Travelling on a Budget Series - Part 4 - Rental Vehicles

We've covered accommodations, flights, entertainment, and now I will talk about rental vehicles.  But first, have you missed any of the previous posts in this series?  I will link to the previous posts below so you can catch up on all of the previous tips.



I realize this post will not apply to everyone, but it's an area that if you are planning to rent anyway, you can save some money here.

Many travel points programs allow you to redeem for rental cars.  We did that for the first time this year.   Just as a rough example, when we used Air Miles for a rental van in November 2018, it was roughly 3400 miles plus roughly $100 in taxes and fees.  Pretty close to what you would pay and redeem for a round trip flight from the Atlantic Provinces to Orlando.  If you don't require a van, smaller vehicles were nearly half of that redemption amount.  To also put in perspective the cost - we priced the same rental period, with a minivan, and it would have cost us approximately $750.

If you don't have travel points to redeem, there are ways to cut down the cost.  A few ideas:

- Check the organizations, clubs, and memberships that you belong to as some discounts are sometimes coordinated through various programs.  For example: I know that if you are an Air Miles member, you have access to discounts and can even earn some miles.

- Check with your employer to see if there is a corporate rate that you may have access to.

- Research whether there are coupon codes you can use - sites like "Retail Me Not" sometimes list coupon codes you can use at different retailers.  I've had great success researching coupon codes.  As a result of a code I was able to save almost $300 during one of our vacations.  One word of caution - some of the coupon codes you may find online may be for specific use by certain organizations, etc.  So make sure you are very clear on the terms and conditions of the rate.  As an example - I found a great deal one time using a code I found online, however, I discovered before I booked that you had to prove you were an employee of VIA Rail to be able to earn the code.  I am not an employee of VIA Rail. 

Have you had some success saving money on rental vehicles?  Feel free to share your tips!

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