You have to take your own car when you head off on holiday, don’t you? After all, the car is still the most popular mode of transportation: around two thirds of holidaymakers in Germany prefer to drive away on holiday. Does that mean that it has to be your own car, though? We’ve taken a look at a few alternatives.
Not only do cars have better environmental credentials than airliners (the preferred means of holiday transport for 38 per cent of Germans), but they also offer an unbeatable amount of space. What’s more, cars make for significantly more flexible travelling on the outward and return journey, not to mention at the destination.
Alternative rental cars
A rental car is a definite alternative to taking your own car. For most providers in Germany, it’s no problem at all to rent a car for a longer period of time. Still, it’s always a good idea to gather a few quotes. There are a number of online price-comparison websites for rental cars that make research easier.
One more thing to bear in mind: read the terms and conditions carefully. After all, additional costs often lurk in the fine print – such as for additional passengers or insurance policies. This is particularly true for rental vehicles hired abroad. It’s not uncommon for rental companies to talk customers into taking out unnecessary, additional insurance policies.
And what about car sharing?
In theory, car sharing is also an option for going on holiday. But beware: many providers don’t allow you to drive abroad – not even within the EU. Doing so can incur significant fines and void any insurance cover.
You should also take a good look at the fine print and terms and conditions for car sharing, too, as these can also conceal a number of hidden costs. To name just one example, fees can be incurred for dealing with parking infringements or traffic offences. You might also be charged for filling up at petrol stations that do not belong to the provider’s preferred network.
Such costs can vary widely from one company to another. It usually works out cheaper to rent a car for a longer period or for longer journeys, even if numerous operators offer discounts based on costs per kilometre and length of time. However, car sharing is an exciting alternative for excursions at the destination: this is especially true for holidaymakers who arrive by train or by plane.
A hitch-hiking holiday
We have one more alternative for people who are particularly open-minded, confident and communicative: hitch-hiking! This is quite possibly the cheapest option for going on holiday and is sure to be a mini-adventure in itself. The catch is that hitch-hikers need to have time on their hands – a lot of time, to be exact! Anyone wanting to cover a distance of 500 kilometres ought to plan for around three days of travelling. This gives an entirely new meaning to the old saying “the way is the goal”!