When you next go on vacation the best way to explore a new country is by car. Renting a car allows you to sight-see at your own pace to tourist spots of your own choice. You can easily rent cars from car rental services, but there are certain things you should keep in mind when you are renting a car abroad.
* It is a good idea to make all arrangements from the USA itself before you embark on your vacation. If you rent directly in a foreign land the language and cultural barriers, the foreign currency conversion rates, unfamiliar rental rules and other differences may utterly confuse you. Instead if you rent right from your home country, you are more likely to catch the hidden costs such as late penalties, gas charges and others.
* Make sure your billing starts right from the time of the drop-off. Remember, there are agencies that charge on a full 24-hour basis, even if you use the car for lesser hours per day. Avoid these types of car rental agencies.
* There are various types of discounts that are available on car rentals internationally. For example, the frequent flyer discount, credit card discount, AAA discount or senior citizen discount etc. are the most common type of car rental discounts. Insist on getting the discounts if you qualify for them.
* When you are booking in advance, consider the prospective size of your luggage and the number of people traveling with you. In case the luggage and the size of your group are small you can consider a smaller car. But if you feel you are going to travel with a big group or have big or quite a few luggage, then book a roomier car.
* You should carry an international driving permit with you. It is recognized by some 150 countries. However you must be at least 18 years old to obtain an international driving permit. In the USA, two agencies are authorized to issue the document: the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
* Do not expect to rent a luxurious or automatic car in other countries as you would expect to rent back home. For example, if you rent a car of European make, there is a high possibly that you have to drive a manual stick shift car. However, since you are not familiar with your way around in a foreign city it is better that you insist on renting an automatic car even though it comes at a higher price tag.
So you see, driving in the foreign land is much more than laughing about driving on the wrong side of the road! Be prepared and carry the right documents for safe and happy driving abroad.