There's no better way to tour the USA than on a driving tour. Venture through the iconic landscapes of the American west or deep south, enjoy a coastal sojourn, or discover the history and glamour of the big city. Wherever you choose to go, rental cars, RVs, and even motorcycles afford the freedom and flexibility to forge your own path of discovery.
We recently sat down with Tanya Curtis from Asia Pacific Travel Marketing Services (APTMS). As sales representatives in Australia for such companies as Alamo, El Monte RV's North America, and EagleRider Motorcycles, APTMS assists Aussie travel companies in the global travel market. With their valuable insight, we thought we'd ask the questions travellers most want to know when it comes to renting a vehicle in North America. Get your motor running with these helpful tips on road tripping the USA.
Travel Associates: What is generally the best time of year to book a car or RV in the USA?
Tanya Curtis: For great savings, Alamo offers early bird specials. Up to 31 March 2015, travellers can receive a free upgrade on certain car types. Outside of the early bird deals, travellers typically find the best rates and availability during off peak and shoulder periods. Peak season in the USA is considered to be June to September, during the height of the summer season.
Q: Do travellers need to book round trip for the best car rental deals?
A: One-way versus round trip is really an individual choice and depends on the person's travel plans. Some people will arrive and depart from the same airport and rent a vehicle for local sightseeing whereas others will tour over a greater distance and fly into and out of different airports. For these journeys, Alamo offers very affordable and easy to calculate one-way fees which are paid locally to the depot upon pick up.
Alamo does offer free one-ways in these popular holiday locations:
- California (except pickup in downtown San Francisco during certain dates)
- New York City
- California – Nevada (vice-versa)
- California – Arizona (vice-versa)
- Nevada-Arizona (vice-versa)
- California – Seattle (vice-versa)
Q: What kind of insurance coverage is included with an Alamo rental?
A: All rentals come with a ZERO excess and include Collisions Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss and Damage Waiver (LDW) and $1m third party liability. Even twenty-four hour roadside assistance is included.
Q: Nothing beats the feel of the open road, especially when driving the vehicle of your dreams. Do you have any advice on the type of car to choose?
A: Alamo offers 14 vehicle categories which attract a diverse range of customers. When renting a car we recommend that renters establish the correct car type needed. Some important considerations would be the number of people travelling, the amount of luggage space needed and whether an airport or downtown pickup is preferred. For convenience and ease, travellers may also want to consider renting a vehicle that closely matches the type of car that they drive at home.
For a bit of fun, a convertible is a groovy option for local sightseeing or for driving the California Coast and LA. If you're touring with a larger group or family I would look at a suitable full size, SUV or people mover. Mini-vans are one of the most popular vehicles for families in North America. APTMS also assists with EagleRider motorcycle and El Monte RV rentals. Both companies provide unique transport options when touring the USA and Canada.
Q: What are some other advantages when renting through Alamo?
A: Alamo spends millions on new vehicles every year, which means clients are provided with a true quality product. Alamo has more than 280 depots across the USA and Canada, including a large number of locations where clients can choose the specific make and model of their choice. We find that families in particular enjoy the exclusive partnership with Disney too. Alamo offers the convenience of a depot at every Disney location.