Everything you need to know about one-way rentals

Going on a road trip? Leaving from a different airport from the one you arrived at? Stuck after a cancelled flight? You need a one-way rental!

A one-way rental is when you pick up a car from one location and return to another (for example picking-up a car in London and dropping it off in Glasgow). After a one-way rental, car hire companies rearrange their fleets so their depots maintain the right number of cars. A charge known as ‘drop fee’ is often added to the cost of a one-way rental by these companies to cover the cost of moving their cars around.

Choosing the right one-way rental from a traditional car hire company can be like finding a needle in a haystack. There are a lot of different rules around pricing and destinations, and these rules vary from brand to brand. Some companies don’t permit one-way rentals at all!

It is often easier to find your hire car using a comparison site which lists results from lots of different brands all in one place. Searching with easyCar lets you enter your pick up and drop off location and select from a list of brands that meet your unique needs.

shutterstock_28458148

 

Here is the easyCar guide to finding the best, lowest price one-way car hire:

Pricing

Rental companies often add a ‘drop fee’ to the basic rental cost which can vary considerably from brand to brand. Within the UK the cost is likely to be £50 – £150, but in larger countries, such as Australia, the cost can be up to £2,000 or more for renters traveling long distances. The basic rental cost can also be up to double the price of a standard rental, even before you add the drop fee. Some brands may also charge a larger one-way fee for higher-value vehicles, so opt for a smaller car if you are looking to keep within a budget. Look out for brands like Thrifty that often have no one-way fee, and keep an eye on the total cost.

At easyCar we let you know if brands charge a ‘drop fee’ and what they charge. We display this next to the rental price in your initial search, so you can make the best choice for your trip.

International One-way Rentals

International one-way rentals are often not allowed by suppliers as returning cars to their original locations is more difficult when they have crossed over water. Many companies also do not offer one-way rentals between islands e.g. between Britain and Ireland in the UK and between the mainland and islands in Spain. If you are looking to travel internationally, try renting with Hertz which offers rentals between major cites in different countries. Alternatively, try Europe where one-way international rentals are more common as skipping from country to country rarely involves ferries or boats.

Brands

Look out for the big names when hunting for a one-way hire. Larger hire companies tend to offer more destinations as one-way drop off points than smaller companies, because they have more depots and more staff to handle the displaced cars. In some countries there may be more brands offering the service than in others, for example Alamo only offers one-way from some major UK airports.

 

Iconic one-way journeys

Route 66, USA

shutterstock_64601848

Rental length:  2 weeks minimum

Route: Chicago to Los Angeles

Average rental cost:  £450

Average one-way fee:  £300

Total:  £750

The US is a popular spot for one-way drives with trips to Las Vegas starting in San Francisco and Los Angeles topping our list of most popular one-way drives. Coming in third and the most iconic of them all is driving the full length of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Make the trip of a lifetime and see the changing face of the USA as you motor from state to state. Make sure to leave plenty of time to explore the spectacular Grand Canyon and the cities you hit along the route.

The West Coast, Ireland

shutterstock_280310111

Rental length: 5 days

Route: Belfast to Dublin

Rental cost:  £75

One-way fee:  £150

Total:  £225

The fact that Belfast to Dublin should be our fourth most popular one-way trip is a bit surprising, but it shouldn’t be! Ireland is a fantastic island to traverse by car. Fly into Dublin airport and loop anti-clockwise round the picturesque coast stopping off at Derry, Donegal, Galway, Cork and Killarney before finishing your tour in Belfast.

The Italian Coast

shutterstock_314261882

Rental length: 1 day

Route: Naples to Catania

Rental cost:  £25

One-way fee:  £55

Total:  £80

This stunning drive from Naples has some great views out over the Tyrrhenian Sea and leads you through some of Italy’s best National Parks. You’ll also be spoilt for seaside stopping places along the way. At the beginning of your trip, make sure to take a look at the breathtakingly gorgeous cliffside village of Positano and nearby Ravello with its terraced gardens and, before you draw into Catania, have a refreshing swim from the unique stone beach at Acireale.

 

American Road Trip: San Francisco

In our new series we’ll be taking you on a road trip through some of the most important and well-loved cities across the pond. We’ll be touring the USA so kick back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Our first stop takes us to the Pacific coast and one of the nation’s most stunning cities, San Francisco. Having landed in San Francisco International, you can pick up your pre-booked US rental car through easyCar. The half hour drive will take you along stunning coastal roads and bring you right to the heart of this bustling city. Comprising just over 800k citizens of an absolute mixture of heritages, the city oozes that stereotypical laid-back vibe that has become synonymous with California. Don’t get too comfortable, there’s a lot to do. But first a bit of background…

San_Francsisco_Skyline

Background

The city is built on prospector gold. The Californian gold rush of the late 19th century saw the city’s population grow by 2,400% in just one year, from a measly 1,000 inhabitants to 25,000. And they say London’s booming! Fortune seekers brought with them lawlessness and the town gained notoriety for its many vices. At the beginning of the 20th century (1906 to be precise) a massive earthquake ripped through California destroying vast swathes of the city; fires then ripped through the city’s cheaply produced wooden buildings. When the last fire was extinguished three quarters of the city was in ruins and 400k people were left without a home. This means a lot of the city you see today is a rebuild or complete reworking of what was once there. More recently, the city became renowned for its bustling creative scene; beat poet Allen Ginsburg found his spiritual home in the city and Jack Kerouac’s road trip novel On The Road takes the city as part of its canvas.

Top 5 things to do

    1. Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge – A symbol of American industrialism and culture the iconic suspension bridge is a sight to behold in real life. Driving over you are shielded from the giddy heights and blustering winds that are sure to churn the stomach of even the most robust of pedestrians choosing to go by foot. Nonetheless, driving over is an experience you’d be mad to miss out on. The bridge leads you to the smaller and slightly more intimate city of Oakland sat on the other side of the San Francisco Bay. While you’re driving over look out to the right and you’ll notice a craggy rock stubbornly jutting out of the bay. Welcome to Alcatraz.
    2. Tour Alcatraz Prison – Ferries out to the decommissioned penitentiary are easy to come by. One of the best tour groups is Alcatraz Cruises, which launches daily from Pier 33 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Depending on your availability there are a number of tours to be taken, from simply sailing around the outcrop to an in-depth tour of the supposedly inescapable prison. You’ll step into cells of some of America’s most notorious criminals and learn some of their dastardly, but mostly failed, attempts at escape.

Alcatraz_Island

  1. Ride the cable car – While this may look like a relic of a by-gone era; the cable car is still used by many a San Franciscan. The electric powered pods make mincemeat of the many steep inclines to be found across the city. Iconic in their own right, taking a ride hanging off the edge is a must-do experience for any visitors to the city.
  2. Take a stroll around Haight-Ashbury – An area in town that made its name for housing the many beatniks and hippies that drifted across North America to find a new, better life for themselves. This area was the epicentre of the ‘60s youth movement that to rebel against and reject the status quo believing they had discovered a better way of doing things. As such it attracted musical gods of the era in the likes of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead.
  3. Drive down Lombard Street – While the name itself may seem pretty meaningless, fans of classic film will certainly know the look of the road. The distinctive curves of the road led Alfred Hitchcock to make 900 Lombard Street the house of James Stewart’s character in Vertigo. So famous is it that it has become a cultural landmark and a challenge to all drivers in the city.

Driving_Down_Lombard_Street

Where to eat and where to go out

As anywhere in the States you can expect your plate to be piled high. Umami Burger should be in your mind as a first port of call for anyone craving a burger. The restaurant is found throughout California and is now also making waves in New York, take it back to its roots and enjoy one grilled San Francisco style. For something a little more moderately priced, head to theRoxie Food Center; this place is so chilled out they don’t even have their own website! Expect hearty deli sandwiches and other finger foods. Or, of course, you could sample bánh mi baguettes done properly at Saigon Sandwich. Roast pork is the first thing on the menu and easily the tastiest option at this unpretentious Vietnamese restaurant.

Visitors in the summer should without doubt stop off at Zeitgeist to quench their thirst. This open-air beer garden is not restricted by its name and serves a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The atmosphere is chilled out and the garden is sprawling. Come expecting good times. For something altogether kookier head for Smuggler’s CoveSmuggler’s Cove. This pirate-themed bar may err on the side of cheesy but you’ll be sure to have a great time hiding out in the crow’s nest up top. If you’re looking for something a bit more old-fashioned then head for The Rickhouse, which has an entire wall dedicated to more sprits and liqueurs than you could possibly sample in a lifetime.

The nature of any American city lends itself perfectly to the car. If you plan on joining us on the next leg of our great American road trip, be sure to rent your car from the airport with easyCar to ensure the best value, most convenient journey possible.

Our Guide to Winter Travel Insurance

Car Insurance

Getting abroad this winter to make the most of the snow is high on the list of travellers and thrill-seekers alike. Exactly how you go about getting there is up to you. Savvy travellers choose to get a plane near to the Alps and rent a car to drive into the mountains. Booking your car through easyCar before you travel guarantees a competitive rate and fast service when you arrive at your chosen destination.

Driving in the mountains with adverse weather conditions comes with its own challenges. You should consider checking the fine print of all documentation to see exactly what is covered through your rental, in case of damage.

You would also do well to brush up on local customs and laws of the road. For example, many Alpine countries, such as Italy and Germany require a driver to carry snow-chains in the boot of the car and that they be applied in thick snow. These can be added to any rental through easyCar.

Winter_Sports

Winter Pursuits

When you’re about to head out on a winter holiday, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you have the correct insurance policy. Only 4 in 10 first-time skiers or boarders have the right type of cover – a fact that would shock more experienced hobbyists who are aware of the risks involved in many winter sports. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to winter sports or ski insurance. For instance, some insurers (such as Essential Travel) now stipulate that a helmet must be worn at all times or the insurance policy is nullified, whilst most policies do not extend to off-piste skiing.

If respectful of the local rules and advice, 9 times out of 10 you will come home, thankfully, without the need to use your insurance policy. But it would be remiss to suggest this is a completely safe sport. It seems every skier or boarder has a tale of injury, whether that is personal or involving a friend.

What type of cover do you need?

It is important you get this right as otherwise you could end up footing a pretty hefty bill from mountain rescue teams. To put that in perspective, helicopter mountain rescue costs in the region of £20 per minute of flying time, which could often add up to £500-£1,000. Unfortunately, most bank account insurances or yearly policies do not extend to winter sports, but it’s always worth checking the fine print.

If your policy doesn’t extend to winter sports you could consider supplementing your existing insurance or even buying a completely new policy, making sure you don’t end up with double cover. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, what this effectively means is each insurer will try to negotiate less responsibility and eventually settle on a share of the cover each. This doesn’t necessarily extend to your excess fees, and you could be looking at paying out twice on that front.

Ski_Security

And it’s not just injury that you should think about either. Theft of expensive ski equipment should be covered by your policy, so if anyone does decide to steal your brand new Salomon skis, you won’t be jogging down the slopes for the remainder of your trip. Check the baggage insurance that comes with your policy to make sure the Ski equipment you bring or rent is fully covered by the policy.

If you’re more of a thrill seeker then you may want to look into taking out specialist ‘adventure travel insurance’. That will be more tailored for your exact needs and cover things such as heli-skiing, off-piste-ing and more extreme jumps and tricks.

How to make sure you are covered

Reading the small print of any policy is always the best place to start. This way you can know exactly what it is you can and can’t do. Most insurers will not cover off-piste skiing so bear that in mind if that’s how you’re looking to get your adrenaline rush. As previously mentioned, some insurers will only cover you if you’re wearing a helmet at all times. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most will not pay out if there is evidence you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. This may make you think twice about the Glühwein or rum-laced hot chocolate for lunch.

Apres_Ski_Activities

Local instructions should also always be listened to, whether that be closed slopes or speed restrictions. Disobeying these could easily lead to your insurance company not paying out.

Where to insure

Your best bet is to go through a comparison site to see what the best option for your particular needs would be.

Remember, it is always worth paying a bit more for your policy and getting better cover and a lower excess. For the few pounds you may lose there and then, you will save tenfold if something were to happen.

At the end of all this it would be understandable if you’re hyperventilating at the thought of hitting the slopes this winter. But remember, it is one of the most popular pursuits in the world and the majority of people come home without any harm – besides a bruise or two. If you’re planning on taking a winter sports holiday this winter, take advantage of easyCar’s lowest price guarantee to ensure that you get the most from your rental car.

Our top 5 affordable winter sun destinations

We’ve all been there; the clocks go back and after that extra hour of sleep, it’s nice to think back to a summer well spent. Soon you realise the season of long, dark nights and next to no sunshine has arrived. It’s time to take the matter by the scruff of the neck and find yourself some sunshine. The search for sun in the winter months isn’t actually as hard as you may expect and there are some places that are surprisingly close to home that you can venture to. Below I have listed my top five winter sun destinations that you can visit on a budget.

1. Canary Islands

  • Average October temperature: 23°C
  • Time difference: 0 hours
  • Flight time: 4 hours
  • Details: With 12 isles to choose from you won’t be short of choice. From the arid landscape of Fuerteventura with perfect waves for surfers to Lanzarote’s volcanic rocks and quieter beaches, there really is something for everyone. Any young sun worshippers should seek out Tenerife’s Los Gigantes, the party town of the Canary Islands. Each island offers something unique and interesting. Winter sun is a dead cert, and enjoying New Year’s Eve here in the traditional Spanish way is a delight. For each of the twelve tolls of the bell, a grape is eaten to bring prosperity in the coming year.

2. Marrakesh

Marrakesh

 

  • Average October Temperature: 21°CTime difference: 0 hours
  • Flight time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Details: This bustling metropolis is full of winding alleyways and vibrant souqs (open-air markets) where spices, teas and just about anything else can be bought. A strong ability to haggle will help you no end as you can expect prices to be hiked at the sight of your digital camera and guidebook. While it seems a million miles from the UK this city is still quite western, a relic of French colonialism means that our neighbour’s language is the official tongue here. A grounding in it will help you no end. For a beginner’s guide to French vocabulary, check out our blog post here.

3. Sharm-el-Sheikh

  • Average October Temperature: 27°C
  • Time difference: +2 hours
  • Flight time: 5 hours 15 mins
  • Details: Unlike the rest of Egypt this tourist safe haven requires no Visa for entry. The glorious sprawling beaches are a sight to behold even when it’s snowing back at home. If lounging on the beach becomes all too much to handle, you can always take a trip into Ras Mohamed National Park, and explore the beautiful coral reefs and untapped natural environment.

4. Cyprus

  • Average October temperature: 25°C
  • Time difference: +2 hours
  • Flight time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Details: A tiny island that is well versed in political upheaval. This shouldn’t concern you nowadays as a sense of calm has descended on this split island. Turkish and Greek islanders cohabit the island in an uncomfortable yet stable truce. The island is rather anglo-centric with a great number of ex-pats settling here in later life, not to forget the contingent of 3,500-odd British troops stationed on the island. Old school clubbers will enjoy the bright lights of Ayia Napa while those in search of a more sedate time need only turn to one of the many beaches.

5. Bali

Bali

 

  • Average October temperature: 27°C
  • Time difference: +8 hours
  • Flight time: 16 hours 15 mins (with one stop-off)
  • Details: While this is the furthest flung holiday destination on our list, it remains reasonably well priced. The flights themselves may set you back a fair amount, yet a recent Post Office traveller survey found that of all long haul destinations this was routinely rated the best value for money. This is the most picturesque of Indonesia’s islands, surrounded on all sides with quiet and beautiful beaches. The longer flight journey can be seen as a drawback but if you really want to escape UK winter, what better way than to travel to the other side of the planet?

These five destinations will guarantee an escape from the oncoming cloudy weather, one last chance to get some sun. No amount of planning can ensure that the sun will always shine, but it can make your trip as seamless as possible. Book your car hire in advance through easyCar and you can sail through the airport straight to the sun-drenched good times that await.

The Beginner’s Phrasebook for Travelling Abroad

Many of us come home from holiday vowing to ourselves that by this time next year, we’ll have learnt enough of a language to be able to pass off as a native on our next holiday. Unfortunately, life will often find a way to keep you too busy to take those French classes or to write with your German pen friend, leaving you getting off the plane once again in a foreign location with little knowledge of the local language.

Many locals are really helpful, and some knowledge of English is expected in most European businesses these days. However, it’s important to be able to converse with locals in their native tongue, not just as a sign of cultural respect, but also because it will infinitely increase your enjoyment of the location.

Here are our top most useful phrases for holidaymakers abroad, along with phonetic pronunciation and translation. Bookmark it!

French (Français)

french_flag

Basics

Hello

Salut/Bonjour

sa-LOO/bohn-ZHOOR

 

Goodbye

Au Revoir

oh ruh-VWAR

 

Please

S’il vous plait

siv-oo-PLAY

 

Thank you

Merci

mehr-SEE

 

Sorry

Désolé

deh-SO-lay

 

Phrases

I don’t speak French very well, can you speak English?

Je ne parle pas bien français, parlez vous anglais?

zhuh nuh PAHRL pah by-ANG frahn-SEH, par-lay VOO ahng-LEH?

 

Excuse me, where is the…?

Excusez-moi, où est le/la/les…?

ehk-SKEW-zay MWAH, oo-eh luh/la/ley…?

 

Can I have…. please?

Est-ce que je peux avoir….. s’il vous plait?

esker zhuh PUH av-warr… siv-oo-PLAY ?

 

Could you write it down?

Est-ce que vous pouvez l’ecrire?

esker voo POO-vay lay-kreer?

 

How much does…cost?

Combien coûte…?

com-bee-OHN cot …

 

I’m sorry but I don’t understand.

Je suis désolé mais je ne comprends pas.

zhuh swee day-zo-lay, may zher ner kong-prong pah.

 

Can you help me?

Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider?

esker voo poovay may-DAY?

Spanish (Español)

spanish_flag

Basics

Hello

Hola

ohla

 

Goodbye

Adios

ah-di-OSS

 

Please

Por favor

pour fav-OR

 

Thank you

Gracias

gra-see-ASS

 

Sorry

Lo siento

low see-en-TOW

 

Phrases

Hello, I don’t speak Spanish very well. Can you speak English?

No hablo muy bien español, ¿usted habla inglés?

no ah-blo mwee bee-en ess-panyol. Oo-sted ab-lah in-glez?

 

Excuse me, where is the…?

Disculpe, ¿Dónde está …?

dis-KUHLL-pe, don-deh ess-TAH…?

 

May I have the…. please?

¿Me puede dar … por favor?

meh PWEH-deh darr…. pour fav-ORR?

Could you write it down?

¿Puede escribirlo?

PWEH-deh ess-creeb-EER-lo?

 

Excuse me, I don’t understand

Disculpe, pero no le entiendo.

dis-KULL-peh. Peh-roh noh leh enn-teeyen-doh

 

Can you help me?

¿Puede ayudarme?

pwed-deh ah-YOO-darr-meh?

 

How much does…cost?

Cuánto cuesta…?

kwan-TO kwess-TAH …

 

German (Deutsch)

german_flag

Basics

Hello

Guten Tag

goo-TUN taahg

 

Goodbye

Tschüss

chuse

 

Please

Bitte

bitter

 

Thank you

Danke

dan-KEH

 

Sorry

Es tut mir leid

ess toot meer lied

 

Phrases

I don’t speak German very well, can you speak English?

Leider spreche ich nicht so gut Deutsch, sprechen Sie englisch?

lie-der shpreck-e ich nicht soh goot doytsh, shpreck-en zee english?

 

Excuse me, where is the…?

Entschuldigen Sie mich, wo ist…?

ent-shool-digen zee mich, voh ist..?

 

Can I have…. please?

Könnte ich bitte….haben?

kuhnnt-eh ich bitte…haben?

 

Could you write it down?

Könnten Sie das bitte aufschreiben?

kunnt-en zee das bitt-eh auf-shribe-en?

 

I’m sorry but I don’t understand.

Es tut mir leid aber ich verstehe nicht.

es toot meer lied, aber ich ver-shtee-ye nicht.

 

Can you help me?

Können Sie mir helfen?

koon-en zee meer helf-en?

 

How much does…cost?

Wie viel kostet…?

vee-VEAL koss-TET…?

 

Italian (Italiano)

italian_flag

Basics

Hello

Buongiorno

bwon zhor-no

 

Goodbye

Addio

AD-dio

 

Please

Per favore

pehr fah-VOH-reh

 

Thank you

Grazie

GRA-tsee-eh

 

Sorry

Scusa

SCOO-sah

 

Phrases

I don’t speak Italian very well, can you speak English?

Non parlo italiano molto bene, parli Inglese?

non par-lo ee-tahl-ee-ah-no mohl-toh beh-neh, par-lee een-gleh-zeh?

Excuse me, where is the…?

Scusi, dov’è il/la/ …?

skoo-zee, doh-veh il/la

Can I have…. please?

Posso avere …per favore?

Po-so AVER-re… pehr fah-VOH-reh

Could you write it down?

Potresti scriverlo?

Pwoh –tes-sti scree-VER-lo

I’m sorry but I don’t understand.

Mi dispiace, ma non capisco.

mee dee-SPYAH-cheh, ma non kah-PEES-koh

Can you help me?

Potresti aiutarmi?

Pwoh-TES-ti ah-yoo-TAR-me?

Whilst these phrases may not prove too useful with regard to impressing a date or discussing politics with the locals, they may help you out of a sticky situation or two.

For vocabulary and more advanced phrases, there are a number of smartphone apps that will help you out. For iPhone, your best bet is iTranslate voice, which lets you speak your phrase into it and returns the translation in automated speech.Android users should make sure that Google Translate is installed on their phone, especially since it offers offline language packs, saving you from desperately searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to continue a conversation about the intricacies of European politics with a local. For Windows Phone users, Bing’s translation service is surprisingly efficient and also offers an offline mode.

If you have a few months before you leave, devote some time to Duolingo, a free app which offers extensive lessons to help you become conversational in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or Italian!

If, even with this newfound elementary knowledge of European languages, you still don’t feel confident about haggling car rental prices whilst on holiday, why not book your car in advance with easyCar? We sort out all of the logistics, leaving you only to pick up the keys, offer a quick word of thanks (merci, gracias, grazie, or danke) and jump in the car.

From there you can decide exactly how much (or how little) conversation you want on your break.

Top 10 things to take on a road trip

Taking the car is definitely one of the best ways to explore an area or visit a new place. The open road and freedom affords a greater sense of the journey undertaken, as well as achievement on reaching your destination, but this can all change if you leave yourself unprepared for the journey ahead. Below are the top ten things we see as essential to any road trip.
enjoying_a_roadtrip

1. First Aid kit

A first aid kit is an important item to pack before starting a road trip. Medical incidents can happen at any time and it is better to be prepared than to be sorry. A well-packed first aid kit should have medical tape, elastic bandages, saline, soap, antiseptic and sterile gauze pads. In case of an accident you can patch up an injured party before heading to the hospital for professional help if necessary.

2. Maps and Satellite Navigation
SAT_NAV

A map with detailed markings of all routes and stops you will be making is essential for the journey. Having a map will eliminate the chances of you and the rest of the party from constantly pulling over to ask for directions. Satellite navigation, smartphones and tablets with internet access can give you access to electronic navigation maps, which means you should never get lost. We still recommend taking a paper map as well though, just in case you lose signal.

3. The Right Vehicle

It’s important that the vehicle for your road trip is right for your needs. If you need a family car then you need to make sure that your car has enough room to comfortably and safely fit all the family and their baggage. Maybe you need an SUV for your road trip so that you have somewhere to sleep if you want to camp out. easyCar can help you find the perfect vehicle for your road trip.

4. Your favourite music playlist

No road trip is complete without the tunes to match. Talking with each other will become tiring at some point (trust us). Look for a car with MP3 player connection or DAB radio With a smartphone or MP3 loaded with songs that all of you have chosen, you can connect it with the car stereo and listen while driving. Music can create a relaxing mood, drive energy levels high or provide something for everyone to sing along to. It’s also great for a game of beat the intro to fill the hours on the road.

5. Apps for travelling

TV ravel apps provide useful information such as budget hotels, best routes and local weather conditions of a particular area. Did you know you can type ‘Ok Google’ into Google Maps to save a map for offline use? That way you can download the maps you need on WiFi and you can avoid paying data download costs or trying to navigate when there’s no signal.

6. Cooler box and snacks

Snacks such as fruit, sandwiches, crackers and nuts among others are necessary sustenance while on the road. Water bottles and other soft drinks should be packed so that you can quench your thirst.

7. Comfortable items

Depending how long your trip is some of the passengers may want a nap along the way. So consider taking pillows and blankets. Drivers may want to switch over and get some well-earned rest while a companion takes the wheel (make sure your insurance covers multiple drivers if you do this.) It is important to avoid wearing clothes that are very tight or shoes with a high heel. The more comfortable you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. Hats, gloves and warm jackets are useful to keep in the boot, as no matter how warm it is in the day, the temperature will drop significantly once darkness falls.

8. Toiletries

Make sure that your car is packed with all the toiletries you think you’ll need – Sun cream, hand wash, insect repellent, toilet roll and tissues, etc.

9. Sunglasses

If you’re taking a road trip in summer, or in a sunny country, then sunglasses are one of the most important things you can bring with you. If you’re the driver then they are especially important. Accidents have been caused because the sun unexpectedly blinded a driver. Glaring into sunlight all day will tire the eyes faster and cause headaches, that can seriously affect a driver’s decision-making.

10. Electric power inverters

Smartphones, laptops and cameras are gadgets you may want to take on your road trip. They will need to be charged if you want to use them regularly. This can be achieved by using a power inverter, which allows you to convert the power of the vehicle into a mains charger.

5 Reasons Why Driving Provides the Best Holiday Experience

When planning a holiday you should think about the best way to see the attractions and tourist spots in the local area. Ask yourself whether or not you want to rely on local transport systems or take organised coach excursions, which can be hot and uncomfortable at the best of times. Here are five reasons we think car rental will provide the best experience for you and your holiday companions.

1. Choose Your Own Route

Taking control and being behind the wheel gives you the freedom to choose. Choose exactly the route you want to take. Rather than opting to travel on a busy motorway, you could instead take the scenic route through sleepy villages, along the coast or open countryside. You could also plan to stop off and visit other places along your chosen route, places well away from major road or rail routes. You could even stumble upon that secret beach only known to the locals.
the_open_road

 

2. No Timetable

When you arrive by car at a beautiful location, you have more time to enjoy the experience and see as much as possible. It might be that you want to spend time on the beach, grab one last coffee or even catch a lie in before your travels. Car rental means you can take as much time as you need and you don’t need to worry about getting back to the coach or the train station on time. You can relax more and enjoy your holiday at your own pace.

3. Unexpected Diversions

Exploring by car can take you to places you never planned to go. On the way to a destination, or on the return journey, you might see a sign pointing to an unexpected attraction. You might decide to take a detour and explore the area. Having control of your destination also means you don’t have to stay somewhere that you’re not enjoying. Sometimes getting lost can be the best way to find new places and experience new things. Those hidden locations feel all the better for having found them of your own accord.
travel_together

 

4. Travelling Together

With car rental you can choose the right size of car for you and your family or friends to fit into comfortably. It is much easier to keep children safe in the back seats and you will not be forced to sit (or stand) apart on a crowded bus or train. Because at the end of the day, the reason you travel with loved ones is to be close to them. What better way than hitting the open road with those closest to you?

5. That sense of achievement

If you’ve ever driven in a foreign country you know that feeling of satisfaction and achievement you feel when you hit your destination. Pulling up, parking and switching off the engine you will feel that great sense that explorers in years have felt when they find a new destination. Channel your inner Columbus and opt to rent a car.

If you are used to public transport or going on organised coach excursions you would not have the same opportunities that car rental provides. Rather than being herded around in a coach, bus or train, you can have better holiday experiences by driving to places of interest and getting off the beaten track. easyCar can help you find the perfect rental car for your holiday abroad.

Which iconic movie car suits you?

Have you ever found yourself watching a film and picturing yourself behind the wheel in an iconic car chase? How would you have acted differently? Would you have got away easily?

If you find yourself doing this, then this is the infographic for you. Have a look to find out exactly what car suits you.

 
Which_Movie_Car_Suits_You

5 Ways You Can Overcome Passport Gridlock This Summer

As we head into summer is it any surprise that people are going to need passports to get out and enjoy their summer holidays? But it may not be as simple to get one as you may have hoped. It is rumoured there is a build up of 500,000 applications waiting to be assessed. The below is a picture taken in what was once a meeting room of the Liverpool Passport Office.
Build_Up_in_the_Liverpool_Passport_Office

A lot of people are saying a lot of different things, all pointing the finger anywhere other than at themselves. The PCS Union (the union that represents public sector workers) claims it is due to job cuts and office closures. Those governing the Passport Office point fingers at the improved economy as a reason for the massive backlog. An increase in disposable income will drive more people to more expensive holidays and a stronger need for passports. And in fact a record 3.3 million applications were sent in the first half of 2014.

 

Regardless of who or what you choose to believe, what is clear is that a lot of people’s carefully planned summer holidays may be at risk. But there are ways you can get around this and hopefully beat getting lost in the system. They are:

 

1. Plan ahead

This may go without saying, but it is the passport office’s stance that you should never book a holiday without a valid passport for the duration of your stay. They say, “Don’t book travel until you have a valid passport – doing so is at your own risk.”

 

2. Apply for the premium service

This is a pricey solution but worth it if this is your only option. The process takes one day and will knock you back £128. You will need to make an appointment with the Passport Advice Line on 0300 222 0000. The service is available in London, Liverpool, Belfast, Durham, Glasgow, Newport or Peterborough.

 

3. Passport application lost in the system?

There are a lot of stories whirling around that applications have been lost in the system since mid-April, with one particular horror story involving a new-born baby and family stuck in the Middle East after the new-born’s British passport failed to arrive as expected. If you’re awaiting a passport to arrive with a holiday fast approaching then it may also be worth phoning the Passport Advice Line and requesting a fast-track service that will cost £103 and take a week to process.

 

4. Rent a car and stay in the UK

If you haven’t yet booked a holiday and are still waiting for your passport to arrive then maybe you could scrap your plans of travelling abroad and instead rent a car with easyCar or alternately sign up to the easyCar Club to hire from people in your area and opt to travel in the UK. The trend of staycationing (holidaying in the UK) is really taking off at the moment. With good reason, the UK tourism industry is in great shape at the moment with many holidaying options available for all tastes and price ranges.

 

5. Ignore a lot of the rumours swirling around

There is a lot of talk going on at the moment about having six months on your passport to travel internationally. If you’re traveling in Europe this is false, likewise with the USA. You can travel up to the last day of your passport’s validity. If your holiday is a bit more exotic, such as Egypt, Israel or Russia then different rules apply. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling if in any doubt.

 

If all else has failed it might be worth getting in touch with your local MP. They may not be directly able to sort out your passport but will be able to apply political pressure on the respective governmental departments. For information on contacting your local MP take a look at the Government’s website.