Affordable Vacationing: Transportation

After arriving in your destination, how will you get around? Are you by a subway? Does the resort have a shuttle? Did you get a rental? When it comes to transportation, you are bound to save more on your next Global Discovery Vacations trip when you plan ahead.

We found some general rules of thumb to find the best options on your next vacation.

Public Transportation
Sometimes, a rental car just isn’t necessary. If you’re in a smaller town, you may have access to bus, trolley or railway systems to get you all over the city. Every destination varies, but there are more shuttles and busses than you might think, you just have to look (hint: Google the name of your destination followed by the word “bus”). Even if they don’t drop you off right at your destination, it’s a better option than paying for a taxi. For bigger cities, you might have to do some research (and some math) to figure out if this is the best option.

Ridesharing Services
By now, you’ve probably heard of ridesharing companies such as Uber, Lyft, Haxi and Sidecar. They have their share of skeptics, but when it comes to getting you from point A to point B, they are sometimes cheaper than a taxi. You can find rideshares in many big cities, but it’s not always going to be an option while traveling in a resort destination. If you have the chance, it’s worth a try because they have plenty of ways to earn free rides.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a location that has everything you need withing biking distance, by all means milk it for all its worth. Some resorts lend out bicycles in case you can’t bring your own. Not only is it a great exercise, but it’s a great way to experience the area up close.

young smiling woman sitting in car taking key

Car Renting

This is the easiest, albeit priciest, option for getting around most destinations. When I went to Oregon, I couldn’t imagine getting around without a rental car. There was just so much to see and explore that I didn’t really have a viable option outside of driving myself. Conversely, I could get around Dunedin, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida, just fine via the Jolley Trolley.

When renting is your best option, mitigate the cost by knowing how to avoid the unnecessary fees:

Fill the Tank
If you return the car without first hitting the gas station, the company will gladly fill it up for you… well above the normal gas rate.

Say “No” to Insurance
You’ll most likely be pressured into adding insurance to your rental bill, but it’s almost entirely unnecessary if you have auto insurance. It’s a good idea to confirm with your provider that they cover car rentals first.

Know the Terrain
We’re all looking for the cheapest car available, but, try as it might, a little Chevy Spark is going to struggle while navigating the mountains of Colorado. Get a car that suits your needs and the geography (four-wheel drive for snow, an ATV for the rugged roads, etc.). Even if you’re paying a little more up front, it’s better than having to pay for damages or getting AAA involved if you get stuck.

If you’re driving in normal conditions, however, a compact car will save you a lot of money.

Don’t Rent from the Airport
This one is hard to defend, if only because of the convenience factor. But going straight from baggage claim into a rental car is going to cost you a little extra because of the airport fee. If you’re really pinching for pennies, see how much it would cost to take a taxi or bus to an off-site rental location.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to vacation transportation, but the important thing is this: You are on vacation, so it should be as stress-free as possible. If it’s too much of a hassle to coordinate bus stops and calculate the price of taxi rides, do what’s easiest if you think the money is worth it.

How do you like to get around on vacation? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.