So, you?ve taken the leap and booked a vacation in Tulum–Congratulations! Most likely, you?ll be landing in Cancun airport, which is about 1.5 hours from Tulum, which means you?ll have to consider ground transport.
Many people wonder if a rental car is necessary, or if they can simply get by with public or private transportation or taxis.
Whether or not you should rent a car when staying in Tulum hotels will depend on a couple key factors:
- Are you an active traveler, who likes to get out and about seeing the sights or are you more prone to long beach days relaxing in a lounge chair and eating at your hotel or nearby? If the latter, hiring transport from the airport to your hotel should be perfect for you, and once in your hotel, walking, bike rental, or short taxi rides should be sufficient. If you are the former, car rental would probably be the most efficient and economical decision for you.
- Are you comfortable navigating in a land unfamiliar to your own? Can you understand enough rudimentary Spanish to read road signs? Will you be comfortable handling the sometimes frustrating experience that can be visiting Pemex to refill the car with gasoline?
Once you have made the decision to rent a car, there are a handful of tips to keep in mind:
- Consider renting from a well-known, reputable rental chain, not the smaller, unknown agencies. Be sure to check out reviews online, but be aware that nearly all car rental agencies will have some negative reviews. ?Being prepared and knowing what to expect is your best defense.
- When you book online, print out any and all correspondence, including confirmation/reservation numbers and the agreed-upon price.
- Once you?ve arrived and gone to the office to get your rental car, consider using a credit card dedicated solely for this rental. Debit cards aren?t recommended, as there have been instances reported of compromised cards. Credit card companies will generally reimburse/help fight unauthorized charges.
- If you are at all in doubt about whether or not you?re covered under insurance, buy their daily insurance. Better safe than sorry.
- When checking over your car, be sure to carefully look over the vehicle for dents, dings, paint scrapes–note EVERYTHING. Take photos if you feel it necessary to back up your claim. Be sure to check the spare tire to ensure it?s inflated. Check the radio, A/C, lights, etc. Don?t be embarrassed to take your time, which will send the message that you are a alert traveler and not one to be scammed with trumped up charges later.
- Always lock the car and don?t leave any valuables in sight. If you?re leaving the car overnight or for long periods, remove anything of value, including from the trunk.
- Be sure to note the gas level when taking possession of the car and make sure you match that level when returning the car.
Renting a car in Tulum or anywhere in the Riviera Maya does not have to be a frightening experience as long as you are a savvy traveler who is alert to the hidden snags.
See full story on thebeach-tulum.com