Tuesday, February 27, 2007

World’s Cheapest Road Trip

Apologies for the tabloid-minded headline, but I wanted to get your attention – which I seem to have. So here’s the deal: for the price of airport shuttle ride, you can rent a car and drive across the country. While springtime traditionally marks the lull between the “winter sun” and “summer vacation” seasons, it is also time to profit from the peculiar logistics of the car rental business. Check around in the next few weeks and you can find some outrageously cheap car rental deals – with rates as low as $1.99 a day, or $10 a week, and no drop-off fees.

These deals are both an eye-catching promotion and a classic “win-win” proposition; you get a low rate, and the rental car company gets their cars moved to locations where they can charge more money for it. There’s only one catch, and it’s not usually a deal-breaker: you have to pick up the car in Florida (and sometimes Arizona), and drive it north (and sometimes west).

I’ve done a couple of these over the years – once in March on a 3-week, 7500-mile meander along the “Old Spanish Trail” from St Augustine / Jacksonville to California (on which the car cost me less than $50!), and another in April, winding north from Miami to Maine, following the Appalachian Trail to watch the rhododendrons and azaleas come into bloom along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The ad I saw that reminded me of these deals is here:

Go online, or call Hertz in the U.S. at 1-800-654-3131 and mention rate code 1WAY.

And with all the money you save, you can buy a copy of Road Trip USA as your passenger-seat companion.

Happy Trails!


Anonymous Dennis Bjørn Petersen said...

Great tip. On our next trip to the States I will seriously consider this. We are expecting our first child so I might be a while. Speaking of which do you have any experience doing road trips with an infant? I'm not sure they are road trip "material" ;)

4:24 AM  

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