The great vacation planning escapade

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Madeleine's picture
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Planning a kind of long getaway so have to be price conscious. We are already running up the bill by not arriving and departing from the same city. However, the room I got for $66 last time is $34 this time so there's some savings! For $34 I could look at the cooling tower for 3 nights. I don't particularly care for this place but anything 'nice' is $150+. (And don't forget the resort fee!)

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Madeleine's picture
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Car rental done! $649 all inclusive for 2 weeks, second city drop off.

Silverspoon's picture
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Sounds like  a good deal!yes

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Madeleine's picture
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Considering I was getting rates of $700/week!

I'm using my AARP card everywhere.

Silverspoon's picture
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Ahhh, one of the few advantages of getting older!  I just can't bring myself to get an AARP card but perhaps I should reconsider for the $$$ benefits.  

Madeleine's picture
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I usually forget I have it but most hotels have a line in the rez form for it.

In really not old enough. Eye-wink

Madeleine's picture
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Now planning the sightseeing portion of the adventure. Got an absolutely fantastic app for national parks called 'oh, ranger!' Seriously, best one I found.

Planning to not drive more than 4 hours/day. Finding it difficult to get from the eastern side of OR to the coast. All the directions on Google maps say ' this route contains roads that are closed in winter'. As near as I can tell, 'winter' ends in June.

Generic's picture
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The park we liked the best in that area was Bryce

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Madeleine's picture
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Wrong direction... But, yes, gorgeous park!

I found an app for OR for weather and road closures. I think we'll be fine.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Wrong direction... But, yes, gorgeous park!

I found an app for OR for weather and road closures. I think we'll be fine.

Sorry i wasn't here to help the past couple of days. E-mail me if you need any more info.

gillumhouse's picture
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We were in Glacier (gorgeous!!) in the middle of June and they had JUST opened the Pass the weekend before we were there. We drove through a tunnel of snow walls.

Madeleine's picture
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Thanks for all the car rental tips! I just did 6 nights of hotel reservations.

If I was willing to pay for it, I could have guaranteed I got the room I wanted. I guess all getting a reservation means is that there might be a room waiting when you arrive.

Used my old person's card (AARP) to get a discount at a Hilton.

Could have booked the b&b package for $33 more. That's a pricey breakfast!

 

Generic's picture
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Arizona Charlie's Sourdough Cafe usually has a $4 breakfast. You might need to join the slot club, though. 

And one of my favourites, the Courtyard Cafe at the Orleans has Steak & Eggs for $8 and the regular breakfast for $7. Just be aware... the coffee can really set you back. We once went for the midnight special.... the Steak and eggs were $1.49 and my friends had the regular breakfast for $0.99. I had water, they ordered coffee... the coffee was $1.49. I think it's not $6.99 for the steak and eggs at midnight and $2.69 for the coffee

Madeleine's picture
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$25/person fee to book a plane on the phone.

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I booked my flights online. After 2 calls and online chat, finally got the answer that since I'm not departing from the same international city, I can't use miles.  Jerks!  But, instead of paying the major airlines price tag to fly from the UK to Spain, I'm booked on one of the UK airlines that fly between points South all the time.  Everything was a la carte (checked bag since I'll be gone a month total, more leg room seat, etc.), but still $1K cheaper than the major airlines price tag.  Managed to get my transatlantic flights total within dollars of my dh's flight to-from the same city in the UK.  He's working on car rentals for the part of trip we're together...seems like you can now use Price line for rentals in the UK.  Smiling

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Madeleine's picture
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Another hotel...rate goes from $116 to $147 if we want breakfast 'included'.

Madeleine's picture
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More fun...

Looking up car rentals... $159/week on one computer, $700/week on the other computer. Same car, same company, same pick up/drop off locations.

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My dh has been booking car rentals on price line with great luck.  Got a super deal last year in San Francisco for the larger car that we needed for 4 of us.  Smaller cities (or less traveled places) don't have the deals like the bigger cities or tourist destinations. 

I'm trying to book a multi-city International trip online and use reward miles. I'm being forced to call the airlines because the website won't do what I need (even though it says that it will).  ACK!!!

Good luck!

Generic's picture
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I like 1Travel for cars, some surprising deals sometimes show up.

Madeleine's picture
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What got me was we were looking at the same cars and my computer was showing ridiculously higher prices. Because I had searched for hotels, too? I don't know. But, we will be using DH's finds, not mine!

Generic's picture
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Honestly, with cars the codes online from places like Cost Club can really cut prices. Also, prices change often. So I book, check back and if the price goes down, rebook. Which is why I won't prepay. 

I also use an opaque website for hotels in some cities, but I also use a decoder, so I know approximately what I'm getting. Recently my experience have been getting worse, but the prices are rather cheap.

Madeleine's picture
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DH is in charge of the car. I'll tell him about the clubs.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Also, check on hotwire. Frequently, I get a better price there any anywhere else, but you must prepay. Sometimes I'll reserve a car (no payment) from one of the 3 big name sites if it's a good price, then keep checking with hotwire. When it its the right amount, I'll do the hotwire. They only deal with the national chains.

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