Is it better to rent a car when you travel abroad? There’s something absolutely fascinating and exhilarating about jumping in a rental car, exploring the corners of a foreign land. Imagine yourself sitting behind the wheel of a car that gives you a special kind of freedom, almost like a bird taking off into the sky…
When you rent a car, you can visit the places that haven’t yet been discovered by tourists. In addition to the non-material advantages, you can say goodbye sky-high cab fares, awkward Uber rides, and overcrowded public transportation.
As an avid traveler myself, I always rent a car whenever the opportunity presents itself. From the foothills of California to the rainforests of Puerto Rico, I’d use a car rental service before anything else. Still a little skeptical about renting a vehicle on your next trip? No problem, let me share the reasons why rental cars have improved my travels and gave me genuine and authentic experiences that changed my perspective (yes, renting a car really is that powerful).
Is it better to rent a car or just take buses/taxis?
1. You Will Travel Like a Local
With a rental car, you’ll blend in with the locals and won’t stick out like a sore thumb. When I travel, I always find it rad to have a license plate native to wherever I’m at. Who would ever know that I’m a tourist, right?
Whether you’re in the traffic-packed streets of Tokyo or windy roads of Croatia, you’ll get to take on new challenges and experience the ups and downs of driving. A few years ago, I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. This was my first time ever in Asia. Some might call me crazy, but I decided to rent a small Prius while I explored Bangkok. The traffic surely tested my driving skills… Although the traffic was intimidating, sure, I felt though as I was one of them. I was surrounded by people from different walks of life – businessmen, street vendors, and even go-go dancers.
When I started to tune out the sound of horns, I was able to put myself in the shoes of the native Thai people. This was the flow of their daily life, and I was part of it. And I liked it.
2. Reach New Heights (Literally)
Renting a car will help you reach new heights, both literally and figuratively. A few years ago, I remember driving in rural Wyoming with my mother. It was night time and we were exhausted from spending the whole day driving through Yellowstone National Park. Just after we reached over 8,000 ft. of elevation, it started to pour. So, there we were, on a dark mountain in the middle of a rainstorm. To make matters worse, the windshield wiper broke just as we hit the highest point of the mountain. Let me advise you, I’ve always been a nervous wreck in uncertain situations. However, that night I put my trust in my mom and reminded myself that at the end of the day, she is in control of the car.
Not only did we reach the highest point on the mountain, but I overcame a fear of mine and put my trust in the rental car and mother. While it might seem silly, you might be surprised how much a good rental car can have an impact on your life and traveling experience.
3. An Extra Splash of Style
Did you ever dream of owning a Lamborghini or Ferrari as a kid? I sure know I did. After coming to my senses and realizing the financial implications of owning a luxury car, I doubt I’ll ever call on my own. Fortunately for myself and other luxury car enthusiasts, getting behind the wheel of an ultra-fancy vehicle isn’t out of reach. If you want to treat yourself (even if it’s only for a day), you can rent an exotic car from one of many car rental companies. It’s not to show offer per say, but rather to get a taste of a lifelong dream that many people have. Whether you’re traveling to Florida or Mumbai, it doesn’t hurt to rent that car you’ve always dreamed of driving.
4. Supreme Comfortability
When I traveled to Brazil in 2015, I can remember how much I dreaded riding in Ubers around the cities with strangers. Although it was nice to meet new people, I had some rude encounters and now try to avoid cabs and ride-sharing experiences when possible.
Not only will renting a car help you avoid awkward situations, but it’s also physically comfortable too (at least compared to public transportation). Rental cars always have a plush and soft seats, perfect after a long day of traveling. Do you want to know another reason why renting a car is my preferred option? Well, you have tons of room for your suitcases and don’t have to take them out every time you leave the car. No matter what type of car I rent, I always enjoy the ride and never have a sore back the next day.
While you might think using a ride-share application is cheaper, a ride here and there certainly adds up. During my travels in the United States and abroad, I’ve learned that renting a car actually saves me money in the long-run. There’s no doubt that a car rental company provides cheap car rental service, especially when compared to taxis. When I spent a week in Puerto Rico, I rented a car while staying in a luxury condominium near the beach. The only food option was at a pricey restaurant located in the gated community. To save money, I went to the local grocery store instead of eating at the restaurant every day. Not only did I money, but I also became more immersed in the culture and familiarized myself with the local food. On a short note, renting a car will save you money in other ways as well.
I always suggest my friends and family ditch public transportation and opt for a car rental. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while traveling, it’s that you get what you pay for. With the freedom that comes with car rentals, I’ve gained new experiences and immersed myself with cultures that I won’t have explored otherwise. No matter where you plan on traveling next, think about the ways a rental car can improve your next adventure!