Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hawaii Trip Review (part 3 of more than 1)

Hawaii Review Part 1

So your there, now what?

So, when you last left us, we had flown to Hawaii, whats left?  Well, lets talk about Car Rental!!

Car Rental with a Toddler

To recap a bit, we have now flown from Chicago to Hawaii with our 20 month old and ALL the stuff that goes with that.  Most important to the Car Rental topic, we had his car seat.

We have 2 car seats at home, one in each car.  We chose to bring our Britax Marathon with us both for the plane ride, as well as for the vehicles in Hawaii.  We HIGHLY recommend doing this.  You CAN rent car seats along with the car, however you have NO IDEA what condition they are in or how they have been treated!

So, here are the actual details and account of our Car Rental experience:

  • First Car Rental - Honolulu Airport  (BEST EXPERIENCE)
    • Rented from Alamo
    • Reserved on Hotwire.com
    • Rented a Full Size car
    • Ended up with a Nissan Altima
    • Alamo let us pick our own vehicle
    • ALL car rentals from the Airport in Honolulu require a shuttle to and from the terminal
  • Second Rental - Maui Airport
    • Rented from Enterprise
    • Reserved on Hotwire.com
    • Rented a Full Size car
    • Enterprise assigned a vehicle
    • Ended up with a Chevy Impala First
      • DID NOT fit the car seat properly
    • Switched to a Chrysler 200
      • DID fit car seat
    • All car rentals from the Airport in Maui require a shuttle to and from the terminal
    • Note: Enterprise was AMAZING in accommodating us in switching vehicles.  We did not notice how badly the carseat fit since it was POURING rain.
  • Final Rental - Honolulu Airport (Day Rental)
    • Rented from Hertz
    • Reserved on Hotwire.com
    • Rented a Standard SUV
    • Hertz Assigned  a vehicle
    • Ended up with a Jeep Liberty (hated it)
What did we learn?
  • Allow time for Shuttles to and from the Terminal.  Add 30 minutes to your plans to account for this.
  • CHOOSING A CAR was a huge advantage, it allowed us to pick a car that fit the car seat comfortably
  • DOUBLE CHECK car seat fit before you drive off
  • Double Check brake function and engine function.  Both us and other family with us had mechanical issues with their vehicles
Overall, renting a car in  Hawaii was painless.  It was nice to have that freedom to move around!! 

Notes from N:


  • Check your credit card and personal auto insurance policy on rental car insurance coverage.  Most personal auto insurance will cover a rental car the same as your own car. A lot of credit cards will cover your deductible if you use it to reserve.
  •   Paying for the rental car company to refuel your car is a WASTE OF MONEY.  Plan the extra 15 minutes to fill it up yourself.
  • Check, double check and triple check the car including the glove box and center console storage when you drop it off so you don’t leave anything behind. 
  • check double check and triple check the overhead bins and under your seat when getting off the plane.  Put anything you take off/ stop using back in a bag AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  DON’T use the seat back pockets for your personal belongings. (don't ask why) 

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