Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Costa Rica 2016 - Post 2: Booking Transportation

As each day passes, we get more & more excited about Costa Rica. My tummy does this flip/leap/drop thing every time I realize we're spending TWO WEEKS there. I cannot believe we are lucky & blessed enough to take a trip like this. Leaving Jack (our dog) for 2 weeks will be tough... but this is one adventure you just can't pass up.

After getting an amazing deal on flights, it was now time to talk transportation. James was pretty adamant about not getting a car rental. He's a skeptic, & he only has to hear one horror story to completely push an idea out of his head. I, on the other hand, was very much for getting a car rental. 1) I did my research. I knew how many buses, taxis, etc. we would need to get everywhere on our list. It was just inconvenient to travel without a car rental. 2) James would be doing all the driving, so what did I care. (Just kidding... kind of... okay, not at all. He can handle it.)

I'm here to be the co-pilot - change the station, read the GPS, eat snacks, take pictures (like this one, taken in Key West, FL in January 2015), "ooh" & "ahh" at various things. It's a very strenuous job, so I'll just lift that burden off James. I'll take this one for the team. I got this. I'm a professional.
 Of course, we did our research. James even Googled "Costa Rica Driving Horror Stories." I winced when he hit enter, for fear of him reading something terrible & be super convinced not to get a car rental, but the "horror stories" were not bad at all. They were more like "we drove our rental car into this sketchy area, stayed in this abandoned shack in said sketchy area, & in the middle of the night, someone or something, pounded on the door."

DUH. It was probably the owner saying "who the heck are you & why are you in my shack?!"

James then decided to call his friend, Neil, that has been to Costa Rica twice & gushes about it every time we see him. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey man, we're deciding whether or not to get a car rental in Costa Rica. What do you think about it?"
"Oh man, you will be just fine! Do it! There is no better way to experience Costa Rica. It'll all be just fine!"

And boom. James was sold, I was ecstatic, & poor Neil was all sad that he couldn't join us. 

Then, it was time to research which rental car company to rent from in Costa Rica. We used TripAdvisor to read the many, many, many posts about car rentals in Costa Rica. We already knew about the mandatory insurance they put on their cars down there. For this reason alone, car rentals are not cheap in CR. We knew this coming in, so we were prepared. We also both knew this would be worth it! 

All said & done, we read amazing things about WildriderVamos, Mapache, and Adobe car rental companies. In my last CR post, I mentioned that we were eyeing Matt & Jenn's Two Weeks in Costa Rica's Two-Week Itinerary. Matt & Jenn teamed up with Adobe to get a discount for their reader's car rentals. After more research, we realized their discount would save us some money. So, the choice was Adobe! 

Not so fast... 

We still had to decide what kind of rental car to get. Should we get a 4x4 SUV to better manage the roads, like many people online suggested? Or should we opt for the cheaper choice - a small car? A 4x4 might just save us some hassle. But James is a professional driver. Ok, he's a professional concrete truck driver, but still - he has been through his fair share of mud, water, ice, snow, bumps, & everything in between. Trust me - I've heard his stories at least several different times.  

We just both looked at each other & decided that we would just do our best to avoid any situation where our car might not make it through.  We would be smart about everything &, if we do get stuck, we're pretty strong. We can push it out, or just suck it up & have it professionally pulled out. That would be worst-case scenario, which we still feel we can avoid. 

So we hit "reserve" on their cheapest option. The receipt says "Hyundai I10 Manual  or similar." We can do this! We can survive! We will be fine! Plus, look at how cute it looks?

I realize we might not get this exact car, but a girl can dream. If I really wanted to dream, they would just upgrade us to something bigger, for the same price. ♫ Dream on ♪

And here's our reciept:

We called their car rental company to ask, & make sure, that the mandatory insurance was included in the quote. The super duper nice lady said that it was (fingers crossed for no surprises!), and that we must have found a good discount on a website. We did! (Thanks Matt & Jenn!) 

So there you have it. A long, drawn-out story on our car rental booking process for Costa Rica. I could have gone on & on about all the different articles we read about who to & not to book from, OR you can just trust that I read enough about car rentals in CR to make my eyes hurt & my brain ache. I'm still recovering. 

My next posts will be about the places we will be staying in, so check those out! 

In the meantime, here's a picture of us at the park watching the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train when it passed through our town. This was our "date night" for our 4 year anniversary! 

Ignore my terrible hair in this picture. It was a long day.
Warm Wishes,

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