Friday, February 02, 2007

Charter rental in Alaska

Alaska vehicle rental is a HUGE business. Just go online and do a search on “Alaska vehicle rental”, "Alaska RV rental" or Alaska car rental" and see how many choices are returned to you.

When considering any vehicle rental, you’ll find that there will be a lot of variables to consider. Some Alaska vehicle rental considerations will be things like lodging preferences (whether you’ll sleep in the vehicle or in a motel/lodge), cost and how many are in your party. We’ll go over some options and then it will be up to you to decide which option will be best for your particular situation.

There are many choices in Alaska vehicle rental. You can rent a compact, mid-size or luxury car. You can rent a minivan, conversion van, truck or truck camper. And there is a multitude of Alaska RV rental choices available. The choices seem almost endless but with each step up comes added cost. If your sleeping arrangements include sleeping in a motel or at a lodge, then all you’ll need is a vehicle large enough to carry the number of passengers in your group and their luggage. This will be a very simple Alaska car rental decision.

If your sleeping arrangements include sleeping on the go as you traverse the limited highway systems and there are only 2 or 3 in your party, then your Alaska vehicle rental will need to be a step up to a small RV or to a custom conversion van. My preference on this one is the conversion van. With this option, you are both highly mobile and extremely comfortable as you move from location to location in search of the ultimate fishing spot.

If your sleeping arrangements include sleeping on the go and there are four or more in your party, then you’ll be going all out with a mid to full-size Alaska RV rental. These monsters offer just about all the comforts of home but their size means that much more care and planning will be needed as you travel from place to place. You’ll need to watch for low lying branches and low bridges. Parking will be more of a challenge. The Alaska vehicle rental process takes longer for RV's as they review safety tips with you. And they consume a lot more fuel than the smaller vehicles. They are expensive to rent but given the number of people in your group, it may end up being the same cost per person if the expenses are divided among the group.

If you plan on going the camping route…let’s face it…you just won’t have enough room to pack all the camping supplies that you’d like to have with you. The good news is that you don’t have to. Many of the RV rental companies have camping supply packages where you can rent your sleeping bags, cook stoves, propane lanterns, skillets/pots/pans and many other items. Ask your dealer for details and costs to rent these items.

Insurance is a topic that many don’t want to talk about, especially on vacation. But it is a necessity when renting a vehicle. Check with your insurance agent before traveling to see what kind of insurance your policy includes for your Alaska vehicle rental. If your policy doesn’t include this, you’d be advised to pay the few dollars extra to purchase this. These vehicles are very expensive and there’s no telling what may happen. Ask for your agent’s advice and follow it.

Another factor that could influence who you rent from is the way they handle mileage. Some will charge per mile. Some will be free up to a certain number of miles each day. Some will offer unlimited miles for the entire rental period. Be aware of this and negotiate this if possible.

Don’t forget to ask for an early-bird discount. If you’re following my advice, you should be starting your research about one year prior to your trip. Once you decide which rental company you’re going to rent from, ask them if they have any discounts for early birds. They may not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

So far we’ve talked about the beginning of the rental period. Now we’ll switch gears and talk about a few things to take care of once the fishing has ended and the trip is coming to a close. Before returning your vehicle, make sure you stop off at a car wash and clean your vehicle inside and out. Some companies are real sticklers when it comes to cleanliness and the security deposit. By cleaning the vehicle, you won’t have to worry about not getting your deposit back and you may score some points with the rental company which could be beneficial on a return trip.

No matter where you were fishing, you’ll be heading back to Anchorage the day before your flight departs. You’ll have some things to wrap up before leaving. If you had someone process your fish, you’ll need to make sure you go and pick it up. If you have an RV or custom van, I would recommend returning it as soon as you get into Anchorage and then renting a less expensive vehicle (car or minivan) for the evening and next day to save some money. This way you can cruise Anchorage in comfort and then simply refuel what you’ve used before dropping it off at the airport just before your flight departs.


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