Y’all, I am a planner. I RARELY make last minute decisions. Especially big ones. However, we just made a major change to the trip we’ve been planning since October. And we made it the DAY BEFORE we were scheduled to leave! Here’s how a rental car deal just changed our plans…

From the get-go, we planned to drive our family SUV on our big summer road trip. We have a Toyota Highlander that gets pretty good gas mileage, comfortably fits everyone and all our luggage, and is relatively new (so no impending maintenance issues.) Best of all, since we own the car it doesn’t really cost us to drive it.

Or does it?

That was the question my husband kept coming back to as we planned. Every time we added a stop to our route, he would toss out the idea of renting a car to keep the miles off of our personal vehicle. He reasoned that we’d save money in the long run by not putting those miles on my car.

Being somewhat of a short term thinker, I just couldn’t justify the upfront cost of a rental car. Ultimately, we always circled back around to driving our own SUV.

But then just a couple of days ago, Brent came up with the game-changing scenario: What if we were to experience a maintenance issue while on the road?

As you probably know from all of my trip planning posts- I have a pretty aggressive agenda on this one. We aren’t taking a lot of rest days and there isn’t much wiggle room. Although my car is in great shape and I wasn’t anticipating any problems…you just never know.

Brent pointed out that we’d obviously have to address any problem. And even the smallest problem could set us back a day.

So that simple realization really got me thinking.

For the first time, I actually entertained the idea of renting a car for our journey. We sat down and had a great pro/con conversation. We even tried to figure out how much the trip miles would cost us on our vehicle (oil, tire rotation, tire wear, etc.) But honestly, we never really got anywhere with those numbers.

Finally, as Brent left for work on the day before our trip he revisited the subject one last time asking me for my final decision.

We had previously shopped around and knew a rough idea of what it would cost us to rent the car. In that moment, I threw out a lower number than anything we’d found and told him that if he could find a rental car deal under that price, we should do it. And if not, we’d just take my car.

And wouldn’t you know, when he got to work he had an email from one of our favorite rental companies (National) in his inbox advertising a summer promotional price!

So we just set out in a brand new Toyota Sienna. Not necessarily the car of our dreams, and not even what Brent intended to pick when he went to the National lot; However, I think it’s going to be a fabulous rental car for our trip. It gets good gas mileage, has ridiculous amounts of space, and pretty much drives itself.

Obviously, it remains to be seen if this is a good idea or not. What do you think? Stay tuned for many more trip updates as we travel in a huge loop across the country!

You might also enjoy reading:

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