Driving for me is one of the most therapeutic activities and whenever I travel, I love renting a car and spending hours on the road and off-the-beaten-path. What’s not so therapeutic, however, is the process of actually renting and obtaining a car. Few travel experiences are worse than getting off a long flight and standing in a long line waiting to pick up a rental car. I remember far too many times, coming up to the counter and looking at the bill to see many new or hidden charges that were not there at the time of booking. The entire process is exhausting and not the best way to start a getaway.

When I learned about Zipcar, a company that takes pride in “car-sharing” not “car-renting,” I had to see for myself what it’s all about. Zipcar is revolutionary in many ways. For one, it’s a service that allows you to book a car by the hour or by the day, therefore you can use Zipcar for a 3 hour date or a 3 day road trip! The way you pick up the car is noteworthy, too: Zipcar sends you special zipcard with a unique code which you can use to find and pay for the vehicle of your choice online. Zipcars are available in major metro cities and are generally parked in garages and lots. To pick up the car you reserved, you simply scan your zipcard on the windshield to unlock the vehicle and the key will be inside! The latter eliminates the need for any paperwork and face-to-face at a pickup location. I recently had the chance to use Zipcar for a road trip to see Fall foliage in Upstate NY and the process was incredibly simple, as advertised.

A Zipcar membership is about $7 a month and car reservations start at $7.50 per hour. Insurance and gas are included in your reservation, in fact, your car comes with a separate credit card that you can use for gas during your reservation period! Your reservation includes 180 miles in a 24 hour period and there is a plethora of vehicles to choose from. Zipcar’s goal is to enable simple and responsible urban living and I highly recommend Zipcar for your next venture, even if its a short date!