Renting a car on family vacation

At times it feels like renting a car is a big deal, even if it’s only for a few days. As a result, many families always seem to try to rent the cheapest thing that can get – forgoing other needs that they might have on vacation in order to save a few bucks.

This isn’t always the best route to take however, as unexpected scenarios can pop up that radically alter your plans and can put a damper on your vacation. It’s also important to understand that what might be cheaper up front, might not be cheaper on the back end as gas mileage and other factors can play into your experience.

If you’re planning on traveling with your family in the coming holiday months – here are some tips to help you figure out which rental car to go with.

Substance over style

Family needs are often more practical than flashy. Especially when you have two kids, getting something that’s cool looking rather than functional is a big no-no. Take into consideration what your family’s comfort needs are and then what you’re going to need for your vacation.

Distance is meaningful

If you’re driving in and around an urban area, than gas miles and something that’s driveable is important. If you’re going to be driving long periods of time, than comfort will be important. Sometimes, it’s a little bit of both and fortunately there are rentals that can help you find a happy medium.

How big is your family – literally and figuratively

The overall size of your family and the size of the things they’re traveling with are both extremely important factors to consider when renting a car. Even smaller families with small kids can travel heavy at times – with rockers, strollers, clothes, diaper bags and the like – meaning you’ll need to have significantly more space – particularly if you’re traveling long distances. It’s important to remember – it’s not always JUST about the number of people in your family – sometimes it’s about what they bring.

But we’re on a budget

Being on a budget is fine but make sure – especially if you’re traveling with a family – that you weight all of your options and look out for hidden costs. Things like car seats and the like can cost you extra. And like we mentioned above small doesn’t always equal ‘efficient’ when it comes to gas consumption. What might appear to be inexpensive up front might not be so inexpensive when it comes to dropping the car back off at the end of the trip.


Family vacation time is great. It’s a time to make memories and get some much needed rest and relaxation. But make sure you do your homework and ultimately rent a car that fits both your family’s needs and the needs of your trip. Hopefully these tips will help you. Good luck!

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