When you travel, whether it be for business or for pleasure, it’s likely that you want to stay within some sort of prospective budget. One thing to keep in mind: YOU are the dominant one in the give-and-take relationship you have with your budget. For instance, if you book a cheaper flight with less than ideal times, it may free up more money to stay in a nicer hotel. That’s the kind of give and take travelers typically work with. It’s up to you, the traveler, to show the budget who wears the pants in the family. You will decide what is the most important part of your trip and where you want to allocate the expenses.
This brings us to one possibility of saving money while you travel: bundling a rental car with your hotel, a tactic that an increasing number of properties are moving toward as a means of an added-value sale. Is this right for you when you’re on the road? We look at some of the pros and cons of doing so:
? Hotel / Rental Car Bundle: The Pros ?
The biggest advantage to bundling a rental car with your hotel is the potential cost savings it could net you, thereby freeing up money for you to spend elsewhere on or throughout your trip. This cost savings can amount to as much as several hundred dollars. Like we said in the opening, freeing up a few hundred dollars on hotel and car rental costs just gives you that much more to allocate elsewhere.
It’s much more convenient to keep two major expenses under one roof, so to speak. Convenience may also be experienced by travelers in the form of complimentary transportation from the hotel to car rental lots or in a hotel having access to an on-site rental lot. A time savings may also be realized if you bundle these two expenses while you’re on the road.
3. Rewards Points
If you’re a frequent traveler, you already likely are earning rewards points through several numerous accounts. The more you spend with an entity, the more rewards points you typically earn. What’s more is that bundling within a provider may even offer some sort of added rewards incentive, such as double points.
? Hotel / Rental Car Bundle: The Cons ?
Yes, bundling a car with your hotel might seem like a fantastic way to shave a few hundred dollars off your trip, but there’s one key question you must answer before doing so: Do you even need a rental car in the first place? Bundling a rental with your hotel if you don’t need one is wasted money, and with the convenience of Uber, Lyft and taxis – not to mention the hassle of parking depending on where you are going – it may just be easier to skip the rental altogether.
2. Vehicle Quality
Often, when hotels are running deals such as this, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get a high-level rental. Hotels will promote such packages to entice travelers to book them, then present them with an older rental, high-mileage rental or a vehicle class size that’s not what the consumer may have expected. Before you book this type of a bundle, always be sure that you know what sort of vehicle you’re signing on to. Doing so can avoid a lot of frustration at the check in counter.
With any rental comes questions about what type of insurance – if any – you’ll need to be adequately covered in the case of an accident. This can be confusing to many travelers, and can also present an additional expense. Furthermore, your driving record may jeopardize your renting ability – a situation where taking a defensive driving course prior to booking can pay off.