4 reasons why you should rent a car on your next overseas trip


Most of us from the Philippines who travel overseas rely primarily on public transportation to get around.

After we get off from the plane, we take a bus, train, ferry, tuktuk, or some other type of vehicle to get from the airport to the hotel, and then make similar arrangements to go to sightseeing spots and places of interest.

I don’t hear a lot of Filipinos choosing to rent a car when abroad. Many of these tourist-friendly countries have built efficient public transport systems to accommodate the influx of tourists, but car rentals remain a popular alternative.

Even as you consider disruptive trends and technologies such as ride-sharing, the car rental business is still booming.

The Zion Market Research Report for 2017 pegged the global car rental market at $58.26 billion, and is expected to grow annually by around 13.55 percent to reach $124.56 billion by 2022.

Those are some big numbers, but for leisure travelers whose only concern is to get from point A to B, renting a car is an easy and efficient way.

Last month, when my friends and I went on a whirlwind three-week tour of Europe, we planned on stopping by a small town called Bled in Slovenia from Salzburg, Austria.

We rented a car just for that, and it proved to be an enjoyable, cost-efficient alternative.

Here’s why:

1. It’s cheaper

The Opel Vivaro we rented had just enough seats to accommodate all nine of us in the group, and we paid only around 20 euros (about P1,280) each.

Compare that to a regular train on the same route, and for sure, it would have cost us a lot more. Plus, you don’t even need an international driver’s license.

The car rental company took my regular Philippine license. No questions asked.

2. It’s faster

We couldn’t find a direct bus or train that could take us from Salzburg to Bled and back, so for that alone, renting a car was the obvious choice.

Besides, most of the ones we found required a change in the southern town of Villach, and it would’ve taken at least four hours.

In contrast, the direct trip in our rental car took us just over three hours.

3. It’s more convenient

With a car, you have the option of stopping anytime for a coffee break, or even just to take pictures of the spectacular scenery.

With our group, we made a detour at a convenience store in a small town in southern Austria to pick up some snacks, and then briefly again, at a gas station for a quick pee break.

You don’t get that much freedom and wiggle room when you’re in a public bus or train.

4. It’s more fun

Imagine being in a car with eight of your friends on a long road trip.

Throughout the journey to Bled and back to Salzburg, we chatted nonstop, sang a few songs, told each other jokes, and basically laughed our heads off for an entire day.

It was truly one of the highlights in our European getaway, and I believe driving our own car made all the difference.

So the next time you go on an overseas trip, consider renting a car.

Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, the experience of conquering the roads on your own vehicle is unrivaled. I can’t recommend it enough.

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