The following post was submitted by a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand.
When planning your next international trip, deciding on your preferred means of travel is a top priority. Many tourists automatically opt for public transport such as buses, trains, and trams. Whilethis can be a cost-effective and cosmopolitan choice, attempting to travel like a local can often prove a recipe for stress.
Crowded public transport and unpredictable taxi fares are just two reasons why renting a car abroad is such a good idea. Check out the following 5 reasons why travelling in your own car is awesome.
- Itinerary-related flexibility
The greater speed and convenience of car travel really makes the difference. For example, if you’re using bus transport, you need to work out confusing timetables, allow time to travel to the station, and then hope that your means of transport actually turnsup on time.
On the other hand, if you have your own car, you can just hop in and start on your journey whenever you’re ready. You’ll be able to reach your destination quicker via car compared to a tourist-packed bus would, and will be in charge of determining all the stops along the way.
- Lowered costs
You can save pennies in multiple ways when travelling by car. Firstly, if you’re travelling with a group of people, the divided cost of renting a carand paying for gasoline will be very reasonable – easier on your pockets than expensive train or bus tickets.
Accommodation-wise, you may choose to go all-out with the roadie experience, and stay at campsites rather than expensive hotels, thus saving money for you to spend on experiences and delicious local food.
If you choose to buy a car of your own especially for the trip (with plans to onsell it after your months of vacation have passed), you could even deck it out with a foam mattress and pillows to sleep in overnight. However, if you try this, always make sure to take extra lighting (torches) and power banks/cables for your phone – and check the local legislation in your chosen destination to make sure you are allowed to sleep in your vehicle overnight.
One more economical advantage to having a car is that you’ll be able to drive further out from the city centre towards the suburbs. There, you’ll be able to find less expensive, better-stocked supermarkets and won’t have to splurge on restaurant dinners or overpricedconvenience-store fare every night.
- Geographical freedom
Perhaps you appreciate ‘off-the-beaten’ activities and attractions, and prefer to visit places that aren’t too busy and crowded with tourists. Sometimes, even if you discover a gem of a place that no other tourists have discovered, the local public transport system may not operate in that area.
This is where having your own car comes in handy – having the freedom to start driving whenever you want means that you won’t have to worry about aligning public transport trips with strict timing, such as ferries and buses, with check-ins for your chosen accommodation or tours.
- Free and secure storage
One of the biggest bugbears many people have with international travel is the issue of where to store your belongings between accommodation. You might have a half-day left in your city after checking out of your hotel, but without somewhere to store your backpacks, you’ll have to wait in the metro station until your train arrives.
Renting a car allows you to bypass this issue. Whileyou will have the added consideration of finding a parking lot, you’ll rest assured knowing that your stuff is safe and secure – and best of all, not weighing you down – whileyou’re adventuring.
Having a car to store your goods also means that you can take more with you. If you’re keen on the idea of camping, travelling with your own car means you’ll have the capacity to bring along things like electric cookers, sleeping bags, and tents.
- Greater comfort
Public transport often entails noise, crowds, and the stress of missed buses and trams. For more sensitive travellers such as elderly people, young children, and those prone to claustrophobia and anxiety, these factors can make your experience more difficult than it needs to be.
If you’re travelling with people who fit into these categories, choosing to travel by car will make your group holiday far more enjoyable. Sometimes all people need is a reminder of normality (i.e. travelling on four wheels!) to feel comfortable and ready to interact with the foreign environment around them.
Harper Reid believes there is no better way to explore a new city than by driving down its famous streets to the less-frequented local markets and attractions. As she loves traveling more than anything else, Harper has previously collaborated with travel and hospitality sites such as Tanoa Dateline. You can find more of her work on Tumblr.