It looks like 2020 is going to be the year for road trips and if you're traveling, chances are that you're also looking to score a good deal. The US has some of the best road trip destinations in the world, but the idea of renting a car to get to them can be daunting. Overpaying for a rental can definitely be a common road trip mistake -  and car rentals can often conceal hidden fees and wind up being far more expensive than anticipated, what with gas, insurance, and additional charges. But with a few good tips and tricks to avoid the road trip panic, the starting price for a car rental can easily fit into anyone's budget.


For Starters, Avoid The Holidays

Nothing good ever comes from paying for holiday prices. So unless customers are planning to book a car rental months and months in advance, renting just in time for the holidays isn't ideal.

Prices will be driven up during these times of the year, so the easiest way to avoid paying these extra fees is to plan around them. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest holidays of the year, so this is when prices are likely to exceed most people's budgets.

Research Deals, Even If You Think You've Already Found The Cheapest

Deals come and go but research is forever.

Just when you thought you've found the best deal, use that FOMO and research just a little bit more. Sometimes, there's an even better deal just waiting to be found, and even if it's only a few dollars difference, it's still a saving. Research is tedious and time-consuming, but worth it when travelers can afford to splurge a little on vacay.

A Rule Of Thumb: The Airport Is Always More Expensive

Prices are inflated at airports and it's not likely that anyone will find a good deal by renting from them. Sometimes, it's a matter of convenience without many other options (in which case, the next point is very relevant) but should be avoided.

Airports often have additional fees won't budge much in terms of budget-friendly car rental. Instead, renting a car near the hotel, resort, or destination a traveler is staying is a far better option, if at all possible. A shuttle or taxi is a good method of transportation until then.

Don't Forget About Those Discounts

Specifically, AARP, AAA, Costco, USAA, and even BJs all offer discounts on travel. Some of them even offer travel deals, so it's smart to check all those emails we usually just delete without giving a second thought.

When in doubt, check membership options and see if there's any way to apply credits or discounts to a potential trip in the future. This is especially useful if options are limited to airport rentals, as money can be saved prior to renting a car and before vacation even starts.

Related: 10 Items That Will Make Your Road Trip Feel Like First Class

Bundling Is Sometimes The Best Way To Save Some Bucks

There are so many bundle deals out here nowadays but not all of them are worth it. Again, this is a great thing to check with memberships, but Google is also a reliable place to start.

In order to compare bundle deals accurately, open each package up in a new tab in the browser, and then systematically go over each one, exiting out of every tab that doesn't apply or doesn't fit with your itinerary or budget. If discounts are able to be applied to these bundles, well, then that's even more savings to be thankful for when you hit the road.

Next: 10 Family Vacation Spots For A Road Trip