Traveling for the holidays is often a big ordeal, especially if you are flying in or you are the ones hosting. Your guests probably won’t have a vehicle of their own, and they might even need to stay at your home rather than a hotel.
In either case, renting a vehicle is going to be necessary. To help you enjoy a great holiday season we have put together the best holiday car rental tips so that you can enjoy your holiday and save money.
When is it Best to Rent a Vehicle?
First things first, you need to decide whether a rental is necessary. Typically, if you are flying in or taking the train you will want to rent a vehicle to take you the rest of the way. This is particularly important if you aren’t just a single person but are traveling with your family.
The other option is if your family is flying in to see you. If they do not have the budget to rent a vehicle on their own and you will be expected to drive them around from destination to destination this might mean you will need to rent a bigger vehicle or an extra vehicle to accommodate everyone.
Things to Consider When Traveling for the Holidays
When you are looking for the best holiday car rental deals it is important to consider three main factors.
Size of Luggage
Traveling back home for Christmas especially means you will have a lot of luggage both coming and going. You will need to either find a vehicle that can carry everything, or think ahead and ship presents to their destination before you land.
Number of Attendees
How many people need to be driven? You can use the vehicle you already have, but if there are still not enough seats you might need to rent another vehicle.
If you are traveling from one home to another during the holiday, then the distance you travel can add up quite quickly. Depending on your budget, gas mileage might be a priority.
10 Ways to Save on Holiday Car Rental
Last but not least, you will want to do all you can to save yourself money. Renting during a holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving can push prices up, so you will want to get ahead of the crowd and use these top ten tips to keep costs low:
1. Choose a Vehicle that Fits Everyone
You should at the very least rent a vehicle that will fit everyone in your group. If you can afford it, consider renting a larger vehicle so that family members can ride alongside you when you are going from place to place.
2. Choose a Vehicle with the Best Gas Mileage
If you are on a budget then you won’t be able to offer extra seats, but this means you can enjoy classes of vehicles that offer the best gas mileage. Typically these vehicles also offer the best budget-friendly base price.
3. Choose a Vehicle in Advance
Take advantage of early booking deals to save money.
4. Choose a Budget-Friendly Vehicle
Choose a vehicle that costs less upfront.
5. Use Your Own Full Coverage Insurance
To save on insurance, check your own first. Full coverage insurance could be used to protect you while driving a rental vehicle, which means you don’t need to pay extra at the desk.
6. Use Only One Driver
It typically will cost more to add drivers to your rental. Save money by only having one driver for the whole trip.
7. Drive Safely
Don’t drive recklessly, drunk, or distracted. The safer you are while driving, the less chances of an accident. If you can, be defensive with your driving to reduce the risk of damage even further. This way you will get your deposit back fully.
8. Use Your Credit Card
Certain credit cards offer protection similar to how your car insurance can offer protection. Check beforehand and put the cost of the rental entirely on your credit card.
9. Find Holiday Rental Deals
There might be special holiday rental deals for you to snag, but you will want to keep an eye out and even sign up to the newsletters to take advantage of deals while they are available.
10. Pack Lightly
Renting a vehicle when you visit family for a holiday is a smart choice. It means maintaining space and potentially giving family members a spot whenever you are traveling to church, to the mall, to other family members’ and more.