Welcome to this guide! I hope it helps you as much as it helped me to plan your trip to the United States, to understand step by step the car rental process in Atlanta, which will be very useful when you need to get around. Also, you can get to know some places for hiking in the city and its surroundings, where the abundant vegetation, canyons and animal species are synonymous with its natural diversity.
From Amsterdam International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
After many friends repeatedly told me “you’re going to love Atlanta, it’s greener and more colorful than you can imagine!” I packed comfortable clothes, my camera, some personal documents, my insatiable desire to see new places in the world and flew to the East Coast of North America.
The first time I went to the United States I was impressed by its size and knew I would return many times to enjoy its extensive roads, valleys and national parks, so I decided that the flight from Amsterdam International Airport to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the most popular in Georgia, would be non-stop. The same thing was true for the return flight, because I wanted to optimize time.
Weeks before traveling, I rented a van through the internet and ensured its availability, so I picked it up once the flight landed. In order for you to have a great trip in Atlanta, here are the requirements to rent a car and not fail in the attempt (later on I will give you some tips and tell you about places to go hiking).
Requirements to rent a car in Atlanta
Renting a car has become almost indispensable when traveling to the United States, millions of tourists use this service because the distances are usually very long and, to tell the truth, public transportation is not very comfortable. Here, I explain what documents you need. I rented the Van very easily and I traveled at my own pace!
– Driver’s license: It must be issued in your country of origin, in Latin alphabet and be valid, otherwise you will
– International credit card: It must have the name of the reservation holder and be available to make a guarantee deposit. Please note that most transactions will be done in US dollars, the official currency of the US.
– Guarantee deposit: It is a price that will be frozen on your credit card, something like a guarantee required by the agencies while you use the car.
– Minimum age of 25: Most rental agencies will require the reservation holder to be 25 years of age or older, however, some companies will allow persons between the ages of 21 and 24 to rent certain cars in their fleet.
– Valid Passport.
– Roundtrip air tickets.
Do you have all your documents already? I gathered them easily, truth is that there are not that many and at the moment of picking up the Van everything was very simple and I didn’t have any inconvenience. Keep reading to understand more step by step!
Tips to rent a car in Atlanta:
Now that you know the requirements to rent a car in Atlanta, take pencil and paper, I will give you some tips for you to do it in the fastest and most economical way possible.
– I recommend that you determine which car you really need for your trip that can withstand the demands of the roads. In my case, since I was meeting some Dutch friends and I knew we would go hiking in different State Parks, I decided to rent a van, which was also useful to store various objects we acquired along the way.
– Use a prestigious broker to reserve a rental car in Atlanta, because on their platform you will find the best rental agencies and you will be able to compare among hundreds of cars instantly, while saving a good part of your budget.
– I advise you to check the reputation of the brokers on worldwide consumer review websites such as Trustpilot, where you will find the opinions of other travelers about the quality of service of these comparators.
– As I mentioned before, making an online reservation of a rental car in advance is vital, since you will ensure the availability of the car at the destination. Keep in mind that if you decide to do it until the last day, you will find less offers and these will be more expensive.
– Safety is the most important thing on a trip and even more when you are a foreign tourist, that is why we purchased two policies:
– The Rental Car Insurance (CDW) that exempted us from liability in case of damage to the van.
– Third Party (or Liability) Insurance that protected us against claims for injuries to other people or damage to property.
– If you want to exchange the steering wheel, it is best to include a second driver in your reservation. Please note that the second person who would be in charge of driving must meet the same requirements as the main driver.
– Optimize your time by including the first tank of gas in your reservation and return the car empty, or at your desired fuel level.
– Verify at the counter that the rental contract does not differ from what you previously agreed with a broker. Keep in mind that if you are being offered additional services, those are not mandatory and you can decline them.
– Check that the car is in perfect condition and that it has been disinfected between each use; rental agencies have committed to follow biosecurity protocols to avoid further Covid-19 infections.
– Pick up and drop off the car at the same time to avoid extra charges when you return the rental car.
– Last but not least, you can take a road trip through the highways of this area of the United States and reach, for example, Florida, where there are many natural attractions that you will surely love.
By following these easy tips, you will be able to find the car that best suits your type of trip and your style, check the options here and book yours without hassle.
On the move for Georgia’s protected areas!
Months ago I had visited Oregon, at the other end of the country, and I suggested you what to do in this coastal state, where I breathed fresh air and visited some places that, despite not being so popular in the USA, offer unforgettable landscapes and experiences. Now I’ll tell you about the natural attractions I visited by car in Atlanta. Take paper and pencil! Maybe these will inspire and excite you.
From the first day in Providence Canyon I was very enthusiastic, because I will always find it interesting to hike in a country of continental lands, so I took the Van and, a few blocks from my hotel, I picked up some Dutch friends who had been in the United States for a few hours.
I drove a little over two hours to Providence Canyon, a state park of hundreds of acres of protected land, renowned for its canyons that attract thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. Miles before arriving, I could already sense the unmistakable energy of this State Park, and as I chatted with my friends and laughed about past experiences, our Georgia adventure began.
At the beginning, we walked along some trails, from there I could glimpse large canyons that impressed me with their depth. I took pictures of the landscapes, the sky, the water and I felt that mother earth was welcoming us with open arms, not only us, but also hundreds of people who were in Providence Canyon at that moment.
After visiting this park, I understand why it is one of the most visited on the East Coast of the USA, so it is natural that you also want to visit it, but to get to Providence and hike there, and to the other places I mention in this article, it is necessary to have an autonomous transport, so I invite you to book in advance for example a van or a pickup truck because they will allow you to move easily on the roads of Georgia.
Vogel State Park
During our second day we visited Vogel State Park which was one of the first State Parks in Georgia, recognized for having some of the highest peaks in the State. It has several streams, but Lake Trahlyta, which is visited by thousands of hikers every year, is the most outstanding among its natural attractions. I must confess that the water makes me melancholic and happy at the same time, because it brings back memories of my childhood!
In addition, it has cabins and other places that serve as lodging for travelers. You can also enjoy non-motorized water sports, fishing and I, who enjoy photographing landscapes, walked to the highest point of the park and captured the blue sky, trees, water, animals, among other works of nature.
This natural wonder is located two hours from Atlanta, so we arrived easily in the van I booked (which has served us to store vintage items that my friends have bought while we were traveling, because if I had chosen a smaller car I would have been literally bursting at the seams).
Silver Comet Trail
On the third day we visited Silver Comet Trail, one of the most popular trails in Georgia, its entrance is free and it has more than 60 miles where you can hike. It is not motorized, so the experience is a little more leisurely for hikers, bikers, skaters, among others.
I drove about an hour to Pumpkin Vine Trestle, parked the van in a safe place and together with my friends we ventured down this trail for several hours: we walked, ran, laughed, cried, and talked about different experiences and memories of when we were younger.
The following days we did some road trips throughout the State of Georgia, enjoying the excellent attention of the locals and their willingness to serve foreign tourists.
Conclusion and disclaimer
I hope you find this article helpful to plan your trip, choosing the right natural attractions for hiking and that you have understood, of course, what is the process to rent a car in Atlanta, US, which in any case is almost indispensable for traveling the long distances between its State Parks and protected natural areas.
Every time I return to this country, I am impressed by the beauty of its nature, I travel long trails, rivers, valleys, roads and I reaffirm, once again, that the best trip I have ever taken in my life was undoubtedly to dedicate myself to travel the world and to transmit to thousands of my compatriots in the Netherlands my experiences in other cultures.
To finish, in the reading you will find some affiliate links and in case you make any purchase or reservation through them, I will be able to earn a small commission that does not represent any additional price for you, but that helps me to continue with this beautiful project. Thank you so much for understanding!
This article was written by one of our guest writers.