By on April 16, 2016

Finally touching down in Miami after a 1 night stopover in Mexico we were eager to see if we would come out ahead in the usual car rental lottery at the airport.

We always rent at Alamo in Miami since they have newer cars and better service. Also they let you choose your own car from the ones that are available in your size (you are just told which row to go to and all the keys are in the ignition). We had reserved a Toyota Rav4 which would just fit ourselves and camping equipment – same one we had on our road-trip in Florida 2 years ago.

What car you get is always somewhat of a lottery however and we could end up with anything from a small SUV to a minivan depending on availability. A piece of advice in this regard:

  • No matter the car rental company – if they are out of cars in the size you ordered it is amazing what you can get if you stand your ground. On Maui, Hawaii we paid for a small SUV but ended up in the largest one they had at no extra cost.

Fortunately Alamo in Miami were out of standard SUV’s so we got a free upgrade to a much bigger SUV – NICE.


Next stop – Walmart to shop for 3 weeks of camping since, except for the first night at a Motel, the plan is to camp for most of the time on our way from Miami to New Orleans.

Last time we spent countless ours researching and preordering our camping stuff online before arriving – checking online reviews of everything from tents to coolers and tent lights. Fortunately we did not have time to do this so we just made a list of things to buy and went to a Walmart Supercenter hoping we could get most of it there.

They did have everything on our list and 2 hours and 340 USD later we were ready to head for our motel for the night and prepare for our second camping/road-trip adventure in the Sunshine State (roomer has it that “Sunshine” state is quite a marketing stunt for Florida since it is one of the states with the fewest hours of sunshine per year, but it’s warm, though).

Quite a lot of camping stuff to unpack:

The list includes:

  • Air-mattresses
  • Tent
  • Propane burner and propane (for cooking)
  • A pot
  • A pan
  • Sleeping blankets
  • Potate peeler
  • Dishwashing detergent and brush
  • Knives, spoons and forks
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cups and glasses
  • Padded sheets (essential to make sleeping on an air-mattress reasonably comfortable)
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • Large spoons etc. for cooking
  • Electric pump
  • Hammer
  • Extension cord
  • Pillows
  • Silicone spray (for the tent)
  • Cloths for drying dishes



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