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Renting a car while you are in the United States

Ordering a car in advance may lower costs. Note that because we’re not U.S. residents, you should purchase insurance that makes the rental cost a bit higher. This isn’t mandatory of course, but I think it’s important.

Most companies let you register on their site for free. Registration gives you a discount or special benefits in renting / upgrading / returning a car.

You should also consider starting with a small car and then switching to a larger one only when the baby/ies arrive and/or people come to help you. It can save you quite a bit of money. In many cases it’s best to keep the smaller car because the main drive is to the airport, and it’s much cheaper to simply take an Uber or get the surrogate to help you (and it’s also an opportunity to say your goodbyes!).

It’s important to check who is permitted to drive the car if several people are planning on driving (there isn’t actually a lot of driving, and since the cost of insurance per driver is very high, you should consider insuring only one driver). You should also check whether there is a deductible in the case of damage (it’s best to purchase a no-deductible policy), where you pick up and drop off the car (airport is best), and whether the trunk is large enough for the stroller and luggage (for the most part you’ll only be transporting your luggage on the first and last day of the trip).

You’ll be doing a lot of shopping in the United States and on your way back to the airport the car will be jam packed and you may not be able to fit everything you bought. You should give some thought on how you’ll get to the airport with all your stuff and, if needed, maybe you can use someone else’s car (perhaps the surrogate’s family car?).

In any case, a full-size car should suffice for one baby with three adults up until the drive back to the airport. With twins and a larger number of people, a bigger vehicle (like an SUV, etc.) may be the way to go.

The price of gas in the United States is half of what it is elsewhere, especially in my case in Israel, and people drive everywhere there, even short distances. I recommend checking the availability of parking at your destination and rental home, and the local traffic laws before you fly.

Enter all the destinations into Waze or Google Maps in advance (the surrogate’s residence, the hospital, clinics, rental property, etc.).

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