Weekend Review: Car Rentals and Rules for the Road

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It is official. We’re addicted to the road. We are road trip fiends.

When Car Rentals contacted us about working with them, you bet we had a million ideas in mind. For people like us who have visited 20+ countries, I find it embarrassing that I have seen so little of the United States. I mean, up until June for my Winos on the Road trip, I had never even been east of Texas. Weird, right?

New Years Eve was quickly approaching and after our last minute trip idea to head out to Cedar Key, Florida, we immediately thought about using Car Rentals. It is amazing how quickly a massive list of economy cars came up after plugging in our info to get going. I had no clue that renting a car could be that cheap (or maybe it has gone down because we’re getting “old”). Regardless, I was stoked. Less miles on our baby Penelope and more miles on our road-trip-o-meter.

We arrived at the Austin airport on a frosty morning expecting to wait a while (believe me, it has happened in the past) but just after 10 minutes the car keys were in our hands and we were ready to head out. We hopped into the car so quickly and excitedly we realized we didn’t even look to see what kind of car it was.

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A 2012 Yaris? Joy. Going from a Subaru WRX to an economy car was going to be interesting. But with 37+ miles per gallon highway and with not having to put premium gas in the tank, I quickly fell in love with the little economical beast. It rocked. Have rental cars always been this awesome?

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While I do consider ourselves Road Warriors, we are still learning new things and our personal limitations. So here are a few rules for the road that we suggest.

  • Even though your GPS says it will take you 15 ½ hours, don’t believe it. We have a GLaDOS themed Tomtom. I wanted to punch her in the face by the time we were done.
  • Add time for bathroom breaks. (Yes, I have a girlie bladder and when I’m driving down the highway you will not believe the amount of liquids I can put back.)
  • Add time for eating.
  • Add time adding gas to the tank.
  • Add time for resting. Rest stops in the US are AWESOME. Most of the time they are clean, have vending machines, and have great parks and paths to walk around and stretch your legs.
  • Have a contingency plan if you can’t make the entire drive. We have done a 17 hour stretch in the car before but couldn’t make the last 3 hours into Florida.
  • Know that, if you are a super budget-y person like we can be, rest stops make good pit stop for the night. Many have security guards. And no, axe wielding truckers that tap on your window while you are sleeping are not common.
  • Know your caffeine limits. On the way back from Florida we hit our all time high for time on the road in one go at 18 ½ hours. I was jittery and shaking on the way home after 3 cups of coffee and a Monster.
  • Enjoy yourself and have fun. I collect pictures of state signs. You better believe I was shouting like a crazy person telling Shaun to slow down so we could grab a few pictures. Stop at roadside attractions. Eat local foods!

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Our road trip really opened our eyes to what the southern United States looks like. No, it isn’t all plantation houses, swamps, and diners. There are crazy bridges 18 miles long, a gazillion gambling billboards, and PINE TREES in Florida. Who knew? I thought it was all swamp and tropical beach. I want to see more. I need to explore more. How do I not know my own country?

The More You Know

Just in the past year Shaun put in 5000+ miles on the road and I hit a grand total of 6500+ and I can see us renting more cars in the future. If you’re looking for an authentic way to see the United States, heading over to Car Rentals to rent a car may be a great way to start your vacation or holiday. Start your iconic American adventure!

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Disclosure: We did receive a complimentary car rental from CarRentals.co.uk, however all opinions are our own.

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