7 Benefits of Renting a Car in Europe

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Planning a family vacation in Europe? Trying to decide on the best form of transportation for your family and whether driving in Europe is the perfect solution for you? These benefits for renting a car in Europe will help make your decision easier.

This post, focusing on the benefits of renting a car in Europe, is the third in our series of how to plan for a family trip to Europe. Check out the other posts in this series, including what to pack for a family trip to Europe, the benefits of lodging with airbnb, how to plan your family's European vacation on a budget, the types and benefits of tours to help you create the perfect travel itinerary, 10 tips to maximize your rental car experience in Europe, how to get around in Europe with a family, and must see places more than 10 countries in Europe and Africa.

Transportation Choices: Whether Renting a Car in Europe Is Right for Your Family

When preparing our European family adventure, we looked into various forms of transportation: air travel, travel by train, boat, leasing a car, and car rental. Since we traveled to 10 different countries on our 3 1/2-week trip, we ended up going with every form of travel we researched. What we especially loved during the 2 weeks we spent in Spain and Portugal, however, was having the freedom to go off the beaten path, discovering places not mentioned in the travel guides or on the travel sites we had read. This form of travel was made easiest through car rental, sponsored in part by AVIS.

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7 Benefits of Renting a Car in Europe

The biggest benefits of renting a car in Europe?

  1. You can go wherever you want—directly to your destination, off the beaten path, or anywhere in between.
  2. You can make sudden changes to your itinerary, adding in new destinations.
  3. You can stop, see the countryside, and make the most of sights along the way, like abandoned castles.
  4. You can pull over whenever a photo opp arises and record memories of your family vacation.
  5. In many cases, the cost benefits outweigh those of other forms of transportation. In Spain and Portugal, for example and given our itinerary, it was far less expensive to rent a car (even when we picked up from one city and dropped off in another) than to purchase Eurorail passes for all of us.
  6. For families with younger children or anyone who doesn't do well with long days of walking, you can get up close to sights by parking in parking garages. This makes long days, visiting museums, churches, and castles, less tiring. Find family-friendly hotels in marbella for a place to rest after a long day of travelling.
  7. Drive time plus talking during your road trips equals family bonding, resulting in some of the most meaningful memories from your trip.

Here are some pictures from the variety of places we visited (from top left: driving through vineyards en route from Madrid, Spain to Porto, Portugal; taking in the snowy Andorran mountain top; driving along the beach front in Barcelona; crossing the bridge from Portugal into Spain; boys ready to get their sweet tooth on in Lisbon, Portugal; beautiful road trip to Sintra, Portugal; the breathtaking road to Ronda; the Edge of the Earth in Sagres, Portugal; and fields of gold outside of Barcelona on the way back from Andorra).

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Here is one of our favorite pictures from Toledo, Spain, which was only a short day trip from Madrid. After a short walk along the river, we drove to a scenic overlook and ate lunch on a park bench, taking in the beautiful view of the city.

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I love this picture of my 10-year-old son, Connor, as he is running and playing on the rocks at the "Edge of the Earth" in Sagres, Portugal. This western most beach in the Algarve was only a 45-minute drive from our beach house in Faro, which we rented through Airbnb.

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And here is a great shot of my hubby, Mr. Dadventurous himself, in Andorra, which was a short day trip from Barcelona. Who doesn't want to make snow angels on their family vacation to Europe in the spring? LOL!

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Now that you know the benefits of renting a car in Europe, check out 10 ways to maximize your car rental in Europe experience.

Have you ever rented a car in Europe? What renting a car in Europe tips do you have that will help make others' car rental experience the best?

Disclosure: I was provided with a partial car rental sponsorship by AVIS. These tips are honest recommendations based on my car rental experience with them.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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