Posts tagged "Renting"

The Ins and Outs of Hostels and Room Renting: How to Find Safe and Cheap Accommodations Abroad3 min read

How to Find a Hostel

Planning a trip can often feel overwhelming. Whether it’s the struggle of coordinating all the details or stress from all your expenses adding up, you might feel like you could use a vacation from planning your vacation.

Luckily, for many travelers, it’s possible to take some of the stress out of planning by choosing budget-friendly room accommodations like hostels, room rentals or even couches.

Here are tips for navigating hostels and other room renting options.


If you’re thinking of a hostel you’ve seen in a movie when I say the word, stop and get that image out of your head. The hostels of today are nothing like you might have seen on screen. Especially in Europe, where they’re most popular, the hostel industry has exploded in recent years. This has caused many locations to step up their game, and there are now plenty of trendy spots at budget-friendly prices.

If you’re interested in staying in a hostel, start with sites like or Each of these sites lets you search by date and location and offers a great level of detail about the choices you’re eyeing.

Check different dates around the time you want to travel, as well as different room characteristics. See what room options are available such as how many other people can stay in the same room or if it’s for single or mixed genders. Playing around with these search categories can help you find the best deals.

It’s pretty simple to use, and I can tell you that Hostel World made life easy on my recent trip to Europe –I used it to find quality hostels in Ireland, Italy, Denmark and Spain.

Room Renting

Room renting might be right for you if you’re looking for a more private option that doesn’t break the bank. This can be a great way to feel more at home while traveling far from home.

Room rentals can be pricier if you’re traveling by yourself. It might put less of a strain on your wallet to split the cost with a friend or a small group you travel with. Searching on sites like Airbnb can also help you find options for renting a single room to an entire house.

I’ve had great experiences using Airbnb. My partner and I stayed in a house in Iceland where we shared the space with other couples who used Airbnb to book the other bedrooms. When I visited Liverpool, England, we were able to rent a flat to ourselves for about a week and a half at a reasonable price.

Also while in Liverpool, our host met with us and offered tips for what we should do around town. That on-the-ground advice really enhanced our experience getting a local perspective on navigating a city we only knew from reading about online.

When booking your room rental, look for reviews from previous guests. Most reviews will include at least a line or two about how the host is with guests and tourists in particular. Finding the right host can be like having a free tour guide with your room.

Couch Surfing

If you’re looking to save as much dough as you can or want to truly immerse yourself in a local culture, couch surfing might be right for you.

Sites like encourage travelers who want to save money to stay with a local family when hitting the road. Couch Surfing has a multiple step booking process designed to ensure your security. Guests can rate and leave comments on hosts they stay with. Check for listings where the host has a detailed profile and read reviews by people who have stayed with the host before.

Whatever type of hosting experience you’re looking for, don’t wait, find your next room and get exploring!


Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - January 19, 2018 at 23:37

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ten Tips for Renting a Car Abroad6 min read

Tips for Renting a Car Abroad

You can get to a remarkable variety of places and tourist attractions by way of plane, train, bus, and boat. Sometimes, though, the only way to veer off the beaten path and explore lesser-known destinations is to have your own set of wheels.

Renting a car is relatively simple in the U.S. — aside from navigating all of the “extras” that rental car companies pressure you into purchasing — but the process gets more complicated when traveling abroad. Here are a few things to keep in mind when renting a car in a foreign country.

Assess your comfort level

It is important to carefully consider whether you’ll feel comfortable driving in the country you plan to visit, as it is not always a given. While renting a car may seem like a great way to get from point A to point B, you’d be wise to review your itinerary for potential complications, such as driving through a traffic-choked city or navigating narrow cliff roads. Take time to understand the country’s rules of the roads, as the regional driving style may be unfamiliar or jarring, particularly if you’re not familiar with the route. Once you factor in parking and other considerations, choosing another mode of transportation may ultimately be less of a hassle than renting a car.

Choose between automatic and manual transmission

Americans tend to forget that much of the world drives manual-transmission vehicles. As a result, foreign rental car companies may only have a small inventory of automatic vehicles, which tend to skew larger in size compared to manual-transmission options. Be prepared to pay a premium for automatic vehicles, particularly for American brands.

Match the vehicle to your needs

It may be tempting to focus on price when evaluating rental car options, but remember that every driving trip is different. You may need a 4WD vehicle with a high clearance if you’re planning to travel on rutted dirt roads in Iceland, whereas you may prefer a small car to match the scale of narrow city streets in Europe. Of course, you’ll also need to factor in the numbers of passengers and quantity of luggage when determining how much interior and trunk space you need. If you wish to blend in with the locals, just keep in mind that what is appropriate in the U.S. in terms of vehicle size and style is not always the norm in other countries. 

Ensure it fits your itinerary

When researching car rental options, make sure the car rental arrangements will work well with your broader travel plans. Consider whether it makes more sense, for example, to rent a vehicle from the airport or from a location in the city based on where you’re staying and will need to go. Determine also whether you’ll need to drop off the vehicle in a different location from where you pick it up, as that will likely add to the overall rental cost. Also avoid planning your trip in such a way where you end up paying for your car to sit idly during a multi-day layover in a single place.

Know your international insurance coverage

Your domestic auto policy probably won’t cover you abroad, but your credit card might include international coverage. Visa, for example, will cover physical damage and theft of the vehicle, as well as towing charges, if you use their Signature card to pay for the entire rental agreement and decline the optional collision or damage waiver offered by the rental company. This does not, however, include personal injury or liability or cover damages to other vehicles. As always, exclusions apply so be sure to read the fine print before you make a selection.

Beware unexpected charges

Even if you’ve done your homework and know what add-on options to decline, be prepared for additional charges that may balloon the cost of renting a car. The appealing $ 21/day rental rate may end up costing you twice as much or more once you factor in all charges and fees, including:

  • One-way drop off fees if you return the car at a different rental car location
  • Additional driver fee
  • Surcharge for drivers under 25 or over 70
  • Airport surcharges if renting a car from an airport location
  • Licensing fees, sales tax and VAT
  • After-hours fees (e.g., to rent a car on a Sunday when the office is closed)
  • Optional add-ons such as car seats or GPS
  • Temporary hold charges on your credit card while you have possession of the car

No matter what coverage you decline and add-ons you select online, be prepared to go through it all over again when picking up the car in person.

Check for a weekly rate

If you plan to rent a car for an extended period, check to see whether there is a discounted weekly rate. You may be surprised to learn that the cost of renting a vehicle for five or six days is comparable to renting it for the entire week. Before finalizing an agreement, make sure you also understand how pick up and drop off times impact price. This will help you avoid the surprise of being charged the equivalent of two days for a 26-hour rental or being assessed a hefty late fee for returning the car after the designated drop-off time.

Book in advance

As with booking various other modes of transportation, it is often best to reserve a rental car well in advance of your trip, particularly during peak tourist season. This will ensure a greater availability of vehicles from which to select. It can also be substantially cheaper compared to walk-in, same-day reservations. Most rental car companies do not have cancellation or modification fees when booking in advance online, so you can make adjustments if your travel plans change.

Shop around for better rates

The largest U.S. rental car companies operate internationally, but their rates can be more expensive than local competitors. Unless brand loyalty prevents you from straying from your go-to domestic rental car agency, use online services such as Kayak and Expedia to compare rates in search of the best deal. You may also wish to check your guidebook for recommended independent rental companies specific to the region where you plan to travel, as online comparison tools may not include them. If it is your first time renting from a particular company, research their online customer reviews before committing to the rental.

Check license requirements

Ready to hit the road? Not so fast. Depending on which country you’re traveling in, you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to drive. An IDP, which is carried in conjunction with a regular driver’s license, is officially recognized in over 150 countries and serves to transmit important information from your license in eleven languages. You may wish to contact one of two approved issuers of IDPs, AAA and the AATA, to learn if an IDP is required to rent a car in the country where you’ll be traveling.

The bottom line: renting a car abroad can give you the freedom and flexibility to explore new places on your own time, but it can also add stress and inflate your trip costs. Thinking through each of the above considerations before you rent will minimize surprises and prepare you to hit the road confidently.


Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - July 21, 2017 at 15:17

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , ,