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For many families, booking a rental car is a standard procedure for most vacations. But my family has been shying away from rental cars on recent trips for various reasons (like on our early 2020 trip to Costa Rica).
Next month, my family is traveling to Florida to visit Disney World and Universal. We are also adding a college visit into the mix. For many folks, a rental car would be a no-brainer for this trip. However, we decided to skip the car rental and stick to Uber/Lyft and complimentary resort transportation.
Because of the pandemic, rental cars are not plentiful right now. Companies sold off cars during the travel slow-down, and now the prices are sky high. Did you hear that people are renting U-Hauls on vacation in Hawaii because they are cheaper than rental cars?
Our trip is 11 days, and the cheapest price for a rental through AutoSlash is ~$600. Add in two nights of required parking fees at our Universal hotel and the cost increases to around $660. Ouch!
I added up the cost of using Uber XL for the few places we want to go that don’t have complimentary transportation, including the college visit. In comparison, we’re looking at around $200 total for Uber.
Convenience of Included Transportation
Since we are staying on-site at both Disney and Universal, transportation to parks is included. We are also going to use Disney’s Magical Express one-way from the airport.
I’ve heard people say that the lines for Disney busses are long now due to social distancing on board. However, since our Disney resort is within walking distance of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, we will only be relying on the bus for two park days.
Even if we decide to forgo the bus a few times and hop on an Uber, we’re still coming out ahead on cost.
We Won’t Be Going Out to Eat
On of the main reasons to rent a car at Disney is to drive off-site for better and cheaper dining options. Since we are renting DVC points to stay in a condo, we will be eating a lot of meals in our room. I plan to order groceries from Amazon Fresh to stock our kitchen.
The Relaxation Factor
Skipping a rental car adds in a relaxation factor to our trips. At the end of a tiring day at the parks, it’s nice to hop on a bus or let someone else do the driving. After all, we’re on vacation!
A rental car isn’t necessary for all trips, and this is one of those trips. If our kids were younger and still required car seats, we would likely make a different decision. But at our current stage of family travel, we skip the rental cars when it makes sense.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.