Rent a car and explore these places at your pace, sans any public transportation schedules.
South of France
Sure, there’s a train that can take you from Nice to Avignon, but if you want to see all that the South of France has to offer, you should rent a car. There are so many more places you can discover while driving on your own, from small towns with charming markets to rolling vineyards and fragrant lavender fields. In fact, the authority of European travel, Rick Steves, suggests taking 2 weeks to drive through the French Riviera by car, beginning in Nice and ending in Marseille. Along the way, he suggests taking a “joy ride” though Camargue and stopping in Châteauneuf-du-Pape for some fabulous French wine.
If you are flying into Dublin and planning to remain city-bound, then renting a car isn’t necessary. However, if you’d like to see more of the Emerald Isle, renting a car is the ideal way to get around. The beauty of the green countryside makes for lovely driving, and you can stop at your leisure at quaint villages and picnic spots along the way. And since Ireland isn’t very big, you can see a lot in a short amount of time. Driving straight across the country from Dublin to Galway only takes 2.5 hours. Once there, you will be amazed by the Cliffs of Moher and the remote Aran Islands. There are also several road trip loops like the Dingle Peninsula Loop or the famous Ring of Kerry. Just be prepared for some roundabouts and narrow roads along the way.
Many of America’s 50 states are good for a road trip, but there is something about Montana that makes it necessary to rent a car. This state is filled with towering mountains, vast prairies and tons of back roads leading to gorgeous viewpoints. In other words, you need a car to get around. Bigger cities like Billings, Bozeman and Missoula have public transportation, but the Key to visiting Montana is getting out of town and into nature. A car is necessary for visiting both Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, both beautiful and vastly different public lands. And whether you prefer hiking to natural hot springs or relaxing at a hot spring resort, Montana has got it. If you choose the former, make sure to rent a 4X4 — Montana backroads can be rough.
Cruising through the Italian countryside, enjoying leisurely lunches, stopping at wineries, is the ultimate way to see Tuscany. While the region does have public transportation, it is geared towards transporting locals, not tourists. Without a car, you may miss some of the more charming villages and valleys along the way, such as Val d’Orcia. This picturesque region of Tuscany is filled with rolling hills, golden wheat fields, cypress trees and medieval castles. Next, head to the well-known wine region of Chianti and drive on your time frame using this suggested DIY itinerary. End the day with a glass of vino and a dish of pasta, and find yourself in Italian heaven.
Have a Happy Holiday Week