Mon, October 24th, 2011 - By

Tips for After you Hire a Car on Holiday


Last year, Karen made the case for deciding whether or not to hire a car for your holiday. If you’ve decided that you will end up getting that car for the trip, I’ve got a few wee suggestions to make your plans go more smoothly.

An impractical, but very sexy, hire car choice.

1. Get your insurance in order.

Nothing is worse than having an accident on a trip in a foreign country where you aren’t exactly sure about the laws, or even speak the language. With all your insurance paperwork in order, you can plan for the worst and hope for the best without the stress. All you need to do is:

  1. Call your current car insurance provider, if you have any, and talk to them about where you’re going.
  2. Read the fine print on your car hire booking. Normally insurance IS included without having to opt in for any fees, but if they want an extra fiver for coverage, please, just do it. This isn’t a time to be cheap.
  3. Make sure you print out and take with you phone numbers and any paperwork just so you have it.

2. Download your maps.

If you don’t have a smartphone by now, I think you’re crazy.  (At least get an iPod Touch?)  There are a lot of map programs you can buy for less than 5 pounds that allow you to download your maps onto the phone so you can have a map for driving without using up expensive roaming bandwidth.

Your GPS tracking doesn’t require roaming fees – I’m not sure how to explain how that works, but I do know that you can avoid charges with a downloaded map and still use the GPS feature.

If you like old fashioned maps? Well, those are still great; many tourism board websites have downloadable maps you can print; you can also get maps from many libraries for free (you just have to figure out how to fold them back and then return them).  Or you can buy maps – Amazon has lots and at a good price.

3. Make a plan

Ok, so you’re driving. Do you know where you’re going to go? How long will it take to get there? Will you need to take turns driving because you’re flying in late and no time for sleep? Will you be driving in places where there are single track roads (Scotland) or places where rental cars are forbidden on certain roads (Hawaii)?

I’m all for serendipity, but a little bit of foresight might be useful in this instance.

Photos  by: Evelyn Proimos, matze_ott

 

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 11:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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