How To Go on Vacation Without a Rental Car (10 Tips)

Popular travel websites may tell you that booking a rental car for your trip is the way to go. But right now, rental car companies are having trouble with their stock, and prices are getting more expensive every day. I will tell you about some other ways to travel that won’t require you to rent a car.

Here is how to go on vacation without a rental car:

  1. Hop on a bus.
  2. Use the subway.
  3. Use a rideshare app such as Uber or Lyft.
  4. Ride a bike around town.
  5. Take a scooter.
  6. Travel by foot.
  7. Take a trip on a sleeper train.
  8. Go on a cruise.
  9. Try out a resort.
  10. Take a road trip.

In this article, I will tell you my favorite ways to travel that don’t include renting a car, as well as some great tips for when you need to travel around your destination. I’ve also included a few trip ideas that don’t require you to have transportation at all, but you’ll need transportation to get there. Keep reading to dive into these tips.

Getting Around While on Vacation

Traveling to a new destination and exploring the area is one of the best parts of a vacation.

You get to see the sights, try new food, and have adventures you may not have at home. But if you are flying to your vacation destination, how do you explore the area while there?

Many cities have fun and unique ways to get around town and see the sights. And the best part is, you won’t have to pay for gas or find parking in a new city. Let’s look at a few ways to explore a new area without renting a car.

1. Hop On a Bus

Busses are a great way to explore the town. They are especially great resources if you aren’t sure where you want to go because they allow you to see different parts of the city while traveling.

Bus passes are relatively cheap, and you can purchase them for the entire day or longer.

Not only can you get on and off the bus whenever you see something cool that you want to check out, but you can also get off relatively frequently. Most busses stop every few blocks or so, making it easy to find one when you need to get to the next place.

Who knows, you may find a fabulous restaurant or an awesome souvenir shop you didn’t even know existed. Give the bus a chance and see what you can find.

2. Use the Subway

Subways are an efficient way to go longer distances around a city. Locals in big U.S. cities, such as New York, Chicago, or Boston, utilize a subway system daily for their commute. They are also popular in European cities and other countries around the world.

They are another method of transportation that you can use throughout your vacation for a relatively low cost. You can buy an unlimited subway pass and use that to get around the city without seeing a single traffic jam.

Walking from one subway station to another is also reasonably straightforward. Most cities that utilize subways have frequent stops, so you shouldn’t have to walk far to find another station.

3. Use a Rideshare App Such As Uber or Lyft

Sometimes you want to get somewhere that isn’t on the bus or subway route. In this case, you can use a rideshare app and call an Uber or Lyft to get you where you want to go.

There are a lot of benefits to using a rideshare app. Let’s take a look at a few advantages.

Rideshare Apps Are Flexible

Unlike busses and subways, you can call an Uber or a Lyft whenever you need one. This flexibility means if you are running late for a dinner reservation, you don’t have to wait 14 more minutes for the next train.

It also means if you are out late exploring the town, you don’t have to leave early to catch the last bus or train home. You make your schedule and travel when you want.

Your Car Is Private

Though public transportation is a cost-effective way to get around, it often includes the public. With an Uber or Lyft, you don’t have to share your space. The car is yours to take wherever you want with no unnecessary stops and no unwanted performances.

And if you want a lighter version of a communal experience, check out pool options that combine a few riders into a car for a cheaper rate.

Cash Is Not Necessary

Ordering a car through an app also means paying through the app. You don’t need cash on hand to pay a fare or a wallet in your pocket to hold the metro card. All you need is your phone (and let’s be honest; you probably have that on you anyway).

Calling the car, paying for the ride, and tipping the driver are all conveniently done through the same app.

Locals Can Give You Great Advice

Drivers are most likely from the area or close by and probably have some great advice on things to check out. Be talkative, make a friend, ask about great museums or parks or whatever else to check out. Chances are they will be more than happy to tell you about some great spots that you didn’t see in your google searches.

4. Ride a Bike Around Town

Biking is a great eco-friendly option for exploring the area. More and more cities provide bikes for rent around town that you can rent for an entire day or a ride. Peddle down to the beach, farmers market, or a cute coffee shop nearby and enjoy the breeze and the view along the way.

It is also a fun way to sneak in a workout while on vacation.

You can craft your vacation entirely around biking if you want a novel experience. Trek Travel offers unique bike tours that allow you to bike wherever you are going with unique experiences along the way. They offer guided and self-guided tours in countries around the world and even have e-bikes available to use.

5. Take a Scooter

Electric scooters are quickly becoming a popular way to travel around cities. You can find them grouped in random parts of town and even sometimes abandoned on the sidewalk. These scooters are easy to rent and are a fun way to get you where you are going.

6. Travel by Foot

If you are staying close to where you want to explore, I’d highly recommend walking around.

Walking around town won’t cost you anything, and it allows you to fully customize your experience, stretch your legs, and take your time moseying around. Not to mention, walking is excellent for your health and eco-friendly.

7. Rent a Moped

Moped’s a fun way to travel around as well. This is especially true for areas that are picturesque and have less traffic and major freeways (such as Kauai, areas of Thailand, and more).

Vacations Without Transportation

Another great way to avoid rental cars is to take a vacation that requires no transportation whatsoever. Many great options for fully inclusive vacations allow you to stay put once you get there. Here are just a few ideas.

8. Take a Trip on a Sleeper Train

A sleeper train is a fun way to see the sights while having a true one-of-a-kind experience. These trains include private lodging, en-suite bathrooms, full meal service, and of course, transportation.

Many trains also include amenities such as dining cars and lounges so you can get out of your cabin, mingle with other guests, and check out the sites from different parts of the train.

There are a variety of routes to choose from, with both one-way and round-trip options. Check out Amtrak to see if you can find a trip that is perfect for you.

9. Go on a Cruise

Cruises are such a fun way to explore the world, try out different excursions, and have a unique all-inclusive experience. They are also great for large groups and a way to meet new people.

Everything that you need for a beautiful vacation is located right on the ship. Cruise ships include private lodging, multiple bars and restaurants, pools, casinos, theaters, performances, even nightclubs.

You don’t even need a rental car for excursions. Most ships have partnered with local companies to provide experiences for their customers. These experiences often include transportation to wherever you are going, whether zip-lining in Honduras or clear bottom kayaking in the Cayman Islands.

To learn more about different cruise vacations, check out this video:

To learn more about different cruise line options, check out this video:

10. Try Out a Resort

An all-inclusive resort is the ultimate relaxing vacation.

There are different kinds of resorts worldwide in any terrain you can imagine, such as a:

  • Beach
  • Mountain
  • Desert
  • Island

Taking a trip to an all-inclusive resort is a great way to avoid a rental car because, after you check in to your stay, everything you need is within the resort. Many resorts include relaxing activities such as yoga, spas, saunas, and massages.

There are also restaurants, excellent lodging options, and many things to do so you won’t be bored.

If you want to find a great resort for your stay, check out Google Hotels. This site is a great way to search for different hotels and resorts in countries worldwide. It allows you to filter on price and location to find the perfect option for your holiday.

We created a video with tips and hacks for using Google Hotels, which you can view >>HERE<<

Bring Your Own Transportation

Lastly, one of the best ways to ensure that you won’t need a rental car is to bring your own. Bringing your own vehicle will allow you to save money on travel and ensure you have transportation throughout your entire trip.

11. Take a Road Trip

Road trips are a fun way to travel and make the journey part of the vacation. Instead of going straight to your destination, you can make some stops along the way and make the whole trip part of the fun.

Here are a few tips to consider before you hit the road:

  • Prepare for the weather. You want to make sure that you look at the forecast ahead of time and plan for any adverse weather. Bring extra layers if it is going to be cold. Check your windshield wipers if it is going to rain. Preparing for any scenarios you might encounter will give you peace of mind and help you stay safe on the road.
  • Pack the essentials. It is always a good idea to bring extra water and snacks. Packing these essentials will make the trip more comfortable. These are also good to have in case of an emergency or car trouble.
  • Bring extra cash. It is essential to have extra money on you while you travel. Some places, especially in more remote areas, don’t accept credit cards. There also may be times when you find it is easier to pay with cash. It is always better to have it even if you don’t end up needing it.
  • Prepare for emergencies. Preparing for emergencies comes in many forms. I mentioned the essentials, but it is also a good idea to have any tools you may need in case you break down, a spare tire, and a first aid kit.

To learn about more road trip tips and essentials, check out this video:

Final Thoughts

Here is a quick recap:

  1. Check out the buses to see the sights.
  2. Hop on the subway to get around town.
  3. Call an Uber or Lyft for a ride.
  4. Bike around town and feel the breeze.
  5. Rent a scooter and zip around.
  6. Walk around and smell the roses.
  7. Have a sleeper train adventure.
  8. Go on a cruise and have all you need in one place.
  9. Try out a resort for ultimate relaxation.
  10. Drive your own car, so you don’t have to rent one.

Now you can skip the rental car line and get straight to the trip. Happy travels!


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