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Travel News Briefs / Conde Nast Travel / UNESCO / London Travel / London Tube / Rental Cars / Camping / Train Travel / → All Tags
These Travel News Briefs were compiled by Conde Nast Traveler.
Here’s a closer look at each of two-dozen new UNESCO World Heritage Sites added to the list over the weekend. (Condé Nast Traveler)
The Telegraph compiles 150 facts about the London Tube, which will stop running at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday for a 24-hour strike. (The Telegraph)
While many trains in Europe are making trips faster and easier, long-haul sleeper service remains popular—and “a new breed of long-distance commuter services has brought business class to the rails.” (The Telegraph)
Most of the people renting a car in the U.S. in 2014 were on a leisure rather than business trip, according to data from the Department of Commerce. Seven out of ten rentals was used on vacation, while only 12 percent of those vehicles were used for business. (Skift)
How to get the most enjoyment out of your travels? “It’s best not to see a vacation simply as a discrete period of time,” Jesse Singal writes, “but rather as something that you will talk and think about a lot both beforehand and, hopefully, for years after the fact.” (NYM)
That probably explains, at least in part, the fact that “a number of camplike experiences being embraced by adults who want to spend their precious time off learning new skills or mastering ones they already have,” as Alyson Krueger reports. (NYT)
Rental Cars / Cars / Driving / Road Trips / → All Tags
One of our favorite parts of the travel experience is snagging a rental car. Maybe it’s because our 2001 is kind of a clunker at this point, but we do really enjoy a brief interlude of new car smell and air conditioning that actually works. Anyway, The Wall Street Journal has some interesting insight regarding rental cars — and the current odds of what type of ride you'll get.
Based on the odds, you're most likely to score a Chevy Cruze as your rental. Why? While SUV sales are still strong, sedans aren't moving as fast as they used to. According to the WSJ, about 21% of the compact cars and 20% of the midsize cars sold during the first three months of the year actually ended up at rental car firms rather than in, say, your neighbor’s driveway: "The Chevy Cruze had the highest volume of cars going to rental car fleets during the quarter, amounting to about 45% of the compact’s total sales, followed by the Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Chrysler 200."
These options are all fine and dandy, but we’ll still keep holding out hope for that one time — just one time! — that we’ll be upgraded to a Mercedes. Or—we could just use SilverCar to get our German car fix.
[Photo: Håkan Dahlström]
Hertz / Rental Cars / Road Trips / Driving / → All Tags
No need to utilize your GoPro the next time you’re away from home, as it looks like Hertz will be recording your vacation. Okay—so we’re exaggerating a little bit here, but there is news that the rental car giant has started to install cameras and microphones in some cars as part of their proprietary GPS and navigation system.
Right now the driver facing cameras can only be found in a selection of vehicles, and specifically it is those cars using version six of Hertz NeverLost. According to Hertz right now there is no plan to switch these cameras on or anything like that, and apparently the bandwidth and technology isn’t even there yet.
Rental Cars / Cars / Road Trips / Hertz / Florida Travel / National Car Rental / Avis / Budget / Driving / → All Tags
The annual migration out of Florida has started yet again, and that means it is now a wonderful time to take a one-way rental car road trip. Companies from Hertz to National need their vehicles elsewhere for the spring, and they’re offering up rental rates for as little as $10 per day—and no drop off fee!
Hertz calls their promotion Florida Drive Out, and they’re asking renters to pick up a participating vehicle from both airport and neighborhood locations in Florida. After that travelers are free to drop off their cars in spots all along the east coast from places like Georgia to Maine.
The rates are good between April 6 and June 30, but just remember that RQ ICFLT1 is what to enter into their site. Get the full details from the folks at Hertz right here—they’re even doing something out of Arizona!
If you find lipstick marks around the tailpipe, please notify a FlightCar representative.
For many people, joining the “sharing economy” is sort of like entering an open relationship. It sounds like a good idea at first — enjoy stability, plus fringe benefits! But once you actually see a stranger peel away in your car, or find a stray hair left behind in your Airbnb-loaned bed, the reality of letting someone else manhandle your precious possessions suddenly feels unsettling.
On the other hand, what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
Such is the premise behind FlightCar. This smart-sounding service lets drivers make use of the hundreds of autos that sit idling in airport parking garages while their owners are out of town.
Want to make some extra money while you’re traveling? Agree to share your car via FlightCar, and when you drop it off (for free parking) at one of 11 partner airports FlightCar will hook it up with a pre-screened (read: responsible) driver to use it while you’re gone.
You score easy cash, and the car is back waiting for you – like nothing ever happened! – upon your return.
Rental Cars / Avis / Road Trips / Kauai Travel / Hawaii Travel / Cars / LIH / Airports / → All Tags
The wind in your hair, the radio turned up, sunglasses on fleek, and every hottie on the sidewalk glancing your way. You're driving a convertible, baby!
The transformer of automobiles is frequently associated with men in mid-life crises and women who list "trophy wife" as their occupation, but there's no reason it's not also for you, for at least a few days. Convertibles are best enjoyed as a rental car, but making the decision to lay down the dollars for the upgrade is the worst part of the experience. In fact, it's a dilemma we faced hardcore in Hawaii this week.
Arriving to the Avis rental car counter at Kauai's Lihue Airport, we asked about the availability of an upgrade to a convertible. This being Hawaii, the lot was packed with Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro convertibles, and the agent noted that typically they cost $129/day to rent (Priceline actually has them from $65/day at the LIH Airport location), but the upgrade price is significantly less on a prepaid economy reservation such as ours.
Somewhere in the Florida Keys
Have you ever had that moment of panic when driving on a Florida highway as you realize you have no idea how to pay the associated tolls? Some of Florida's toll lanes don't have cash tollbooths, but they do have plenty of signs warning drivers when they're about to enter, causing unnecessary anxiety for some out-of-state visitors.
Most Florida residents have a SunPass that offers lower toll rate, but those who don't can still take Florida's toll lanes. However, the tolling cameras will take a photo of their license plate and mail the car's registered owner a TOLL-BY-PLATE invoice including all of their tolls for that month, plus a $2.50 administrative charge.
Out-of-state visitors driving their own cars don't have to worry about paying tolls either because they'll get the same TOLL-BY-PLATE invoice mailed to their home. If planning an extended stay in Florida, anyone can also register for a SunPass, without being a Florida resident.
But if you're in a RENTAL CAR, the bill for the toll will go to the rental car company, who will send it to you with some added fees. Joy.
For those lucky enough to be heading out to Arizona for this year’s big game, be sure to keep an eye out for any goodies left behind in your rental car. We’re not just talking about your phone, wallet, and belongings—but other more Super possessions as well.
The rental car lot is often home to forgotten treasures, but none is more valuable than the recent discovery inside one vehicle from the folks over at Enterprise. It wasn’t the rental agent this time, but it was actually an NFL agent who discovered it—after he was checking under the seats for his own goodies.
Rental Cars / Hertz / Cars / Road Trips / → All Tags
The New Year is already painful for travelers; as for one all those frequent flyer annual balances reset back to zero. Making things a little bit worse is the news from Hertz, as the rental car giant is upping prices and raising rates just in time to bust out the new 2015 calendar.
We can only assume that a reservation is a reservation, so if you’re booked at a current rate you should be good to go; however, it never hurts to check. What it does sound like is that Hertz has increased rates for vehicles being picked up after January 1. The financial types seem to like this kind of news, as the company’s stock has been headed up in recent days—but clearly not the best news for those looking to pick up a car for the weekend.
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If you think back on your last few rental car encounters there’s probably a decent chance that one of your vehicles was something like a Chevy Impala. The New York Times takes a look on why your car seems to be the same make and model time and time again, and it makes us want to pay a little extra to get something a little more unique, comfortable, and less Impala-y.
The Chevy Impala has been the top selling rental car for the last couple years, and just in 2013 alone they sold roughly 90,000 of the things—destined to sit at the airport awaiting your arrival. In fact more than half of the Impalas sold in the United States last year joined rental car fleets rather than heading to driveways.
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We might be a little bit weird in our love for rental cars, but seriously, picking up the car after getting off the plane still gives us a little thrill each and every time—especially when we score a good one.
Good news if you feel the same way, since there are a few good rental car deals kicking around right now. The fall is the perfect time for a road trip, so check out some of these rates, book something, and get driving.
Travel Tips / Rental Cars / Hawaii Travel / Oahu Travel / Maui Travel / Molokai Travel / Kauai Travel / Lanai Travel / → All Tags
Regardless of which Hawaiian Island you're traveling to, one thing you'll really want to have is a rental car. On Oahu, you'll want to be able to escape Waikiki and explore the North Shore. On Maui, there are too many awesome towns, such as Lahaina, Kihei, and Paia, to stay put in one place. And on Kauai, the island's two main attractions, Waimea Canyon and Hanalei Bay, are over an hour apart. And don't forget about all the coastal highways - each island has its fair share of beautiful drives.
That said, having a rental car might be even more valuable on Molokai and Lanai. Scratch that. You don't just want a car - you want a four-wheel drive vehicle. Exploration is easy on Oahu and Maui thanks to the abundance of paved-road infrastructure. This is not the case on Molokai and Lanai, the latter having only three paved roads on the island. The rest? They're dirt roads, ready to be explored by the adventurous.