Going on a family vacation can be an amazing experience for the entire family. The kids are always excited, you’re happy to leave the house and you’re probably going somewhere you’ve wanted to go for a long time. But the one problem that always seems to show its head with travel is transportation. How do you get an entire family from one place to the next with minimal stress? Planes can be hard for small kids to handle, and public transportation like buses and trains can take a long time without you having control over when you stop. So the best thing seems to be to take the car and go on a road trip. But then you get another question: should you rent a car or drive your own? This might be a question that people who own a car might not even think to ask themselves, but there might actually be a lot more benefits to renting than you think.
Know your vehicle
Let’s get the most obvious part out of the way: “I already have my own car, why would I rent one?!” Well, there are benefits to driving your own car. Firstly, as a driver, you are a lot more confident and stable when you’re behind a wheel that you know well. If you’re navigating less than ideal terrain or weather conditions, then you want to be at your best, especially with your kids in the car. Your kids are also familiar with the car. In a new one, the smells, look and arrangement might confuse or irritate them. In your own car, you know exactly where everything is, you’re used to the whole family driving together and you will feel more at home.
Be mindful of the condition
You might be completely in love with your car. You got it as soon as you graduated and you’ve been driving it ever since. That car has practically been your companion for over a decade – but is that the car that you want to put your family in when you set off to go traveling? If you are renting a car, and especially if you’re getting a reliable Avis car hire, you know for sure that the cars are always in the absolute best condition before you hit the road. With your own car, even if you take it to the mechanic, you never know what can happen on the road with an older car. Additionally, car rental companies have deals with mechanics all over the place, so if the car breaks down at any point, you know you will be taken care of fast and without any additional cost.
Calculate the cost
When you rent a car, that’s obviously going to cost you more than driving a car you own – if that is, you don’t need to upgrade your own car. If you’re traveling in the winter, your rental car will be equipped with winter tires, snow chains and anything else you might need on your journey. If you have to buy all of that for your car, then you might be coming to the same cost as before. If you’re not taking a lot of things, and you don’t need a car as big as your regular one, you will be spending less money on gas in that period, ultimately saving some money. Most rental cars are insured through the rental company so you don’t have to pay any additional fees for insurance or any problems that might arise during the trip. Lastly, if you’re traveling to a place that you can only reach by ocean, the cost of putting your car on a ferry and carrying it over could be well over the cost of renting one when you get to the other side.
How to make a rental feel comfortable
Even if you are renting a car, you can still make it feel comfortable. For starters, air it out and put in the same air freshener as you have in your own car. Strap in your kids’ car seats and try to arrange the space around them as best as you can. A good tip is to hang a shoe organizer from the back of the front seats and put all of your kids’ toys, snacks and essentials in there, so it’s easy to reach both for you and them. Try not to put anything in the overhead compartment or any other small storage spaces, because you’ll probably forget to take it with you when you leave.
In the end, you want to choose the safest and most comfortable option for your family. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in that car and you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to have a pleasant trip.
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About the Author
Zara Lewis is a writer and a full-time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.