When booking travel around the holidays, car rentals can be shockingly expensive. Rentals that are usually about $30 per day often shoot up to $100 per day or more. If you’re staying a while, that difference can add up to huge expenses very quickly. If you find yourself in this situation, consider looking for “near airport” car rentals. Here is an example where I searched for car rentals via Orbitz for a week in Florida around the Christmas holidays. The best price available via this search was from Budget for a total of $608 for the week:
By using Kayak, though, I can easily see car rentals that are available at off-airport locations. In the example shown below, I can rent a car for the week from Enterprise for a total of $245. That’s a savings of $363!
The only problem now is that you still need some way to get to and from the rental car agency. If a friend or family member can help, great! Otherwise, use a tiny fraction of your savings to pay for a taxi. Also, check directly with the off-airport rental agency: Once I rented from an agency that had a presence both in the airport and off-site. In that case, I rented from the off-site location, and took a taxi to get there, but dropped off at the airport – all at off-airport rates! Here are some additional tips thanks to reader Charles McCool:
- Enterprise will pick up customers. I know they are not able to pick up at Ft. Lauderdale airport (not sure of other airports). I have not used Enterprise for years. I know someone that takes the first hotel shuttle (or a predetermined hotel shuttle) and has Enterprise meet them there.
- Rather than a taxi, use hotel or other car rental shuttles. Tip a buck or two if needed.
- Rather than a taxi, take a local public bus. Or hitch a ride (with a fellow passenger or other transport). Amazing what you can learn just by asking at info desk, talking to airport workers, or asking around baggage claim.