I need to reserve a rental car for our upcoming fly-and-drive trip. We'll be flying into Vegas, where we'll rent a car and drive through the western national parks. We plan to head towards the Grand Canyon first (none of us've ever been there!), then through Utah and up through Denver. We'll see Mt. Rushmore, then Yellowstone / Grand Tetons, and finally we'll return to Vegas.
First, I've already learned -- too late! -- that it's expensive to rent a car in Vegas. Wow, the surcharges and taxes! But it's done. Since we're flying on reward points (and those seats go fast), I had to make the flight reservations 100 years in advance, and we're now locked into a Vegas arrival-departure. In retrospect, I could've begun-ended our trip in Denver just as easily.
I can't fix the surcharges and taxes, but I could use some advice on these things:
My husband uses rental cars frequently for business, and he usually uses Avis or Enterprise simply because they're convenient to our house. It turns out that Avis has a very poor selection in Vegas (sedans only, and we're looking for an SUV for more space -- we're a family of four) and Enterprise is uber-expensive (we didn't know -- the company's been paying!).
Some companies do not allow their cars to be driven as far as we plan to drive. I don't want to break any rules and end up with fines.
A quick look through the internet sites tells me that Dollar and Alamo look pretty good. Any advice on them?
Alamo has a Chevy Trailblazer (or similar) for a very good price, and it seems to be about the size of the Ford Explorer we drive at home. Am I on the right track here? Would we be comfortable with four people (the girls are 12 and 15, and both are bigger than I am)? We're light packers, but we'll each have a bag . . . plus a cooler and a plastic tub for bread, chips, etc.
I'd kind of like to go up to the full-sized SUV -- like a Dodge Durango -- but WOW the price difference. We're talking double! And more gas too. I'm not sure it's worth the difference.