But sometimes the upgrades are complementary so it never hurts to ask!
Why miss out on the beach view, if you can help it!