Choosing the Best Car for Your Vacation

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Who has traveled somewhere and rented a car?

I’m sure a big show of hands would go up if I was asking this in person to a big group of people.

Renting vehicles for a vacation is very common. Depending on your travel needs and what you want to see, sometimes a rental car makes more sense that Uber-ing or relying on tour agencies to pick you up from your hotel.

I have rented a car multiple times for my vacations in the past. I continue to do so yet I have learned better ways of how to do so and what car to choose.

At first, I would choose to add a car to my vacation in order to see attractions that were far away. Later on, it led to purposely adding destinations to my itinerary which would include a road trip. I have realized sometimes it is better to rent a car from my home airport for group trips. This was before I owned an SUV, as car pooling, packing for the beach or a ski trip was difficult in a sedan.

What I sometimes realized, is that I could have picked a better car. I could have saved money and made my money gone further.

Do you recall when you are asked “What model would you want?” or ” I have a Nissan Altima or a Chevrolet Spark, which would you prefer?”. Something along those lines has come out of a representative’s mouth almost each time and it made me think – what is the best car for that particular trip?

Here is how you (and I) can maximize the experience with choosing the best car for ourselves:

  1. Think of Necessities Plus Gas

To me, necessities includes size and gas mileage.

If it’s just me, I can go with a two door car and be happy. If I have others, I opt for a four car door and one that is spacious. Having a sedan in comparison to a coupe is huge, especially for those friends who don’t want to climb into the backseat.

Along with size, comes gas mileage. You can get a fancy looking car (such as a Mustang) but how much gas does it need. Is it fuel-efficient at all? Do you know the average amount of gallons it will go through to get from A to B or before you run on Empty?

I owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse RS hatchback years ago. It ran on about 33 miles to the gallon. My gas tank lasted long!

Now, I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. I am still trying to get it above 16 miles to the gallon. I buy a lot of gas in my opinion!

In between, I had a Mercedes Benz Kompressor which was also great on gas – 30 or so miles to the gallon, but it needed Premium gasoline.

Think how much you would like to spend and what kind of gas the car needs. This all makes a difference in driving as you can expect how often you will need to fill up and the cost. Remember that hills, dirt roads, and windy roads with stop lights are factors too.

2. Research Models

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If you ever got interested in cars, owned one, went shopping for one – then you know you need to do your research.

Going in blindly and making a decision based on what you see can only get you so far.

It’s really fun to read about different models and makes of cars. Why not educate yourself so you know more?

I already have some opinions of who I would like to drive in the future (Infiniti, yes) and who I would probably avoid driving or renting – I won’t mention these here 🙂

The information is all the Internet which makes it accessible, you just need time to do it. is the one that I find most helpful, packed with loads of information in one place.

Look into car options and the choice will be easier in the end.

3. Experiment and Test Them Out

I am mostly referring here to trying out cars in all kinds of aspects.

Drive your friend’s cars, get a feel for them. I can’t say how many times I did this and you instantly feel what you like and don’t like.

Choose a different rental every time you get a rental car. Check ✓

Ask others what they think of their cars and facts – such as gas mileage!

If you go to a store, take a test drive. That can be a day activity in itself and a very fun one if you bring friends.

If you think you know what car you like, make sure you check reviews online. See if there are any glitches or common threads on misfires, a trend in parts that break, or conversations that are similar when people post questions.

What car are you using on your next vacation?