Road Trip tricks with kids

We’re sure you’ve heard from people that once you have kids that your travel days are pretty much over and frankly – that’s not true. Is it a little more expensive? Sure is – but traveling with a family isn’t the hassle some people make it out to be. In fact, it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family.

Some of our most common customers are families with kids. They’re gearing up either for the last leg of a trip or hopping in a rental to hit the road. Either way – while traveling with kids can be exciting for them, there are some setbacks. When it comes to those long trips in our rental cars – we’re sure you’ll have a few. Here are some tips to dealing with typical kids-related travel issues on road trips and how to better manage them.

Let’s jump right in.

Plan your vacation with them

Include your kids in the planning for your next trip. Let them pick some destinations with you and feel like what they want to do really matters – and do it because it should! There is another purpose here though – and that’s that it makes it easier to convince your child to muscle through those last few hours on the road, keep themselves occupied a little longer and hold off on whatever is bothering them – just because they know that carrot is at the end of the stick. Make kids a part of the process!

I’m tired

While it doesn’t always seem like it – kids don’t have the kinds of gas tanks that we do. They need some rest and that goes for rest at night and even some respites during the day – especially if they’re little. Be sure that you plan your road trip in a way and manner that is not completely overwhelming.

I’m bored

Nothing drives a parent crazier than ‘I’m bored’ being bleated out from the back seat (or anywhere else for that matter). While you’ll never fully overcome this objection at any point in time as your children grow up – you can do some things to take the edge off. Make sure you have plenty of activities for them to do in the car, some home comforts like toys, books and snack packs – all of whom can be lifesavers on a trip. And especially if you’re in rental car, plan out some road stop mini-destinations. Things to scrub off the list to say ‘we did that.’ This way, the trip is broken up a little bit more and a bit more bearable for the young ones.

I’m hungry

Snacks are an integral part of any road trip – not just for the kids, but for you, too. Long trips can leave kids cranky and hungry! Also – especially on travel days – try to plan it so breakfast and lunch stops are planned, Like your side-track tourist trap locations along your journey – these help break up the journey but they’re also a more economical choices for meals as they tend to cost significantly less and are considered not-as formal/kid friendly affairs.


Traveling with kids does bring with it some challenges, but the rewards are so much greater. If you’re thinking of hitting the road on your next family vacation, then give us a call! Good luck and enjoy your trip!


Devil’s in the details: Little things that can go a long way on your next trip

We mostly travel for pleasure, so it’s kind of ironic that when we decide to take a trip somewhere that most of the decisions are pretty stressful. How much do you spend? How do you get there? Where will you stay? A lot of things have to come together for the trip to be exactly what you want it to be.

But beyond all that, there’s a lot of little, tiny things that can add up and create a smoother travel experience. The kinds of things that take the edge off and allow you to enjoy your trip. Here are some things you can do to make those little things add up to one, big memorable experience. Let’s jump right in!

Be open to off-campus lots

As airports expand, they need more parking spaces. The trouble is finding one. Parking at airports is expensive and plenty of great deals can be found by driving down the street to lots who are off campus in all but name. If you’re an economy minded traveler, it makes more sense to leave your car there. Not just to save some money, but keeping it so you can spend it in a place that you actually want to spend it.

Make sure your essentials are in your carry-on

If we’ve seen it once, we’ve seen it a ton of times. People lose their bag and with it goes their toothpaste, shampoo, toiletries, clothes and the like. In fact at least one bag gets lost on every single US flight. Crazy, right?

That’s why it’s important to make sure you pack all your essentials in your carry on bag so you know you won’t lose it. We’d also recommend making sure you pack one set of clothes as well. That way if you ever do lose your bag, you’ll have a clean change of clothes!

Remember your info

Kind of an all-encompassing tip – but be sure to remember things like your flight numbers, hotel information and the like. If anything goes wrong, you’ll have everything on hand that you need. Keep things like your boarding pass as it’s a proof of travel that can be used for tax purposes and as a proof of travel. Remember your flight number, too. Seems like no-brainer but some airports don’t list the full names of destinations or only list their flights by number alone. This’ll save you potential headaches.

Get a City Pass

CityPass is an incredible tool if you’re going to be here or Canada. They’re a fantastic way of saving money and will allow you to get into a ton of museums and attractions at either a substantially discounted price or entirely free. It also allows you access to public transit that allows you to get around seamlessly.


The next time you travel, remember these trips and hopefully they’ll make things go smoother. Good luck and safe travels!


Take the edge off business travel

For some, traveling for business is new and exciting. For others, it’s a tiring ordeal where you’re juggling people, deadlines, pressure, time zones and everything else you do during the day. If you’re one of the people who fall into the later group, today’s blog is for you.

Traveling for business can be draining, but there are plenty of ways for you to take the edge off. Here are some tips as to how you can make your next business trip a little bit more bearable. Let’s jump right in!

Always bring a pre-charged phone/device charger

Calls, emails and especially maps and GPS can drain your battery quickly. Make sure you have a portable USB charger on hand. There are plenty of gadgets you can choose from – all of which vary from size to the amount of charge in them. Nothing stinks worse than being on the road with no way of communicating.

Use hotel and car rental rewards

Most Hotel and rental car companies feature some sort of rewards program for their repeat customers. Take advantage of those! You can build up points that get you a lot of free stuff – including rentals, cost savings, discounts and even some cool perks (free drinks, etc). Most businesses are happy to let you book under their credit card with your own personal rewards account – so it’s something that can benefit your personal life as well.

Bring your family

A lot of the stress associated with business travel simply comes from being away from home and not with your family. So when you have the chance – considering bringing them and stay an extra day or two in your destination. It’s a great educational and recreational opportunity for the kids, but it’s also a great way to mix a little business and pleasure while always giving you an added sense of peace of mind.

Take your own excursions

If you’re going to be in town for a few days, then you’re crazy to sit in your hotel room the whole time and sleep. Get out, see the local sights and sounds – take in the scenery, participate in an activity, attend a game – do something to keep your mind off the negativity and stress of travel and enjoy it instead.


If you’re noticing a common trend, that’s because there is one – that’s it’s all about self-care and blending it with business. Half the anxiety and stress associated with business travel is a lack of familiarity and not enough willingness to take the edge off. Get out, enjoy the place you’re traveling, kill it in your meeting and take a deep breath. This should be fun!


How to be a better traveler

Some of our customers travel only every once and a while – while some are seasoned road warriors. We’ve talked to a lot of our customers over the years, particularly our frequent flyers – and have put together a compilation of tips we think can make you a better traveler; or some more specifically – someone who will get a lot more out of their vacations.

Let’s jump right in!

Get up early and avoid those big crowds

The point of travel should be to enjoy the places you go – not the rabble you have to wade through in order to get there. Getting up early has it’s advantages. During the journey – you’ll pay less for flights and experience less stress. While you’re at your destination you’ll beat the crowds and be able to enjoy your time at a particular place. Like they say – the early bird gets the worm!

Slow down

One thing rookie travelers – especially those who go abroad – make the mistake of doing is trying to cram too much into one trip. Ask your seasoned traveler about their best experiences and almost NONE of them will answer ‘the first few days I got somewhere.’ Most often than not, good stuff happens when you take your time to explore. You’ll learn about activities that aren’t in the vacation guide and meet memorable people who are all too eager to how you around. Spend more time and fewer places and we promise – you’ll get the most out of them.

Book cheap in the air/meet the price on the ground

Flying is often the most expensive part of any trip and you can really blow your budget just trying to get to a place. Don’t. There are literally dozens of ways to find cheaper flights and with a little practice and research, you too can become a pro.

When on the ground though – or at least traveling on the ground – get a car rental that’s comfortable to drive, accessible and easy to use in your destination as well as something that can carry all the things that need carrying. That’s to say – it might cost you a little more, but you’re going to appreciate having something you can use to get around.

Bring back-up everything

If you’re bringing a debit card, bring a credit card for back up. And another card for back up to that. Backup the files in your phone and make sure you make copies of your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, and important phone numbers in the event of an emergency. Anything that could go wrong can and sometimes even does go wrong. Be prepared so if that something doesn’t go to plan that it doesn’t completely derail your experience.

Get lost

The best stuff is always off the beaten path. The most authentic experiences, the best memories – they’re almost always where no one is looking. See the big stuff, but don’t rule out the small stuff.

It’s an exciting world out there- don’t be afraid to go see it! Explore some of it now, rather than later.


Packing more efficiently for your next vacation

Packing is a lot harder than people think. But trust us when we tell you that once you get it down – it’ll totally be worth it. No one wants to spend the time or money lugging and paying for big bags on your next vacation, let alone trying to find the space for all your things in one of our rental cars.

Lucky for you, packing for your trip is not only going to get better, it’s going to get a lot lighter. Today, we’re here to discuss how you can pack more efficiently – dare we even say – lightly for your next trip out of town. Here’s how to pack light and get more out of your trip!


Pack your must-haves, not the nice-to-haves

Lay out everything you would like to bring with you and then give it some thought. Eliminate all the things you won’t absolutely NEED on your trip. Resist the urge to be over prepared. That’s nice to be ready for anything, but ‘anything’ rarely happens and what actually ends up happening is that the ‘anything’ you were talking about ends up being you stumbling through an airport with and overstuffed bag.

Never pack more than one week’s worth of clothing

Trust us when we tell you its actually easier (and less expensive) to do laundry than it is to carry a big bag around with a weeks’ worth of clothing in it. Pack some versatile outfits and keep the colors simple. That way you’ll be able to mix and match just about any outfit.

The more versatile, the better

You should zero in on items that’ll always be useful to you or be useful in a ton of situations. Think twice about the things that you’ll only use in or on unique situations. Also, it’s probably a good idea to remember that you can often rent something locally if you need it or find a cheap temporary fix if something goes wrong. And yes – don’t fret about forgetting something! Believe it or not – they have shops everywhere! Trust us when we tell you you’ll be able to find toothpaste on the road!

Use the rolling technique

When you pack for your next trip, simply use the rolling technique with all of your clothes. That way, you’ll be able to maximize your space and place whatever you need into your bag. That way when you’re ripping around an airport, in a rush, in and out of cabs, rental cars, tight spaces and bustling streets – that you’ll be able to do so without the cumbersome responsibility of dragging your stuff everywhere.


Always remember – the most important part of your trip should be enjoying it – not spent lugging your belongings across the globe. Good luck on your next trip!


Staying alert while driving

One of the most dangerous things a person can do is drive tired on the road. Not only could you get yourself hurt and damage your car – you could also seriously hurt someone else. Let’s be crystal clear, here – if you’re tired then don’t drive because driving long distances and trying to maintain a level of alertness can be really risky.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to make sure you stay alert and don’t get to that dangerous, drowsy point while driving. Let’s jump right in!

Be sure to plan

Seems a little obvious, but making sure you’re well rested is an important part of any big trip. Make sure you have time allotted for breaks in your itinerary and avoid driving between midnight and early morning. Try to stay away from meals that might make you sleepy and most certainly stay away from alcoholic beverages.

Don’t ignore the signs

It’s easy to become fixated on getting to your destination and ignore your sleepy signs. If you find yourself distracted, yawning or having difficulty focusing on the road – then you should pull over and take a much needed breather. Always remember – arriving better is always better than not arriving because you were in an accident.

Keep the window open

Fresh air naturally makes us both more alert and awake. Especially in the winter where a car’s heater can settle in and give us that comfortable, sleeping heat; cracking your window and letting the breeze blow in your face and allowing yourself some fresh air can be just the pick me up you need.

Listen to the radio

Make sure you’ve got some sort of background noise or something to focus on while you’re driving that will keep you awake. Some people like audiobooks, some like podcasts other like their own mixes. Whatever does it for you is what you should use.

Drive with someone else

Especially if you’re going on a long trip – be sure to bring someone along. They’ll help keep up a conversation, keep you laughing and will also serve as someone who you can potentially trade seats with and take breaks with here and there.


It’s important to remember though – that the above are only temporary solutions. If you’re feeling drowsy or feel like you might be experiencing fatigue – then it’s time to take a break and do the responsible thing. Your option is basically one thing: stop driving and don’t start again until you’re fully refreshed and ready to go.



The best ‘bliesure’ destinations

Traveling for both business and pleasure is becoming more of the norm these days – or at least people are doing it more openly. Work hard, play hard is becoming an important mantra not just for individuals – but for businesses too, as they see the value in their employees having a little stress-free time to take in the world around them.

We have all sorts of awful names for everything these days, so business and leisure time is now referred to as ‘bleisure’ and we’re not sure how we feel about that, but don’t blame us, we’re just the messenger! Whatever people want to call it though, it’s a good thing and car rental companies like ours all over the country benefit from people not looking at certain travel occasions with as narrow a focus as they have in the past.

More relevant today is that there are plenty of sites out there right now that people prefer for ‘bleisure’ more than others. And that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Here are some of the most popular destinations for people who like to work hard – and play hard, too!

Let’s jump right in!

San Diego/Julian, California

It should go without saying that we talk to a ton of travelers and it’s hard to find anyone who has anything bad to say about San Diego. The weather is nice, the food is off the charts, it’s not nearly as expensive as Los Angeles and there’s a lot of hidden, amazing things you can do there that aren’t tourist traps.

One of those places is the small mountain town of Julian which is about 60 miles north of the city. Hop into your car for an hour and go to a town that literally looks and feels like a California time warp. Hiking there offers some wild views and Julian Pie Company has the best apple pie you’ll ever eat.

Seattle, Washington

Known for its tech and aerospace prowess, Seattle is one of the country’s hottest places for young people to do business in. Part of the reason for that is the serene look and feel of the city and its amenities. Whether it’s a lunch meeting at Pike Place Market or a night out to talk big deals in the Belltown neighborhood – Seattle has something for you regardless of how you like to do business.

And for a treat, chug up to Bellingham if you have a free day. It’s about an hour and a half north – but trust us – it’s worth it. It’s the perfect town to escape the city for a day. You can take a cruise and Village Books is one of the most iconic small town bookstores in America.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has experienced explosive growth in recent years and of course – a big boost in notoriety thanks to lot of success in sports. From bio tech to its steadfast entrepreneurial culture, there’s a lot being made, invented and discussed in Boston. Its academic strength makes it a frequent home for conventions and other big work gatherings – so don’t be surprised to see yourself there soon.
As for what there is to do, it’s hard to find something NOT to do. Boston is the cradle of America’s revolution and all sorts of sites from the Boston Massacre, to Boston Harbor and the old North Church are there and super cheap to see. Boston’s also home to one of the best sports culture in the US – so a game at Fenway, Gillette Stadium or TD Garden should be on your list – or even a college hockey game at one of a half dozen historical old arenas in the city.

And if you’re feeling adventurous – there’s the coastal town of Portsmouth, NH which looks like it was teleported from 1800 or even other historical alcoves like Salem, MA or Plymouth. All of which are within an hour’s drive of Boston-proper. And we also hope you brought your drinking shoes – because Massachusetts is the craft beer capital of the world!

Denver, Colorado

Denver is so beautiful that it’s painful. If your boss tells you you’re going there, you should be really happy. Food, cocktails, BBQ (!!) and business. There’s a laid back undertone to this rocky mountain hotspot as well – that you simply don’t get in more coastal destinations.

And in terms of getting away – there’s probably isn’t a better place. There’s Colorado Springs 70 miles to the south, or for the adventurous – the Red Rocks concert site. Then there’s the Garden of the Gods which is so breathtaking that we’re just going to leave it at ‘you need to see it.’ Because you do.


America is an incredible country with so much to offer and do. But if you’re a professional looking to mix a little play in with your work –you can’t go wrong with any of these destinations. Good luck and enjoy your trip!


Tips for traveling with kids

For many of us, hitting the road with kids can seem like a massive ordeal but the facts don’t lie – families are traveling as much as they ever have. In fact, according to AAA, 70% of traveling families will be looking for new places to see in 2019 and one in four will be taking three or more vacations.

That’s a lot of families and kids on the road – and most important – a lot of kids in new surroundings. For some parents- the thought of that is stressful and they’re not wrong. Kids can be a lot. But they don’t have to be.

Today, here are a few tips to help you survive the next vacation with your kids.

Let’s jump right in!

Let your kids be kids

Kids look forward to vacation as much – or if not more so – than you do, although their priority list is sure to be much different from yours. Some will want to play, hang out with friends, sack out and watch movies and the like. But just because kids have a lot they’re planning on doing doesn’t mean you hand your whole vacation over to them. Be sure to find a balance between having some structured travel plans – while allowing the freedom for kids to do their thing and feel like they’re part of everything.

Keep them fed. Keep them rested

Being well fed and well rested is a priority for most of us parents. But those usual daily routines we’re used to tend to go right out the window when we’re on vacation. The change in pace can sometimes lead to some contentious moments as well. The biggest key is to prepare them for what’s coming. For example when your plane land, let them know that you’ll be waiting in line for a car rental.

Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand and make sure there’s plenty of downtime for kids to recharge those batteries. Vacations are a blast – but they can be exhausting for kids. Make sure they’re ready to go!

Plan two or three things a day

Being spontaneous is just part of traveling, but having activities scheduled keeps people moving and avoids too much unfocused downtime. Still, this way you’ll get to do the things you want to, the kids will get to do what they want to – and everyone goes about their day with a sense of purpose. Sometimes, even involving them in prioritizing the activities can give them something to look forward to and a sense of ownership over the trip.

Anxiety Is Normal

Anxiety is on the rise everywhere so pretending it won’t interfere with your prized vacation is like thinking flies won’t invite themselves to your next picnic. Everyone is a new place, you’ll be dealing with lines, crowds, unexpected expenses and a whole gammit of other things. Just plan for it. Bring distractions like mad libs, books, and other ‘cognitive’ distractions for everyone to take advantage of. Especially when moving about, it’ll take the edge off.


Good luck on your next family trip!


Car Rental Break-ins

No one goes out looking for their rental car to get broken into, but sometimes bad luck has a way of just finding you.

Other times, it just takes a little more awareness of where you’re at – like in a city with a car break in problem. Heck, it might not be a dangerous city, but for example in San Francisco about five years ago, car break ins skyrocketed. Who knows why that happened, but it did.

The good news is that car break ins are becoming more and more infrequent with city-owed garages, cameras, fencing and routine police surveillance all playing an important role in helping to ebb the effects of crime.

That being said – it’s still important to make sure to not only know what to do to minimize the risk of your rental car getting broken into – but that you also know what to do in the event the worst case scenario does occur and you have to deal with a car break in.

What are some precautions I can take?

Your rental car isn’t any different than your regular car and it’s important that you treat it as such. Don’t park your car in poorly lit areas. Don’t leave the car unattended for long periods of time. Keep your doors locked, roll up your windows and make sure that you don’t leave valuables laying about in your car. Do that – and you’ll be fine.

What do I do if someone breaks into my car?

The first thing you’re going to want to do is document the damage. If you come upon your car and the window is broken or find the lock’s been picked, don’t touch the car. Instead, take in the details of the break in from the outside of the car. Take photos of the places where there’s damage or a place where something’s been taken from. Write these things down and if you don’t have a pen and paper, simply use your phone’s notepad feature. The more specific you are, the better.

The second thing you need to do is file a police report. Yes, our car got broken into, but chances are it’s your stuff that got stolen. File a report as soon as possible. This is important because they can also document the damage, back up your story and begin an investigation if warranted.

Finally, it’s time to call your rental company. It’s really important however, that you file your police report first. When you call, we’ll ask for the case number so we can take care of everything we need to take care of on our own end. From there, you’ll want to take care of your insurance needs as well. If you purchased LDW insurance from our company, you’re covered on the damage. If you’re using your own insurance, you need to let your company know.

Experiencing a break in is never fun, but like we said at the beginning- it’s a lot less stressful when you know what you need to do. Follow those tips, stay safe and enjoy your time on the road!


How to pack for your next business trip

Seasoned business travelers all have their own tips and tricks as to how to stay ahead of things on the road. But for you beginners out there – the whole thought process of going over what to bring and what to leave behind can be a little overwhelming.

So switching gears this month – we’ll be talking about some tips you can use to make your business trip run as smoothly as possible.

Charge your electronics

This seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re helter-skelter with chargers and the like, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got as much juice in your devices as possible. You’ll be on the go, so there won’t be much time to stop and charge.

Keep your valuables in your carry-on

Keep your travel docs, medications and electronics on your carry-on. You don’t want to risk losing them or having them all end up in the wrong city if there’s a baggage issue. Keep your essentials on you at all times. You can always check TSA guidelines and see what is permitted and what isn’t.

A note about clothes

If you’re traveling for business, you’ll want to be sure to not over pack. In terms of what you should pack, we recommend neutral colors and keep the style basic. That way you can mix and match according to the situation. Also another pro tip – if you’re unsure of the dress code, go business casual. It never fails.

The next thing to think about is how you’ll pack. We recommend either going flat fold or using the old roll-it-up technique. That way you’ll maximize the space in your bag and will be able to travel lighter.

Plan ahead

No kidding, right? But we’re serious when we tell you that you’ll be glad you did. Being away from home is always a little unsettling, so having your tickets ready to go, knowing in advance how much time you’ll have to get from A to B and not having to pack last minute will be a major relief. Also be sure to make sure your luggage tags are up to date and the important things on your person can be recovered if lost.

Also take some time to go over your schedule and see where you need to be and when. This can save you a ton of time and will also help you figure out when you have downtime so you can schedule out a little personal fun as well. Business trips without fun aren’t business trips!


Good luck!


Common car rental pitfalls to avoid

We like to make sure our customers get value here and as such, we’ll give you advise on what NOT to do as much as we’ll share out what you should do. This month’s blog is dipping a bit more into the negative again and sharing out the five things you absolutely DO NOT want to do when you rent a car.


Not refueling your car on the way back

When you’re driving off the lot immediately after renting your car, be sure to scope out the local gas stations and plan on stopping there on your way to returning your car. Neighborhoods in and around airports can be a bit cumbersome and not the best places to explore on your way to catching a flight. Do your work in advance so you’re not pressed for time. And that way – you’ll return the car with a full tank and not get whacked with unnecessary fees.

Ignoring offers for upgrades

Here’s a pro-tip. Companies like ours have a lot of leeway in terms of what upgrade options we can offer. Smart car renting means reserving the right sized car for your trip – but then when you get here – simply come to the desk and ask about upgrades. Depending on price, you might find yourself in a bigger, more comfortable car for only a little bit extra!

Not checking reward programs

Memberships to things like AAA, AARP and the like can give you a lot of perks and one of those often times includes a car rental discount! We as a business join those organizations for a reason because we want the customers! Don’t be afraid to ask us if we offer a discount for your membership club – because for us it could mean the difference between getting and not getting your business!

Crossing international borders

We’re 100% sure you’re probably laughing at this right now, but you’d be surprised. Rental agreements in the US usually don’t allow you to drive across international borders. Your insurance won’t cover you there, ours won’t cover our car there – all in all, it’s a disaster for everyone. And it could cost you a boatload of money. Don’t do it.

Not inspecting your car before dropping it off

You’d be amazed at how many people don’t check their car thoroughly before they leave and right before they return their cars. This is really important because if there’s any damage, you’ll get billed for it. And if there’s something we missed – we certainly don’t want to rent you a car that has something wrong with it! So be sure to check your car for any dents, scrapes, damage and the like. It’s worth it in the end.


Do you have any other suggestions? Did anything above work well for you or backfire for any reason? Let us know in the comments.


Full size or standard? Which rental car is best for you?

Whenever anyone travels, they’re faced with a whole slew of decisions to make. Not only are they deciding where they want to go, but they’re also trying to figure out where they’ll eat, where they’ll stay, which flight to take, whether to fly or drive and more. One of the decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of rental car you’ll want to use.


Usually – this boils down to a choice between two types of cars: Standard rental cars and full-sized rental cars. Now bear in mind, some companies have other classifications – mid-sized, compact, etc. – so these aren’t ‘standard’ so to speak. But at the end of the day, branding, make, model and all – you’re going to have to decide whether you want a bigger car or a smaller car.

Standard rental cars

 Also known as Mid-size or intermediate, standard rental cars usually fit about 4-5 people comfortably with some additional space for luggage. They get outstanding gas mileage and are easy for just about any traveler to handle.

Full size rental cars 

Full size rental cars are typically bigger and more spacious. Although most commonly associated with them – Full-size does not always mean ‘SUV’. They’re more correctly defined as larger, four door passenger vehicles that seat up to five passengers with plenty of space for luggage. There’s more leg room and space, making them the perfect choice for long trips with other people.

They tend to run you a little more money – as it costs more to fuel them and they typically only get around 23-30 miles per gallon. It really comes down to whether you want comfort or care more about your budget.

What should I go with? 

At the end of the day, what matters most is your trip and the purpose behind it. If it’s to take your time, relax and have fun, then plunking the $25 or so extra for the bigger, more comfortable car is worth it. Or – if you know you’ll be driving around a lot.

A smaller car is probably a better idea if you’re not going to be driving much and simply want something to get you from A to B. It’s probably better for you in an urban environment, too – as it’s smaller size will be able to help you navigate the sometimes tricky contours of your average city.

By contrast, the full-size car is probably a better bet if you’re heading into the countryside or going camping. It’ll be better able to handle the rougher conditions, go more places and give you that little bit extra comfort.

In the end, it’s all your call. It’s your trip, so make the best choice for you! Safe travels!


Tips for driving in the city

For many, driving in traffic is a flat-out, anxiety inducing nightmare. Cars cutting you off, races from light to light, no parking, rude drivers – you name it, there’s plenty to worry about.


There’s plenty you can do however, to make that experience a little easier on you. Here are some tips for driving in the city that can make your experience a whole lot easier.


Get the right car


Here’s where we come in. If you’re driving in the city, do yourself a favor and don’t rent a big car. Get something like a sedan or compact car that can zip in and out of small spaces and can fit into nooks and crannies. If you’re in the city, chances are you’ll be headed there for something specific so don’t worry about glitz and glam. Focus on practicality and having something that’s going to work in that space.


Go full auto


Stick shifts are fun and save you money on your rental, but they’re completely impractical for the city. Especially in hilly places like San Francisco, they just add an element of parking you don’t need to worry about. Keep it simple and go with an automatic transmission.

Figure out how much you’ll be driving


MPG is a thing to consider depending on what city you’re in. If you’re here in Tampa or a more spread out city like Los Angeles, you’ll want something that gets good gas mileage because it’s not as easy to get from place to place and things are a bit more spread out. If you’re in a more compact city or one like New York with narrow streets, it’ll be less of a concern.

Get assistance


Having a few tools can go a long way in the urban jungle. Make sure your car has a full-blown security system because you’ll have to worry about things like break-ins a little bit more. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also explore the option of parking assistance. It’s especially handy when you’re parking in tight spaces with a lot of pedestrians around who won’t hesitate to walk right out in front or in back of your car.

Use navigational tools


In the city you have to make decisions faster, so having a GPS or something like it on board makes a colossal difference in your experience and can also help you find those hard-to-discover places you might be headed to. Sure, it might cost a little bit extra, but it’s worth it!



Finally, the best advice we can give you is to not sweat the small stuff. Cabbies will cut you off, people will walk in front of your car and drivers might be rude – but just keep your cool. If you’re going be late, be late. It’s not the end of the world and your safety and sanity is what’s most important. Good luck!


Be wary of credit card car rental insurance

There are dozens of ways to insure yourself when driving a rental car and one of the most popular ways is through your credit card company. It seems cheap up front, but there is a lot you need to know before using it. While you might save a few bucks up front – in the event something does happen – you’ll wish you had used your rental car agencies’ coverage.

Here are some of the pitfalls of credit card car insurance.

Be wary of credit card coverage

Credit cards offer a variety of benefits, and car rental insurance is certainly one of them. But credit card car rental insurance isn’t always the best. For one, it’s almost never universal, so you can’t easily use it from company to company. The other thing to know is that credit card car rental insurance might cover certain cars, but not others.

The big thing to remember is if you’re on a long trip where you’ll need your car for a number of days, maybe even weeks. Credit Card Car insurance will only insure you up to a certain amount of dates, which if you don’t know, could end up costing you the full amount at the end of the trip if something happened.

Limited options

In most cases, if you want to use your credit card to insure your rental, you have to put the full amount of the rental onto your credit card. If someone has limited or poor credit, this keeps you out of the game and if you don’t put the full amount on your card, then you’re exposed.

Again, if you’ve got a big line and are ok – then that’s one thing, but just remember where the bill’s going at the end of the day.

Credit card coverages usually offer secondary coverage

Be mindful of this. If you’re in an accident, then you’re going to have to go through other avenues for compensation if you need to pay for your damages. There’s a charge to your personal auto insurance, and then once that’s done – you try to claim the rest through your credit card company. It’s not the easiest route to go.

Some companies do offer full coverage, but it depends on the cardholder and your own personal account to know what you are protected from.

Paying up front

Credit Card car insurance usually assigns itself as secondary insurance. And your auto insurance is almost always going to make you pay out of pocket – at first – for your damages. Any complications and you’re looking at harm to your credit score. Be wary.



Tips for the first time business traveler

For people that have never been on business trips before, there can be a little bit of a learning curve. Taking a trip on someone else’s dime isn’t something most younger professionals are used to and as such, there can be some pitfalls, and benefits that are often fallen into and overlooked.

If you’re going on your first business trip, then today’s blog is for you! Here are some things to think about before you head out on your first business trip.

Be sure you know the company handbook

What we mean by this is just knowing the rules under which you’re traveling. It’s important to know what you can expense, what needs to come out of pocket, etc. In addition, it’s good to know behavior expectations and any corporate deals or memberships you can use. If there isn’t some sort of guidebook – just be sure you ask in advance.

Avoid rides-haring

Renting a car is usually covered by your employer. Ridesharing usually isn’t. In addition, you’ll have the luxury of being able to come and go as you please as well as have a reliable way of ensuring that you’re always on schedule. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but at least you’ll be able to get it reimbursed.

Pack to be on the move

One of the golden rules of any business trip is packing light and packing to be mobile. If it can’t fit in a carry-on suitcase, then you’re bringing way too much. Pack a professional outfit, some business casual outfits, something to work out in and then just some personal garb. Also be sure to scope out the weather forecast for your destination. That way – you won’t be caught short handed by the weather.

Have fun, but don’t go nuts

Business trips are fun – but you have to remember that work is priority #1. But when it comes to your free time, it’s important to not go overboard. Don’t be the last guy back at the hotel, make sure you’re getting enough sleep to function and don’t do anything that could jeopardize your professional relationships.

Business trips are awesome if you know the ropes, so be sure to follow these tips and enjoy all the personal and professional growth that can come from the experience! Enjoy your first business trip!


Rental Car Drop off 101

This one is for some of you rookies out there who haven’t ever rented a car before and aren’t sure what to do when you bring it back. We’re sure you’ve probably hard some not-so-great stories from your peers in the past but rest assured that if you do these four, basic things – dropping off your car should be a breeze.

Let’s jump right in!

Check the agreement

Be sure to take a quick glance through your rental agreement before you leave the place you’re staying. It should include information on the places where you can drop your car off, what time it needs to be dropped off and requirements on the gas tank. The agreement is a contract and not abiding by it could result in your paying extra fees, so be careful to go over it in full.

Return the car on time

Being on time is a basic adult skill, but making sure you return your rental car on time is really, really important. Companies like ours handle hundreds of reservations a day and are depending on you to return cars when you promise you will. That makes sure that our fleet is used efficiently and that everyone is served as fairly as possible.

Be sure to plan for the day you leave so that you take time to account for traffic and the like.

Fill your tank

Chances are you won’t be too familiar with the surrounding area around a rental car drop off station. Take a gander at your phone or a map the night before and get an idea of where the nearest gas station is. That way, you can fill the tank upon return. While it might be a little bit more convenient for you to not fill the gas tank, the convenience will cost you. Companies will charge you on a per gallon rate that’s more expensive than local gas rates. Just get the car filled up and save some money.

One last walkthrough

Give your car a once over in the parking lot BEFORE you bring your rental back. Check to make sure you have all your belongings but also check to see if there is any damage to the interior or exterior of the automobile. Make notes of trouble area, too. If there is damage, then we recommend you take photos of it and write it down.

If you have questions about dropping off your car, just give us a call. We want to you to spend as little time as possible thinking about us and as much time as possible doing and enjoying the things that caused you to travel in the first place. Just follow these four basic tenants, and your drop off should go smoothly.



Renting Cars Abroad

So we deal mostly in domestic drivers, but we always want to provide you with some value on this blog. And while we’d love to position ourselves as GLOBAL LEADERS, we’re not. We’re an individual shop who do a great job.

But we also get a lot of folks who are repeat customers and the reason they come back is simply that we know what we’re doing. They get a good deal, they get great service and hey – like any small company – we provide a little extra value for the money invested. So consider today’s blog one of those times.

We have a lot of international traveler who go elsewhere in the world and while renting here is a fairly straight-forward process, renting a car in another country is as challenging to some as learning the language.

Today’s blog is all about some things you’ll need to know if you’re renting a car abroad.

Are you eligible to drive? 

If you’re in an English speaking country, the chances are you’ll be able to get by on your drivers license. Some countries though, want you to have an IDP or what they call an International Driving Permit. It’s not a bad idea – especially if you’re a frequent flyer – to at least look into the option. They’re recognized in over 150 countries and renting a car becomes simple.

But don’t let this put you off – because getting an IDP isn’t hard. All you need is a form, a valid license and two photos of yourself. Then of course the payment – but you won’t drop more than $20-$25. And yes- you’ll need to be at least 18 to get one.

Always check the minimum and maximum driving age in each country. Some countries like Ireland won’t give you a vehicle if you’re over the age of 70.

Get covered 

US auto insurers will almost never insure you while driving abroad, with the sometimes exceptions of Canada and Mexico. To get insurance abroad, we recommend checking with your credit card company first. Many offer overseas driving insurance for tourists.

Outside of that, it’s just a good idea to purchase the company’s regular insurance. It might not be good in many cases, but it’ll at least protect you. It’s an extra expense well worth it.

Get comfortable

Believe it or not, auto transmissions can be a premium in overseas driving markets. You’ll pay more if you want an automatic. Just be ready for this. Also get used to roads that have significantly more bend, more curves, corners and that are generally less maintained than US roads. In some countries you’ll even drive on the opposite side of the road.

The trick is just to make sure you have as many comfortable conditions lining up in your favor as possible. Get a good GPS and you should be all set. If you don’t have one – check with your car rental service and they should provide you one for roughly $14 per day

Know the rules

Be sure to know the usual signage meanings and rules of where you’re going to drive. ON the German Autobahn – you can fly. In other areas, driving 30mph can get you in trouble. Ignorance is never an excuse for violating the law, so make sure you know your rights, your options and what you can and cannot do.

It’s rare to have the open road ahead of you never mind in a foreign country. Take the time to plan – and the experience will be that much more rewarding. Relax and enjoy your time out of the country!


Renting cars with pets

Everyone loves their pets and for some, the thought of leaving them behind while you’re trotting across the country is difficult. Fortunately for animal lovers everywhere, car rental companies are becoming more open to the idea of traveling with pets in their cars. If it’s your first time traveling with your furry friend, there are some things you should know in advance and that’s what we’re here to discuss today.

Here are some tips for renting a car with your pet.

Bath Time

One of the best ways to make sure your pet doesn’t smell up a car is to give them a bath and make sure they’re clean. Remember – this is a vehicle that’ll be used by a lot of people – so be considerate and be cognizant of your pet’s odor and do your best to keep them clean. No fleas or ticks, please!

Seat covers are your friend

There are a whole bevy of products available to help keep the fur off the seats and make sure they’re protected. Full seat covers and pet hammocks are effective and can be purchased at any local pet store. It gives them their own space and thing to sit and sleep on – without the hassle of cleaning up after them when you’re done.

Keep your pet dry

Wet hair is incredibly potent, but it’s also preventable. Be sure to thoroughly dry or clean your pet in the event they get wet or go swimming. While it’s more or less expected that your pet will leave signs that it was, in fact – in the rental car; you can get dinged with fees if the smell in the car is too much. So it’s best to avoid the wet stuff.

Don’t leave your pet unattended

This should be obvious to people, but we can’t stress it enough. To heck with the car – it’s flat out wrong to leave your pet cooped up in a car in any weather. It can lead to interior damage in the car, the danger of heatstroke, or something worse. If you do need to leave your pet in the car, make sure someone is there to sit with them.

Clean your rental before returning it

Hopefully the end of your trip means lots of happy memories and good times. But just in case you have a mishap, or even if you’ve checked all the ‘must do’s’ and the car is still a little messier than anticipated, then don’t sweat it. Just get it cleaned quickly before you drop it off. A quick vacuum can make a big difference.

Bring some toys

Pets regularly struggle with new environments and that can lead to some erratic behavior. Sometimes they’ll chew on seatbelts or other features in the car. Bring some familiarity from home for them to give a little added comfort.

Good luck on your next trip and hopefully you and your pet can create lots of great memories!


Choosing the right car for the right trip

Choosing your location is probably the most important thing on your next trip – but choosing the right rental car comes in as a close number 2! Arriving in a busy city like Tampa and finding out that the car you rented is too big to fit into certain parking spaces or navigate through traffic comfortably can be awful! That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re matching up the right car with the right destination.

And of course – that’s why we’re here, today! Here are a few destination/car matches that can make your trip that much more enjoyable.

For cities: compact cars and sedans

If you’re going to be in a city – whether it’s a spread out one like Dallas or Los Angeles or a more condensed crowded New York or Boston, then you’ll want a smaller car to help you navigate said city. Parking is tighter, traffic is heavier and space in general is more condensed – even in places with more sprawl. You’ll need something to squeeze into those tight places and create bigger spaces on your own.

The long road trip: SUV’s or 4×4’s

If you’re planning to make that big trek out of the city and into the wild blue yonder – wherever that might be – then it’s best to get big wheels for those big dreams. Any time distance, remote locations or staying in several different places blend together – then you need something bigger to sit more comfortably for longer and store all the things that will inevitably be coming with you.

SUV’s and 4×4’s are ideal for these sorts of trips because they’re big enough to carry camping gear, hiking gear or any other needs that may arise. They’re capable of handling any kind of terrain and especially if you’re going off the beaten path (literally), then these guys are the only way to go.

The day trip: Sports car or convertible 

Let’s say you’ve got a morning meeting in a city and then a whole lot of time to burn before you go home. Or that you’re looking to do a turbo tour for relatives coming to a nearby city for a short period of time… then we recommend that you get the kind of car that can get you around and allow for maximum sight seeing.

No trip to LA is complete without a trip up to Malibu. No evening in New York is complete without a cruise through Times Square. And you’ll need a car you can lean out of, one you can snap photos from. You’ll need a car that’s compact enough for the city but has enough power for those places that are a little more remote. You’ll need something that can get you to that site an hour away quickly.

So we recommend you use a sporty sedan or a convertible. There just isn’t a better way to take in the surroundings!

Choosing the right rental care for your trip is about choosing where you want to go and what you want to do. Good luck with your next trip and if you’re going to be in the Tampa area, we hope to hear from you very soon! Safe travels!



Renting cars in the winter

Especially for those of us who are travelers in the Tampa region, traveling in winter weather can present a whole host of challenges other than getting up and off the runway and to your destination. Driving isn’t particularly fun in the winter and with that in mind, we come to our topic for this month: driving a rental car in the winter.

A lot of folks will advise you to rent the all wheel drive vehicles and to spruce them up with heat warmers and the like. Honestly, it’s not a bad idea at all. But still, you’d be surprised that unless you’re in a ‘buried by snow’ city like Buffalo, you probably won’t need that and you can waste a lot of unnecessary money acquiring those features.

The simple truth of the matter is that most to all cars today are front-wheel drive and should handle well in most snowy and icy conditions. Most even come with anti-lock breaks, which we feel is a must if you’re traveling in the winter – so just be sure and ask to make sure your rental comes equipped with them.


We say this because more often than not, the most dangerous thing about driving in the cold and snow is breaking – especially on sharp curves. Anti-lock breaks help you and the car from slipping out of control. Now notice we only said ‘help’ because snow sometimes has a mind of it’s own.


Which brings us to our next point – which is to simply slow down. No matter what wing-dings you have for your vehicle of choice, none of it will do you any good if you’re driving around at 60MPH in snow. Now that being said – it’s a good idea to avoid rear-wheel drive cars altogether – particularly sports cars like Mustangs and many Cadillacs. They handle very poorly in cold, wet conditions. Stick with all wheel drive and front-wheel drive cars only!


Also be sure to keep your fluids full. Washer fluid, gas and the like. Gas is particularly important because gas equals heat, so keep as close to a full tank as you can throughout your trip.


The next piece of advice would be to simply prepare yourself. Pack warm clothes and wear them. Keep a shovel and a roadside assistance number handy. And if there was ever a time to NOT avoid car insurance – this would be it. While you can take all the precautions in the world, it’s no guarantee that others will. And with snow comes an increased likelihood of an accident being caused by something. Just be prepared for the worst!

In closing, the best thing to do is to make sure that your car is ready to drive, that you’re ready to drive yourself in the snow and that you provide yourself with the necessary safety nets in the event something bad happens. Do those three things, and you should arrive at your desired destination happy and healthy. Safe travels!


Keeping information secure in a car rental

Renting a car is a fun time and some of us even like to go all out when we do it and get all the bells and whistles we could or can’t afford in our actual cars. There’s a certain ‘playing pretend’ fun about renting cars, for sure.

And there’s no doubt that many of today’s bells and whistles are really, really cool. Web browsing, streaming music, hands free calls and texts – all of it can really add to your experience. While it’s all fun – there is a danger in it though – and that’s privacy.

Staying connected is important in today’s world, but there are certainly some things to keep in mind if you’re renting a full-connected car. Cyber security and data protection is a big issue in today’s world and it’s certainly (inevitably) leaked its way into the automotive industry as well. And that’s what we’re here to help with today.

Here are some things you can do to keep your data and information more secure when you rent a car.

Don’t connect your devices to the infotainment system for charging – We know – that’s kind of asking a lot – but it’s safer to use a cigarette lighter adapter. Why? Because more often than not, USB connections transfer data automatically without asking your permission. And that’s data you may or may not want in the hands of others.

Be sure to check all your permissions – In a smooth transition from point #1, be sure to check all the permission functions on your phone – or the section in your settings that says what your device can and can’t share. Grant access to only the things you think are necessary. So if you want to just play music – make sure that music is the only thing your car can access.

Delete all your data before returning the car – We actually see this a lot where a client returns a car to us and doesn’t reset the infotainment system. While WE do that here, not everyone does it or even trains their employees to do it. So what happens is that your data is just there, hanging out there for anyone to take. And truth be told – you don’t know who will be renting that car next. Clear our your information so it doesn’t get stolen.

So why is all this information management important? Aside from the general embarrassment that can come from it – valuable information can be retained in a car – such as your home address, where you work, bank, etc. Your phone number, other people’s contacts and even text messages can all be logged as well. Keeping this information out of the hands of people is important.

So the next time you rent a connected car – have fun! But take the necessary precautions to protect you and your information from harm.


Holiday Car Rental Tips

Traveling during the holidays is always stressful and while we’d love to write a blog about how it’s no big deal and how we can make it easy for you – that’s just not true. There are simply too many things that can go wrong, that get complicated and that can be stressful about the whole experience.

Many things we don’t even have to bother going over with you here. You know the drill, right? Presents, family, kids, more people, more stress, flights to catch, connections to make, multiple mood gear shifts – it’s all there.

But we can do – is help take the edge off a bit by helping you find a great deal on your holiday car rental. The one thing people ALWAYS overlook during this time of year is renting a car from here to there. You’re more worried about making sure you get to your general destination via flight, you’re worried about buying presents, you’re worried about surprises, valuables – all of it.

So we’re here to remind you that – yes, you’ll probably need a rental – but that there are ways to make your experience easy, affordable – and do it all with as little stress as possible.

So let’s jump right in!

Make sure you need one

If you’re traveling within the city limits or close to an airport – then a taxi, Uber or rail might be all you need. But if you’re traveling to a destination located out of a particular metro area, the chances are you’ll need a car. Then from there – it really comes down to the length of your trip and the kind of comfort, space and room you’re looking to get.

Set a budget

When people travel during the holiday season, the last thing they usually take into account is the expense of a rental car – and that’s where they tend to get themselves into a little trouble. Set a budget and do what you can to stick to it. Everyone’s purses get stretched thin during the holiday season – so get what you need.

Search for local deals

While the big boxes get all the attention, a lot of people don’t know that going with a smaller, more local car rental company can prove to be far more beneficial. They’ll be able to work with you on things like budgets, stipulations and the like. And above all else – try to stay away from booking rental cars at the airport. Go off-campus, so to speak. You’ll pay more for the ‘convenience’ of renting a car at the airport when a simple shuttle or taxi cab ride can save you hundreds of dollars.

Do your research

Get an idea for what the actual going rates for the period of time that you’ll be traveling. The holiday season tends to see a bit of a spike with many rental car services, so get an idea of what the market looks like and see where you can find the best rate. Also – don’t be afraid to travel off the beaten path and look local. Again – you’ll be able to wheel and deal effectively there – and they need your business. You’ll get better, more reputable service.

Be mindful of terms, conditions, deals and packages

The holiday season brings with it a significant uptick in business for car rental companies. To maximize their profits, companies will frequently offer deals, holiday specials and package deals. Take advantage of them – that’s what they’re there for!


Three things we wish other car rental companies would stop doing

Bad service is the exact opposite of what we want to do. And too many times the customers we get are people coming off of bad experiences with others. While we’re not all that optimistic that they’ll stop soon, we can at least take a few moments to grind our gears.

So let’s jump right in.

High pressure sales tactics

We wrote a blog a few months ago about how everyone’s now a salesman. Everyone. Rental companies make a ton of money off of optional insurances and let’s face it – sometimes they are absolutely worth it. They’re also absolutely profitable for companies. But the extent to which they’re pushed isn’t good. It’s great to let customers know what they might want because they don’t know everything. It’s a different thing altogether to pressure them into something they don’t want.

Optional but mandatory

This doesn’t happen as much here – but overseas you’ll see a lot of companies who will provide you with the option of taking insurance or ancillary products. However, it’s not really an option because if you choose to NOT take the add-on you get charged a fee for opting out of that. Nuts, right? If you’re going to charge the money anyway, include it in your standard fare.

Don’t worry about it until you have to

This unfortunately happens more than it should. “This” – meaning when rental car agents inspect your car for damage – they go looking. And we mean really, really looking. Be sure to notate everything up front about the car and list off any damage. Get a list from your agent and make one yourself. That way – everyone’s on the same page.

It’s also a good thing to do because sometimes this just happens by mistake. Or that you’ll get one employee who’s pretty relaxed about damage while you have others who are hopelessly tied to employee rules and regulations. Some like to video tape inspections, honestly that’s a little far on our end. We’ll initial and sign off on a list if you need us to. If you’re video taping someone doing an inspection, than maybe you should reconsider why you chose that company in the first place.

Any other things that drive you nuts? Grinds your gears? Let us know below!


4 things you can do to make your next business trip as safe as possible

Traveling is always stressful, even for your most rugged, grizzled road warriors. The trips are long, you always have to be on your toes and being in unfamiliar faces is dependably draining.

This month, we’ve got some tips to share with you that can help make sure your mind is at as much peace as possible on your next road trip – but more importantly – a whole heck of a lot safer.

Let’s jump right in!

Share your itinerary

Some of us just hate the fact that everyone is watching what we do seemingly all the time and escaping the watchful eye of our supervisors, employees and peers is seen as a luxury in today’s world. But on a business trip, it’s a safer bet that someone knows where you are. That’s why if you have an itinerary, share it with someone.

That way people will know where you are. In case something happens like an accident and the like – at least someone will have a general idea of where you are, why, etc. Also don’t be afraid to check in. Sometimes we get stuck in cities, places and meetings and it’s good to call and/or text in to just say ‘I’m good, just running behind.’

Download some helpful apps

There’s an app for everything these days, and when you’re off the proverbial reservation, it’s a good idea to have those tools handy at your disposal. Some really good ones we’ve found:

  • Gas Buddy – helps locate nearby gas stations quickly in case you’re running low on fuel.
  • iExit – Restaurants, C-stores or whatever else you need is right at your fingertips.
  • Me – Super detailed maps and it works in the most highly populated cities as well as totally remote rural areas. It also has an offline accessibility feature as well AND has updated exit information should you ever find your exit under construction unexpectedly.

Get your rest

Even the most hardened road warriors will tell you to get your sleep – especially if you’re driving. And on the road – that’s a little harder. Humans have a harder time sleeping in unfamiliar places, after all.

If you’re driving, make lots of rest stops where you can snooze for a bit if you have to. And at night – even if you don’t feel tired – it’s a good idea to rest at least for a little while. Our bodies naturally have triggers to doze purely because it’s night out; so don’t leave yourself and others susceptible to injury.

Keep emergency equipment on board

You never know when you’ll take a slip, a stumble, blow a flat, slam your hand in the door – accidents are all around us. Being prepared is important. A road emergency kit can cost you $20 and give you everything you need. Make sure you have it on you even if the rental car you’ve procured has one. Better to be safe than sorry.

If you already have one at home, just bring it with you. Toss it in the trunk or backseat.

Here’s our best for a safe business trip and an even safer trip home!


Don’t get pitched!

A lot of our customers think of us as a great service – and in a way – they’re right. Local car rental companies are kind of like disrupters in our industry. The small vs. big rental car company has been a thing for years, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t jump into the fray a bit and advocate for ourselves.

The first thing to remember about the big boys – is that everyone who you’ll have contact with – is a sales person. All of them.

  • The guy who takes your reservations on the phone? Sales guy.
  • The guy who works at the counter? Sales guy.
  • The guy who works from home and works remotely to assist you while you’re out and about? Sales person.

Why? The answer is simple – the idea of the big box car rental companies is to maximize the cost of their rentals to drive revenue. Conversely – companies like ours are the opposite – we need you to have a good experience. If we don’t, we’re out of business. So the drive and motivations are almost completely different.

When you call a reservations line, that agent is not going to search for the best deal. He’s not going to remind you to use your loyalty card. He’s not going to hold you to reading the terms and conditions, either. They’re there to maximize revenue above all else.

While it’s part of us sticking up for ourselves a bit – we advise renters to stay away from the sales pitches. They’re going to want to get you to tack on as much additional cost to the rental transaction as possible. Meanwhile, we have to wheel and deal to get you to not only rent from us – but keep on coming back.

  • We offer newer cars that are more reliable
  • We offer better service and almost always at a lower cost
  • We offer free transportation to and from the airport and free local customer pickup.
  • Canceling and reservation changes aren’t a hassle
  • And we offer a variety of off-beat low rates – rates lower than you’ll see with a national brand.

So next time you’re looking for a more flexible experience and you’re in the Pensacola area, think fondly of us and we’ll make sure we take good care of you. Don’t get tacked to the wall with fees and service at arm’s length.


Your guide to car types

You know what you know and you know what you don’t know sometimes – and for most folks renting cars – you’d be surprised at just how little they know about makes and models. And knowing your cars is important – because the type of car you rent has a huge impact on how much you pay.

Here’s the basic car types you should know – as rental car companies classify them.


Coupes are simply two door vehicles with a fixed roof. Some common makes and models of a coupe are the Mini Cooper, Audi A5 and Volkswagon Beetles. They’re small, good for getting around in cramped traffic places like cities. They’re bad if you have a lot of stuff, people and/or are generally a bigger person.


Sedans are classified as four-door cars with three essential components to the their design: A place for the engine, a place for passengers and a place for cargo. If you’re traveling abroad, you may hear them referred to as a saloon. Common makes and models of a sedan are an Audi A4, Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla.


The main feature of the hatchback is that it’s got a door in the back of the car that opens like a hatch. That’s literally everything. Sizes and shapes of hatchbacks vary greatly, but they’re generally smaller cars. So if you have a lot of people, it’s probably not the best choice. But what they CAN do that a coupe can’t – is store an awful lot of stuff. The VW Golf, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio are common hatchbacks.


Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) are probably the most popular type of cars in the US just because of their sheer versatility and practicality. They’re bigger cars that come with four wheel drive functionality. They can go off-road and handle snow well. They’re safe, can store stuff, people, you name it. They can get a little bit more pricey though because they tend to consume more gas than most cars. Common SUV’s include Hyundai Santa Fe’s, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and the popular Honda Pilot.


Convertibles simply have removable roofs. That means you can drive the car with a roof or without one. Whichever you fancy. Known for slick performance and lots of sizzle aesthetically – they’re super fun cars. They’re just not the most practical for, well… practical traveling. Not a lot of storage space, seating, etc. But boy oh boy, they do look good! Some popular convertibles include the Jaguar F-Type, Chevy Corvette, and the Porsche 718.

If you’re confused about what to get or what the differences, advantages and disadvantages are when you’re at the rental desk, just ask! We’re happy to help yo


The four biggest Do’s and Don’ts of car rentals

For anyone who’s traveled for business or pleasure, it’s a good bet that you’ve probably rented a car at some point. Today, there are tons of options available, but how do you know you’re getting the best out of your experience? Our blog this month tackles the four biggest dos and don’ts of renting a car.

DO use small companies

While the big companies have a huge share of the market share in the car rental industry, independent outlets are slowly but surely coming into vogue once again. That’s great news for you as a traveler because while the big guns focus on profits and generating revenue, smaller, independent companies have to rely on great service in order to get business.

And make no mistake about it – the big companies certainly provide more accessibility and provide more convenience. You’ll see them littered throughout and around airports. But just because it’s easy doesn’t make it the best option. Smaller rental companies often offer lower rates and will go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy. So instead of hanging around those big travel websites and booking in advance, do some local digging on Google and you’ll be able to mine some incredible savings.

DO choose the correct vehicle for your trip

The most important word of advice we can give towards getting a great deal is not over or undershooting on the kind of car you’ll needs. If you have a lot of people and stuff to haul, pick something like an SUV. If you’re traveling light, solo and in an urban setting, go with a smaller car so you can squeeze into the nooks and crannies of a city and not blow cash on a big, hulking vehicle that’s full of space you’ll never use. Last thing to keep in mind is automatic and manual transmissions. Especially if you’re traveling abroad, manual transmission is the norm, so be sure to request an automatic.

DON’T wait until the last minute to book your car

While going smaller will save you money, make sure you take care of your arrangements before you fly in – at least a week in advance. Not only will it be cheaper, but also you’ll be more likely to get the kind of vehicle you want AND need. Leaving a longer lead-time means more available cars and a better selection along side the better rate.

DON’T just climb in your car and go

Most companies WON’T bust your chops for insurance claims unless it’s a really serious ding on the car, but just in case – it’s good to stay outside during the initial inspection before you get in the car and get a copy of everything. Unfortunately, some companies see inspections as a way to drive profits and you can avoid unnecessary charges if you’re a little more diligent.

If you’re flying into the St Pete/Tampa area, look us up! You’ll get the car you want and the service you deserve. Any tips that you’d like to share? Let us know below!


Renting a car and tolls: how it all works

If there’s anything that drives us nuts about driving, it’s two things: people who don’t know the right of way and tolls. While we can’t really help elevate the competence level of other drivers, we can help you sort out that whole thing with the tolls. And you’d actually be surprised – it’s one of our most commonly asked questions.


Tolls can represent an interesting conundrum for travelers – especially those on a budget. Here are some of your options and how you can plan to manage them with your next rental car and/or the next time you travel.


So, what to do first?


The first thing you do is plan. When you are driving in a new, unfamiliar place where you know you’ll encounter tolls – you just need to stay ahead of the game. But to be sure – you’ll still have to pay. You can go through some rental company’s toll policies, but that can turn a cheap rental into a pricey one quickly. You can also pay out of pocket, but that can turn into an inconvenience.


So what are your options?


The first option you have is to simply avoid tolls altogether. In some areas, you can travel from A to B without ever having to pay tolls so long as you’re smart about it. Some people call it shunpiking – or the practice of actively avoiding toll rolls. The upside is well, no tolls! The downside is that you’re likely to find yourself on quite the adventure in terms of getting around. Travel will inevitably take you longer and of course – it takes time to map these things out.

The second thing you can do is simply bring your own personal device. For example in the Northeast US, there’s the E-ZPass. It’ll work across states and simply deducts the amount from your transponder’s account. This is usually the easiest thing to do, but bear in mind – not every region reads another’s transponders. To make things worse, you could accidentally whiz through a tollbooth without paying and that’ll result in not only a hefty fine from the state, but also a bill from the rental car company. So if you decide to pursue this option, do your homework first!


Lastly, you could simply use the rental car’s service. You will get charged for the tolls incurred, but you’ll also get charged by the company for the privilege of having the pass. While this isn’t the most palatable insofar as your wallet is concerned, it does make the most sense if you’re taking a longer road trip.


At the end of the day, we recommend abiding by the rules of the local rental car company. Unexpected tolls are frustrating, but they’re not something that should be a source of stress as all companies are well versed in navigating those waters.


Pensacola Car Rental Monthly: Four more ways to save money on your car rental

Road trips are awesome – especially when you get to use your own car; but sometimes when you’re stuck further away from home, it’s just as well to rent a car. From time to time, we like to post some tips on how you can save a dollar or two on your car rental, and yet again – we’re going to offer up some more advise this week. By the time you book a flight and choose a hotel, you’re out an awful lot of money! Saving a buck here and there can really help you get the best out of your experience and if you have a good experience – we hope you come back and use us again!

So with that said – here are four more ways you can save a few dollars on your next car rental:

Don’t use the debit card

We always tell people to use their credit card – and for a few reasons. For one, there’s the added consumer protection that comes along with using them. But there’s also reward points that can add up over time. Maybe at some point your rental car or plane ticket is free! But more importantly when we swipe a debit card, we have a hold on your deposit and with any deposit-based system, it can take a few days for it to return. And when you’re traveling, having access to cash is important. So every time someone hands us a debit card, we’re sure to ask them if they’d rather swipe credit instead.

Ask about specials

We get so many customers who more or less come in and take sticker price and don’t advocate for themselves. We offer a whole range of specials that have been leveraged in the past – from senior citizen discounts and AAA to credit card and frequent flier program discounts and add-ons. All these things can add up when you’re traveling on a budget.

Check fuel policy options

We have a policy we like to stick to – but with other agencies it can vary greatly. Some companies want you to return the car with the same amount of fuel you picked it up with. Some want you to fill the tank. Some want you to pay for the first tank and then you can drop it off on ‘E’ if you’d like. While one isn’t necessarily that much better than the other, it’s important you know what the deal is so you don’t overbuy on fuel. You might not get a chance to get a refund on the gas you didn’t use. Or if the company charges you for gas – the price might be more expensive than at the local gas station. While there’s no magic hack to extreme cost savings, here; it’s just wise to know the policy so you don’t end up overspending.

Avoid the airport and comb the local neighborhood

OK, we’re biased here, but the math isn’t. Off-airport locations are almost always cheaper than your typical on-site locations. You can take shuttle services to us and a whole other swath of local agencies, so take advantage of it. In our case – if you’re looking for a pensacola car rental, we’ll pick you up at the airport and bring you to us! So by staying away from the airport, you could save yourself a hefty sum in ‘convenience’ fees.


Rent a Car in Pensacola, Florida

If you live in Pensacola and needed a car to rent, you could choose one of the big name-brand agencies, or you could go with a locally owned one – Guardian Rent A Car.

If you live somewhere else, and you’re planning to visit Pensacola, you have the same choices. But you may find it interesting to know that most of the people renting cars from Guardian are not tourists – they are locals.

The reason for that is that the local people have found that they get a better deal, and better service, by choosing Guardian Rent A Car instead of the other guys. It’s really just that simple.

So, the next time you need a rental car, keep this in mind and give us a call – (850) 456-0351