Modern holidays in these times sometimes can cease to be a holiday, as it were, at all. This is especially true of the ever-popular package holiday, so revered at the time of their inception in the 1970s, but apparently still stuck in the mentality of that era. Try and view it from the perception of someone that has never taken a package holiday before, and the concept seems positively ludicrous.

Take your travel agent – a fake, perma-fixed smile plastered to his face, forced interest hardly exuding enthusiasm regarding your plans for a getaway. Leave it all to him though – he'll choose your hotel and your flights for you. In fact, let him take it a step further – it's not unheard of for travel agents to actually choose where exactly their customers will take their holiday. Jump on your chosen-for-you flight, and arrive at your chosen-for-you hotel. Get told when to eat – you won't dare to miss it through fear of going hungry. And look, here is a handy list of places to go in this country/town/resort, and what you have to do in them when you get there. You'll feel obliged to attend, again driven by the worry that you'll miss out on something spectacular or important. In short, you'll begin to fret, forgetting where you are meant to be. This isn't what a holiday is meant to be about. Holidays should be about feeling free and going at your own pace, which is why we at East Coast Car Rentals believe that self-drive holidays are the way forward.

You can still plan ahead

Self-drive holidays represent the ultimate in freedom, and renting a car grants you the ability to spread your wings yet further. Even before you arrive to pick up your car hire at Sydney Airport you'll likely have planned in your mind a list of places you want to visit – chosen purely in line with your interests, not the sights some travel agent wants you to see. The moment you acquire the keys, slot them into the ignition and spark the engine into life, the roads open up to a whole realm of possibilities.

You'll have the opportunity to make chance discoveries

If you're road tripping across Australia, you won't have to worry about escaping the cloying grasp of whichever hotel you have been assigned to. Getting out on the road offers the opportunity to discover a whole raft of places to stay, from ornate palaces to roadside sheds. That's half the beauty of it – you never know where you might end up, but you do have a choice in it. Without being tied to one place, you have the licence to go wherever you want.

The rigid times of being told where to go and what to do on package holidays often rankles with vacationers. Hiring a car and taking off on the open roads, in your own time and at your own pace, brings with it a far greater independence. You'll discover winding paths that lead to places that you never knew existed, locations that aren't listed in any holiday brochures. Outstanding restaurants, secluded beauty spots and quirky sights that lie hidden from the main highways await your exploration.

You can linger if your heart desires

Sometimes, when on holiday, you feel just like doing precisely nothing at all. And that's fine – holidays are all about relaxing, recuperation and recharging. You may not feel like a long drive this morning – this happens to each and every one of us. With a rental car, you have that choice. Your car will be sitting outside where you left it, waiting for you.

Package holidays, where the choices are made for you, or a self-drive holiday with the freedom to go where you want – which sounds like more of a holiday to you?