Apr 29, 2021

Rental Cars For Road Trips: Everything You Need To Know

Most of us are ready to see something beyond our own walls and beyond our own town. If our time at home has made us appreciate anything, then it’s the joy of traveling. One of the most exciting things about travel is a classic road trip. Did someone say, “Road trip!”?

Yes! A road trip! Are you ready to hit the road from home and see where it takes you? Are you ready to hop on a flight and travel around your destination when you land? Either way, a rental car is a mode of transportation you should seriously consider. 

What To Consider

Before you’re ready to step on the gas and go, there are some things to consider before you leave on your trip.

Who can forget COVID-19, right? So, if you’re ready to travel, be sure to take the proper precautions for traveling during COVID-19. Whether you’re traveling with your family, friends or hitting the road solo, using these helpful considerations will keep your road trip smooth and enjoyable. 

By answering some simple questions about your trip, you’ll be ready to reserve your car rental and start packing your road trip essentials

Where To?

Are you going to be wheels up first? Find one of Advantage’s convenient locations at the airport to book your car rental reservation. 

Having a location to pick up your rental car at the airport when you land can really help you get started on your road trip adventure. 

With Advantage, you have the flexibility to reserve now and pay later and make changes to your reservation as needed. So, you can plan with confidence, knowing that even if life happens and you need to postpone, you can do what you need to do, so be sure to book your reservation when you know where you’re going. 

When Are You Going?

As you’re planning your trip, dates and times will start to stand out. If you’re flying, you’ll have a departure and arrival time. When you know when you’re going, and you’re ready to book your reservation, be sure to check the hours of operation at your destination in comparison to your flight details to ensure your schedule lines up with available hours for pickup. 

At Advantage, all airport locations have a 24-hour drop-off when you’re ready to head back home. 

What Kind of Car?

Are you going solo, or are you packing up the whole family? Who you’re traveling with can impact your car needs, so it’s important to consider your car options to choose what car is best for you. 

As you plan your road trip, look at the vehicles available to find the best rental car for your trip. Remember to take your luggage into account when you’re making your choice.

How Long Is Your Trip Going To Last?

Your life’s responsibilities or other parts of your trip will likely dictate how long your road trip can last. To get accurate pricing for your rental, you’ll need a time frame for your trip. Also, you’ll need to communicate to the company when you intend to return their vehicle. 

If you need to extend your rental, you’ll need to contact your car rental company to discuss the terms and conditions of the changes you need to make. Changes can affect your rental rates and your total cost, which is another reason you need to communicate changes with your rental company as soon as possible. 

If your trip dates change, don’t forget to modify or cancel your reservation as needed. 

What’s Your Budget?

An important thing to keep in mind when you plan any trip is how much you’re willing to spend. Finding a car rental company that can offer you low rates for high-quality cars can help you make the most of your trip dollars.

Rules of the Road for Rental Cars

When you’re hitting the road in a rental car, you should be familiar with the responsibilities. Before you book, here are some important aspects of car rentals to keep in mind:

Car Rental Requirements

In the United States, you have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, but you’re typically considered a young renter until you reach 25. So, you may be required to pay a fee if you are between the ages of 21 and 24. It’s usually not much, but it does contribute to your overall cost. 

To rent a car, you’ll need to ask if there are requirements that you need to meet to rent. You’ll likely be required to have a driver’s license, meet the minimum age requirements for your location, and provide an accepted form of payment.

Read Your Rental Agreement

Your rental agreement is not just a legal document between you and the rental car company. It’s also a valuable resource for everything you need to know about your car rental.

Mileage Restrictions

Before you set out on the road, be sure to ask or check your rental agreement for mileage restrictions. It may be possible to have unlimited mileage, but you’ll want to know before you set out on your trip.

Payment Method

When you’re renting a car, you can usually use a credit card or a debit card, but there are advantages to each. 

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that funds for your deposit will likely be tied up for the duration of your rental, so you’ll want to budget accordingly. 

Insurance Options

You’ll want to know your insurance options before your trip. If you already have insurance policies like medical and car insurance, you may be covered. You need to know whether to add additional policies for your trip through your rental car company. 

Consider the protection of your passengers as well. Do they have existing policies, or should you add coverage?

Safety Seating

Don’t forget about your little traveling companions. If you have young children traveling with you on your road trip, they will need safe seating in your rental car. You can add child safety seat rentals when you book your reservation.

Adding a child safety seat to your car rental means you have one less thing to bring on your trip and keep up with when you land. Knowing your littlest traveler will be safe and comfortable on your road trip will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy yourself too.

Fueling Up

Before you take off, make sure you ask about refueling requirements for your vehicle. You may be asked to bring it back close to empty or refueled, so make sure you ask. 

As you set off on your road trip, be sure to check your fuel levels. You may want to fuel up before you do anything else, and you’ll definitely want to consider fueling station locations along your route. 

Additional Drivers

Depending on who you’re bringing on your road trip and how long you’ll be on the road, you may want to share the driving responsibilities during your trip. 

You can add additional drivers to your rental agreement, so you can plan to switch up regularly to avoid one person being overly tired when you get where you’re going. 

Toll Checkpoints

As you plan your road trip, you may want to research your routes to check for toll checkpoints along the way. You can often choose routes to avoid tolls, but occasionally, you will still encounter them.

You may want to take cash for the toll checkpoints, or you’ll be charged on your booking payment method for any tolls that you incur during your trip. Either way, it’s important to keep tolls in mind as you plan your trip.

Summary

As you get ready to stretch your travel legs again, a road trip is a great option. Whether your road trip starts from home or wherever your plane lands, a rental car can make your road trip easier and more enjoyable. 

When you know when, where, and how long your trip will be, book your car rental and start planning to have fun. As you plan your rental, consider who you’re bringing with you, familiarize yourself with the rental policies, and take into account your payment method options and your current insurance policies. 

With a bit of planning, you can have the best road trip of your life and be ready to make miles of memories. Put your responsibilities in your rearview mirror, and set off on your next road trip.

Sources:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Travel Advice | Mayo Clinic 

30 Necessary Road Trip Essentials You Need To Be Packing | The Mandagies

How to Avoid Tolls on Google Maps and Save Yourself Money | Business Insider

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