Solo Travel- Renting a Car Under 25, Without the Surcharge. GPS Navigation Without Cell Service.

If you’re like me, you may enjoy a lot of alone time….or are often forced into solitude against your own will. I think I handle rejection so well due to the number of my loved ones who refuse to go anywhere with me. It does not stop me from going! I’ve rented a car by myself at 24, without paying an exorbitant amount in addition to navigating the Olympic Peninsula seamlessly without cell service. Here’s 2 tips I have that may help you avoid unnecessary expenses in addition to anticipating the worst – and being well prepared for it.

1.) The Worst has Happened: Trying to use GPS Navigation tools on your phone, and you have lost cell phone service. If you’re in this predicament now: head somewhere with free WiFi access- QUICK!

What can you do to plan for this ahead of time? There’s a few solutions. You can buy/rent a specific GPS Navigation system, ex: Garmin. A better and cheaper solution: download an area for offline use on Google Maps. When your service drops, your GPS Navigation will still continue. You can even use this tool internationally. (NOTE: these maps expire, be sure to update them before your trip if you download them well in advance.)

How does this work? Your phone service is generally determined upon the nearest cell tower, whereas your GPS coordinates is tracked by satellites.

 

2.) The Worst has Happened: You head to the nearest car rental agent at your destination; you want to rent a car, you are under 25 years of age. If you’re in this predicament now: be prepared to pay an average of $25/DAY surcharge for your rental, in addition to the rental cost.

How can you plan for this ahead of time? Become a USAA member- it’s free. They have paired with Budget Car Rental- you can rent a car under 25 years of age; without the surcharge. I rented a car for my trip to Washington State this past September- I paid $125 for a 7 day rental.

I hope you learned something from this post. I’m frugal and I’m able to travel alone with my pocket book, safety, and comfort still in mind! If you’re going anywhere alone, I always recommend a little extra research to make sure you have the tools or knowledge to navigate any issues that may come up for your specific destination.

Thank you for reading!

 

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Pain: A Dark Lesson

I’ve learned to look at people without a haze of judgment, analyzing them in a raw moment. Who is this person? I’ve noticed life starts to mark our most common expressions of emotion like a tattoo on our face. I always look at someone’s face for a glimpse at a chapter of their story. I remember seeing my father for the first time in 2 years, a reunion holding so many complex emotions. I still saw my father in his eyes, but his once full head of dark pepper, was overtaken by silver salt. Standing before me was a man in pain.

Life is cruel in the sense of teaching us our most valuable lessons in the most macabre of ways. I remember the feeling of going to my childhood home in the winter of 2011, scrounging to save any memory of my mother from someone who wanted to pretend as though her life had never existed. I remember all of the nights calling my father’s phone for it to go just to voicemail, just so I could hear his voice one more time. I remember the gut wrenching pain I felt, often gasping for air. I’d cry out in pain, asking the universe to answer my pleas of desperation. The universe always replied with silence.

Looking at my father in that moment- with his hair of salt and a little bit of pepper, I felt anger and sadness all in one. I was betrayed by my own father. I wanted to scream. In that instance of betrayal, I reflected back to the nights I felt like the universe was a black hole- swallowing up every plea to ease the pain. How did this man feel in his darkest moments of pain? A 30 year friendship and soul-mate lost far too soon, to the cold fate of death. Tears of grief overtook me, not for myself, but for my father.

Pain is a process. You can hold on to pain, becoming its victim by letting it swallow you whole and taint your view of the world. Accepting pain is looking at the ruins from the storm all around you, taking the time to clean up the ruins, and building something new to weather any future storms. Pain has taught me perspective is key to finding any solution. Pain has strengthened me, to lead a life full of intention- ignoring all the irrelevant details that distract you from reality. Pain has numbed me, to choose my battles wisely; trust and love is ingrained in our most peaceful interactions.

Pain, the most important lesson I was ever thrown into- I am forever thankful for. In moments of pain, my voice was often weak. I looked for comfort and strength in the voices of others in those moments mine felt weak. When those voices of comfort were nowhere to be found- it was as though my voice was completely lost. When I cried out in pain and frustration for my lost voice, it was only in that moment I understood just how loud my voice could really be.

 

A Mountainous Appetite

I think the beauty of the mind is its ability to create ideas and envision the unknown. This unparalleled beauty is crucial in fueling our pursuits towards what we desire most in life. If the discussion were brought up to me in regards to what my mind wanders to most, I would be able to explicitly confess my yearn to feed my mountainous appetite of experiencing our world with a naked eye. As my plans towards bigger ventures come to surface, I will partake in smaller escapades within my own backyard.