Hertz: Top Tips to Survive a Thanksgiving Road Trip

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With AAA predicting the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in 12 years, Hertz is offering valuable tips to alleviate stress and navigate the busy holiday travel season.

According to Hertz, the busiest airport pick-up locations for those planning to rent a car this Thanksgiving are expected to be Orlando, FL (MCO); Los Angeles, CA (LAX); Miami, FL (MIA); Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL). During the Thanksgiving travel period—defined as Wednesday, November 22 to Sunday, November 26—the top day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, November 22, with an average rental length of approximately five days as people look to take advantage of the long holiday weekend.

"AAA's research shows that over the past nine years, automobile travel has risen by 40 percent during Thanksgiving and once again, it will be the No.1 mode of transportation at 89.3 percent – the second highest rate since 2005," said Paul Sheldon, senior vice president operations planning and support, Hertz, in a written release.

To steer clear of roadblocks and avoid hassle this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, the experts at Hertz offer the following tips to help ensure travelers' holiday rental needs are as smooth and affordable as possible:

  • Don't wait until the last minute. Reserve your rental car when making other travel arrangements. Rates are often more expensive the closer one gets to time of renting. Ideally, the rental car should be booked at the same time other travel services are booked (i.e. air and hotel). For airport rentals, be sure to include your flight number, airline carrier and scheduled arrival time. This can protect your reservation if the flight is delayed.
  • Book outside of high-volume locations. If travelers need to book last minute and have flexibility, they may find car rental availability outside of high-volume areas (e.g. airports may not have available cars while neighborhood locations may). Hertz has thousands of conveniently located neighborhood branches across the U.S. 
  • Pre-pay and save. Often pre-paying for a car rental can provide nice savings. At Hertz, customers who prepay can save up to 25 percent.
  • Choose the car that best suits your travel needs. It's key to consider the type of vehicle most appropriate for your trip, depending on distance, the destination and number of people traveling.
  • Join loyalty rewards programs. Rental car loyalty reward programs help renters save money and time, while gaining access to exclusive benefits such as free upgrades and expedited service. Now through December 31, members of the free-to-join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program can participate in the Great Gold Giveaway for a chance to win 1 million Gold Plus Rewards points, which can be redeemed for up to four years' worth of free rental days. Additionally, there are more than 1,000 runner-up prizes including free standard weekly and weekend rentals.
  • Look for discounts. Don't forget to look for car rental deals on the company's website for major national organizations, frequent-flier programs and credit card programs you may belong to. Discounts may also be available for government employees, members of the military and employees of certain corporations. On Cyber Monday (Nov. 27), check Hertz.com for a special Flash Sale for more savings on future car rentals.

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