Wouldn’t it be cool to pack up and hit the open road for an EPIC round trip? Seriously, I’m talking about driving the Historic Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago, visiting the iconic “Old Faithful” in Yellowstone National Park or returning a briefcase full of money to Aspen like Harry and Lloyd.
Well, I can’t promise you an adventure quite like Harry and Lloyd’s, but if you have enough time on your hands, the possibilities are endless.
Every year, there’s a rental car migration. Starting in the fall, the demand for car rentals increases in warmer destinations (e.g. Florida, Arizona, etc.) so rental companies offer major discounts to “deliver” a car one-way to these destinations. Likewise in spring, car rental companies want to return those cars back to the north so discounts are offered again. Think of it like this…wherever the “snow birds” are going, that’s where the rental cars are going. Because of this occurrence, you can organize the MOST EPIC OF EPIC ROAD TRIPS!
Driving south in the fall? Bingo! You get a car!
If you’ve ever rented a car before, you know that you are, essentially, “penalized” with fees for renting a car from one location and returning it in another location. But in the spring (or fall), all of those “penalties” disappear if you’re headed in the “right direction.”
Driving north in the spring? Bingo! You get a car!
…you get a car! …you get a car! EVERYONE GETS A CARRRRRR!
*Sincere apologies, I got a little excited there*
Back to the details…each car rental company has a different set of “origination cities” and “destination cities.” The car rental companies also have different start and end dates for their promotion. However, with a few sample searches, I have found the rental specials start in early April and end before June 30.
HOW DO I FIND THESE RENTAL CAR DEALS?
The easiest way to find the deals are to search Priceline with dates between the timeline that I mentioned (above). Priceline displays many of the rental car companies on the same screen. You can then search for your preferred car company or preferred car type.
STOP TALKING…GIVE ME EXAMPLES…
Rent a car for a week and drive from Miami to Atlanta? $7!
…or perhaps, you REALLY want to see the open road..Miami to NYC? $7!
I didn’t forget about y’all on the west coast…Phoenix to Denver? $7!
…Phoenix to Los Angeles, north along the beautiful California coast to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle? $7!
PRO TIP #1: If you rent a car from an airport, you’ll see all types of additional “fees” applied to your final bill. I would compare the airport price to local city prices before making a final decision. Typically, car rental locations in a city are much cheaper than the airport.
PRO TIP #2: Don’t forget to combine this deal with other promotions. For example, you will earn credit card points for renting the car but it’s also possible to earn airline miles or hotel points in addition to those credit card points. Who doesn’t want 2-for-1? Simply google “earn airline miles with car rental” and the world is yours!
Last year, I used points to book a one-way flight to a conference in Fort Lauderdale. I had a few extra days between the end of the conference and my next meeting in Washington D.C. Instead of spending those four days in Fort Lauderdale, I hit the open road and visited family in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina before continuing to D.C. It was much cheaper than a flight and I was able to see my family.
Lloyd: Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?
Harry: Maybe it’s on the briefcase.
Lloyd: Samsonite! I was wayyyy off! I knew it started with an S, though.
That makes me laugh every time! 100 brownie points to everyone that recognized that quote.
Anyway, I love airplanes and love to fly but I also enjoy loading the car, eating nachos (with jalanpeños) from gas stations, and seeing the country side with my family.
It’s rare that I rent cars. In my limited experience, I’ve found the car rental experience extremely frustrating. On more than one occasion, I have found myself standing at a rental counter wondering what an “airport departure tax” is and why the price of the car has now doubled.
Fortunately, as you can see from the photo above, Priceline provides the final price that you will be paying. No surprises.
I love saving money and $7/day is cheap enough to make me consider organizing another EPIC road trip. The best part about this deal is that the full-size cars are available at this rate too. This makes the family man in me happy because infants have a lot of stuff to pack.
Who is taking advantage of this deal? Have you ever taken a road trip before? Any recommendations of places to visit on a road trip?