Day 13...Circumventing the Australian continent....Best international pricing for rental cars...One last tip for Elaine...

Colorful parasails in Bali.
"Sightings on the Ship in Australia"
View to the ceiling and elevators in the Centrum area.
When our loyal reader Elaine wrote explaining she and her husband had sold their home and stored many of their belongings to begin a two year world travel adventure, we wrote back and asked if we could share her questions with all of our readers worldwide.

When she graciously agreed, the past two days, we posted both her questions and our answers which can be found at these two links, if you haven't seen them as yet:
Post #1:
Post #2:

Tender boats taking passengers ashore in Bali yesterday.
Today, we're adding information about what we've chosen to do about renting cars while we travel the world which has encompassed the following questions for us along the way:
1.  Will we need a car?  Can we use taxis for tours, shopping and various outings? 
Answer:  Not every area is suitable for calling taxis.  For example, in Madeira, Portugal, we'd researched to discover that in the area in which we lived, Campanario, few taxis were available which could result in high costs and long waits when ordering a taxi.  In the remote location of Pacific Harbour, Fiji, a popular tourist area on the island of Viti Levu,  taxis were readily available with very low rates to most locations, usually under US $5, AU $6.63.  With the high costs of rental cars in that location, it made more sense to use taxis.  We selected a reputable company online that serviced all of our needs.

2.  What is the cost of using taxis or drivers in any particular area in which we may be living?
Answer:  As stated above taxis fares vary greatly all over the world.  When a driver option is available through the owners of a vacation/holiday home, its important to ask rates long before arrival to be able to make a determination as to whether the driver, a separate taxi company or a rental car would be most suitable and affordable.  If you're the type of traveler to go out on long drives, day after day, a rental car is usually the best option.  For us, who ventures out about three times a week, we've always conducted a cost analysis in order to decide our best route.  Long ago, we were willing to forgo a feeling of being trapped without a car in the driveway.  Now, it doesn't bother us at all, especially when a quick call or email brings a taxi to our door within minutes or when we can pre-arrange longer outings as desired.

Passengers parasailing in Bali.  Photos taken from our veranda.
3.  Is driving a rental car safe in some high risk areas? 
Answer:  In some countries using a regular driver was a safer option than renting a car, for example in Kenya, where carjacking is a common occurrence even in the most upscale of resort areas.  One must consider the crime rates in the area/country before deciding to rent a car.  This information is readily available online with a few minutes of research.

4.  What is the cost to rent a car which must be large enough to fit our three large bags, three carry on  bags leaving us comfortable seating?
Answer:  Rental car rates are either affordable in an area or not.  In Belize it was US $3,000, AU $3,977 or more for a month.  If we'd used a taxi every single day it never would have been one fourth of that rate.  We opted for selecting one regular driver with whom we felt most comfortable, tipping him generously at the end of our stay.

This looked like fun, for some.  I must admit, it doesn't appeal to me but Tom would like it.
5.  Will both of us be able to drive the car?  Is there an extra charge to add me to the contract?
Answer:  In many cases its as much as additional US $10, AU $13.26 per day to add a second driver to the contract.  Its not worth it to us to spend the extra sum when the only time I'd go off on my own would be to grocery shop.  As a result, Tom drives me to the market and either joins in on the shopping or reads a book on his phone while waiting in the car.  It works for us and we save considerable sums each year.  In some cases, such as in Hawaii, there was no additional cost for a second driver.  Its important to verify this information in advance if its necessary for two or more drivers to drive the vehicle.

6.  What about liability and car insurance, especially when we don't own a car of our own?  How do we handle the insurance?
Answer:  Some credit cards provide insurance for the vehicle if the rental included using the credit card for pay for the rental.  This is the case for all of our rentals.  Please check with your credit card company as to its particular provisions and rules.  Also, our "renter's insurance" which covers our personal belongings (luggage) includes liability insurance.

Towel penguin on the bed last night.
7.  How does one decide on which rental car company to use?  What site(s) do we use that offer the best pricing, guidelines and customer service? 
Answer:  During the first year of our travels we conducted considerable research in order to settle on to an online resource we found best served our needs.  This was a time consuming process.  We landed on which ultimately proved to provide the best pricing, cars and service especially when it comes to long terms rentals such as ours.  However, this international service can fulfill and often beat pricing over many other online rental sites.  We usually end up using which we're directed to through a search through  If we'd contacted directly, we'd pay a higher price.  This is important.  Don't be tempted to go directly to the company for pricing.  You'll rarely be offered a better price.  The exception to this will only occur while picking up the car and they offer an additional promo for an upgrade which we've accepted on a few occasions.  In some cases, we've been offered a less costly car than we originally selected at an even lower price when they see the extended period for the rental.  Undoubtedly, over time, one becomes more experienced in this process, ultimately saving money and time.

Heights, falling in the sea?  Not for me, thanks.
Hopefully, this information may be found to be helpful for some of our traveling friends, especially those considering longer trips or extended periods of world travel.

Please don't hesitate to comment at the end of this or any post if you have questions or concerns.  We're always happy to assist.

We continue to hang out with our wonderful group of new friends each evening for happy hour in the Diamond Club and later for dinner.  These past few nights, after dinner when they've wandered off to their cabins for the evening, Tom and I have headed to the self leveling pool tables to play.  As competitive as we are and as lousy a pool player as I am, somehow I'm ahead.  Go figure. 

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 12, 2015:
In Fiji one year ago, our single house was located in the far right of this photo, down from the house above that has three rentals, a huge upper floor and two good sized lower apartments.  For more details, please click here.


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