Make The Most of Your Next Destination With A Zipcar Day Trip

When I’m booking a trip I often come to the dilemma of whether or not to get a rental car. To be honest, I often find them a waste of money. Many destinations are easy to get around with public transportation and ride shares. But even with those, when you choose not to get a rental car the radius you can visit begins to shrink. That beach you really want to visit or that hike you’ve been dying to take may not have public transit to them.

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

I recently had a chance to try an alternative, taking a Zipcar day trip. I have a car at home so I haven’t joined in the past but had been wondering if they would be beneficial while traveling. After giving them a try in San Diego, the answer is yes! If you’re looking to add a day trip to your travel in one of the many cities in North America that offers Zipcar it’s a much easier way to explore than a traditional rental car.

Note: Thank you to Zipcar for sponsoring me on my day trip around San Diego. As always, all opinions remain my own. You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article on taking a Zipcar day trip is useful for you. 

Public Transit Can’t Get You Everywhere

While I wish every destination had perfect public transportation, even the cities with the best options often have limitations. A good city will be able to get you from the airport to downtown and likely around the main metropolitan area. That doesn’t mean it will get you everywhere you want to explore during your trip.

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

Exploring the city center is often the key part of a trip but whether you’re visiting San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Boston or one of the other destinations Zipcar covers, there is so much more to see that’s just out of reach if you don’t have a car for yourself. Zipcar helps me explore beyond where public transit can take me.

My Chance To Get Outside the City With A Zipcar Day Trip

While in San Diego for work I was mainly limited to where public transportation could get me. I was staying in the Gaslamp area, and while exploring some of the central areas where easy to access there were many other parts of the area I wanted to explore. Above anything else, I wanted to get out to some of the coastal areas for a nice hike.

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

For my Zipcar day trip, I did a little research and decided on the Torrey Pines State Reserve, about a 20-minute drive from downtown and somewhere I couldn’t get easily on public transit.  A few days before the trip I reserved my car, and then the morning of walked the three blocks from my hotel to pick up my Zipcar.

Once you got there, it was a piece of cake to get into the car and head out on my adventure. Only needing to carry your Zipcar card is also a lighter way to travel than lugging actually keys on a hike. It was a foggy morning, which is perfect for staying cool on a hike.

After enjoying my hike, I was able to find a local breakfast spot I would have missed out on if I hadn’t been up in the La Jolla area and then headed back to the downtown area. Parked my car back in my spot and headed back to the hotel. Overall, my Zipcar day trip was an effortless way to explore a little more of the area.

Effortless & Affordable Access To A Rental Car

One of the worst parts of travel is finally getting off the plane and then knowing you have to wait for your rental car. You might need to take a shuttle to the facility and you’ll almost always find a line and a lot of paperwork to deal with before you can finally start enjoying your trip. With Zipcar, you get to skip all this hassle.

When you want a car, you hop online. Reserve the car closest to you and then walk right over and you’re in! You don’t have to decide if you want to buy a gas tank or not, you don’t have to worry about getting extra insurance. Instead, you just hop in the car and drive.

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

A membership might seem like a large investment for a day trip, but if you travel a few times a year you’ll quickly find that the benefits are worth it, and you can save with Zipcar compared to a traditional rental car. You can even get $25 in driving credit when you sign up here.

No Parking Hassle & Only Use it When You Need It

You save even more with Zipcar when you realize you won’t have to deal with parking the car overnight and that you only pay for it when you need it. For me, this is what really makes taking a Zipcar day trip worth it. If you’re staying in a downtown area parking easily runs $50 a night and if not it’s a hassle to find.

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

I also hate paying for a rental car that spends a day or two just sitting in a parking garage. With Zipcar, you only reserve the car for when you’re heading somewhere. Whether that’s a day trip or just a few hours to head to dinner somewhere special.

Explore More Of Your Destination With A Day Trip

I love skipping the rental car when I travel but often end up either racking up the cost by using ride shares or having limits on where I can get to with public transportation. Thankfully, Zipcar offers a great alternative for travelers. The ability to explore more of the city you’re visiting.

I’ve already got plans to use Zipcar again soon on upcoming trips to Boston and Vancouver and can’t wait to find out where else I’ll explore one some of these daytrips. Why not give Zipcar a try on your next trip!

A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.
A travel trick to get the most of your next destination without a rental car. How to take a Zipcar day trip.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.