FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Budget Rent A Car Review

by Francis X. Gallagher

Feb 20, 2021

PHOTO: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

January/February 2021

PICK-UP: I flew into Tampa International Airport for a trip to Sarasota as a birthday celebration. Nearly everyone altered travel plans due to COVID; I was supposed to travel to Europe for a Uniworld river cruise, but it’s been delayed until next year. Picking up a car at Tampa is simple. You take the train to the main terminal and switch to an elevated train to the rental car center. Everything is well-marked, but people still get completely confused. I had rented a pickup truck as I planned to do a little work around the house — what else can one do these days? Pick-up was swift, and I ended up with a silver Toyota Tacoma, which fit the bill.

DRIVING: I have a 2016 Tacoma at home, so I understand and like this truck. It drives more like a truck, so on long rides it can be a little uncomfortable. Oddly, it had SiriusXM, but it was not functioning; I learned later via an email I could upgrade to get the service for a fee. No thanks!

Needing to pick up some 12-foot-long lumber at Lowe’s, I found this vehicle was perfect. The newer Tacomas have a small center back window that opens electronically (mine is manual) — great for sliding long pieces of wood through. Lumber versus a luxury river cruise — interesting!

I was surprised by the condition of the truck, with lots of bumper scratches, so I took a few pictures for my own protection when returning the vehicle. No one said a word.

Oddly, at check-in I was asked if I wanted to prepay the fuel, and I declined. I have never found this option makes sense, as you always seem to pay more. The clerk was not thrilled with the response and told me it was the same rate as outside, but I still declined and she gave me a face. Even the Budget website offers three refilling options, and the best is “self.”

RETURN: Returning is simple at Tampa, and now that I have completed this process so many times, I know exactly where the gas station is to top off the vehicle.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

Tampa has better rental service and more employees working than Sarasota. Make sure you use the membership self-service programs or you may encounter long lines.

Select the toll option to avoid added fees, or simply use the cash lines.

BUDGET RENT A CAR
budget.com

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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