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road trip

Behind the Wheel

10 Perks of Renting a Car

December 28, 2014
A few years back, I met some people who rented a car quite frequently: for road trips, day trips, nights out on the town, etc. At first I thought it seemed unnecessary, but then I grew to understand the beauty of driving a car other than your usual, day-to-day ride. Aside from being fun, there are huge perks to renting a car in many situations! It can be practical, convenient and save you money in the long run. Here are my thoughts on the many perks of renting a car: 1. You can avoid putting miles on your car. The main reason I hear people say they choose to rent a car is for a long trip that would otherwise put significant wear and tear on the car they own and drive every day. Because cars tend to lose performance and reliability the more miles you’ve put on them, you can really save a significant amount of money by renting a car for big trips. Sure, you’re forking out a couple hundred dollars for the time being, but when it comes down to it, a renting a car costs a lot less than buying a new one prematurely! 2. You can travel with bigger groups of people. Whether it’s a trip across the country or down to a concert a few hours away, renting a car can be great for accommodating bigger groups of people than your everyday car can handle. When you rent a car, you have a wide variety of options that allow you to find the perfect car for your situation, so you could even rent a commuter van if you really wanted one! 3. You can save gas mileage on road trips (with a smaller car). In contrast, you could also downsize your car if you won’t be needing the extra space. For example, say you normally drive a 7-passenger SUV, but you and your significant other want to get away for the weekend without driving the gas-guzzler. Rent yourself a Prius or Honda Civic and you’re on your way! This can save a great deal of money on gas and also avoid the miles on your car. 4. You can have a more reliable car for a trip (if your car is old). We’ve all known the feeling of driving a beater car, where you’re just never quite sure which drive will be its very last. And of course you don’t want to drive that type of car on a long trip! Renting a newer, more reliable car is a surefire way to be more confident and stress-free on your trip. As a bonus, rental services will give you a new car at no charge if it breaks down. So you really would be worry-free! 5. You can try out new vehicles for future purchase. Buying a new car is a HUGE decision, and it can feel overwhelming by making the decision all from one test-drive and some online research. Even in the age of online reviews, you may still want some extra face time with the car you’re interested in. By renting that car for a weekend, your problems are solved! You can really get to know the car and avoid making a possible mistake when you head to the dealership to make your purchase. 6. You can travel to places your own car might have a hard time getting to. From off-roading in a Jeep Wrangler to zipping around the city in a Mini Cooper, sometimes renting a car will get you places that your own car just doesn’t allow. If you want to have an adventure that’s different from your everyday life, you might want to rent a car that goes along with it! 7. You can have a fun experience for a night. Even if your own car can get you everywhere you want to be, sometimes it’s just fun to try out something new. After all, variety is the spice of life! So try renting a car, go for a beautiful drive, take out your friends and enjoy a night in a totally unique ride! 8. You can change your image. Say you’re on a business trip, babysitting a bunch of kids, taking a girl on a date…you may just want to have a different car to match the occasion. And though you might not be able to change your look at the drop of a hat, you CAN change your car. So why not? It could be fun to become a little more professional, a little more sporty, a little more serious…or whatever you want to be a little more of! 9. You can be independent even when you fly places. This is another very common reason for renting a car. If you’ve flown to a new city across the country, you’re going to want a way to get around. Even if you have friends who offer you a ride or public transportation to get you around, renting a car is the only way you can be truly independent. 10. You can take your time. On the subject of being more independent, renting a car allows you to really take your time with your trips. Rather than rushing to the next subway station or hopping on a plane, you can stop at roadside stands, pop into a local shop, or whatever you fancy along the way! Renting a car lets you take unplanned turns in your journey, and gives you more of a trip to remember!

My Top 5 Road Trip Games

March 11, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I feel spring coming this way! That means better weather and fun excursions.

I enjoy long drives, but sometimes it can get pretty dull when nothing good is on the radio and conversations run dry. When that happens, I resort to a good ol’ fashion road trip game!

Here are my top 5 road trip games:

#1. I Spy– It’s a classic, and for good reason! I have come to find that this game is best played in suburban areas. The tricky part in playing this game is to find something that is far off so the other person has time to spy it.

How to play– One person looks outside and finds an object that others have to find and guess. The person recites, “I spy with my little eye…something that begins with (insert the first letter of object here or the color of the object.)”

#2. Slug Bug– My friends and I would play this all the time in high school. It’s fun to play with a group of people, but equally fun with just one other person.

How to play– The object of the game is to keep track of Volkswagen Beetles while driving. In the past we use to punch the person in the arm when a Bug came along. Slugging another person could get out of hand, and it’s not wise to distract a driver, so now we simply tap the person on the shoulder.

#3. Tunnels– When I was a kid we use to play tunnels all of the time. (I might have cheated once or twice) This game should not be played by drivers.

How to play– When you drive through a tunnel, everyone sees who can hold their breath the longest.  You might be amazed at how long you can hold your breath.

#4.  License Plates– I’m not very good at this game, because it takes a while to finish. Halfway through the game I always forget to look at car’s license plates. Hopefully you’ve got the patience to finish it!

How to play– There are so many different ways to play this game. My family’s version is to look at license plates and spot each letter of the alphabet in order, A-Z. The first person that gets to Z wins. I have also played it where you try to gather the most states on the plates.

#5.  20 Questions– Last, but not least: 20 questions. There is now an app that you can buy on your smartphone for this game. It’s called “Akinator the Genie,” and it’s crazy how accurate it is!

How to play– Think of a person, place, or thing. Then your partner can only ask 20 questions to figure out what it is. After the 20th question they have to guess, no matter if they know it or not.

So there’s my roundup of fun road trip games to keep you busy on the long drive! What are some games that you play on road trips? Did I miss any good ones?

Auto News, Car Culture

What's your favorite holiday movie?

December 4, 2010

Holiday movies on the go ...

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go, Let it snow … let it snow … let it snow! Don’t you just love Christmas music? So, with the seasons changing and the weather dropping … it only means one thing, holiday time! Besides all the presents, parties, mistletoe, and pie … there’s one thing I love more – MOVIES! My favorite thing to do is snuggle up on the couch and watch movies. Just one more thing my father and I enjoy doing!! Another thing to think about during the Holiday season is traveling. Many families road-trip to relatives’ homes to celebrate. So, while you’re on the road, how do you keep those kids entertained? Movies! Tell me … what’s your favorite Holiday movie – on the road and at home. PS – My father’s vote is Uncle Buck!
Behind the Wheel, Car Culture

What's your favorite road trip story?

September 3, 2010
Everyone’s been on a road trip … and everyone’s got a funny story to share! I asked around the dealership and heard some pretty entertaining things. Take a look at what some of my fellow employees had to say … [youtube][/youtube] Now it’s your turn. Share your favorite road trip story with the rest of us.