When planning a trip away from home, the question of what to do for transportation will invariably come up. Should you rent a car to use while in the area or set aside money for taxi service? Here are a couple of things to consider that may help you decide on the best one for your situation.
Comparing Monetary Costs
Of course, the primary issue you'll want to consider is the cost of each option, particularly if you're working with a tight budget. The average cost of a car rental varies depending on the type of vehicle you get. The least expensive option comes in anywhere from $45 to $65 per day, while the price for a luxury-class rental can be as much as $120 or more per day. Even the cheapest car will cost you about $315 per 7-day rental period, and that doesn't include gas, charges for mileage, and insurance.
Taxi cabs, on the other hand, are an all-inclusive transportation option that only require you to pay a fee per trip. Typically there is an initial charge and then a fee per mile driven. In Atlanta, for example, the initial fee is $2.50 and then $0.25 per eighth of a mile (i.e., $2.00 per mile). There is also typically a charge to have the taxi wait for you.
You can find good deals with either of these options. There are a number of travel websites that may help you score cheap car-rental prices, especially if you package the rental with airfare or hotel reservations. Taxi companies will also offer special deals for locations where they frequently travel. For instance, the cab may charge a low flat price for transportation to and from the airport because the driver does a lot of runs there.
Still, though, you'll probably only want to rent a vehicle if you'll be doing a lot of driving around. A taxi cab offers the same type of flexibility as having your own car, so the big question is whether you will be doing much traveling around an area where taxi fees will cost more than renting a car. If you're only going to be visiting a few places that aren't very far away from where you're staying, using a taxi service may be the more budget-friendly option.
Looking at Hidden Costs
There are a variety of hidden costs you'll also want to consider when deciding whether to rent a vehicle or opt for a taxi. Having your own vehicle is very convenient. You can come and go as you please whenever you want. As noted previously, taxis offer the same type of flexibility. However, it's undeniable that you do have to wait for the driver to pick you up, and wait times can be long on busy days.
Another drawback of using a taxi service is that not all cab companies have drivers available 24 hours a day. Sometimes cabs are only on-call during set hours (e.g., 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and you must make a reservation in advance for times outside of that. This depends a lot on where you are, though. Smaller towns may have more availability issues than bigger ones like New York City.
However, there are hidden costs associated with rental cars as well. You have to include the cost of gas, taxes, mileage, and insurance to get the true price of the rental. While having your own vehicle maximizes convenience in some ways, having a vehicle can stifle convenience in others. For instance, parking can be a problem, especially in large cities. You may have a difficult time finding a place to park, or you may be required to pay lot fees when you do locate somewhere to leave the vehicle.
Driving itself can be immeasurably stressful, particularly during the busy travel season when everyone seems to be on the roads. If you're completely unfamiliar with the area, it may be easier to get lost unless you have a GPS device to guide you, whereas taxi drivers are highly knowledgeable about the local area and can get you from place to place with ease.
When deciding whether to rent a vehicle or use a taxi service, consider all the costs associated with each option to determine which one is best for you. If you choose to use a taxi cab, contact a local company for information about rates and availability.
When was the last time your entire family was together. If your family is anything like mine, you have siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles spread across the United States. Having so many people scattered across such a distance can make family gatherings nearly impossible. Have you considered having an extended family vacation? This is one way to get everyone together and and you can actually save money on some of your travel needs. My site is loaded with information about how to get group rate discounts at hotels, restaurants and events in different areas. These discounts may make what seems impossible, a possibility.