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  1. Default Oregon to Philadelphia and back

    Hi, this is my first post! (but I've been lurking for a while)

    At the end of march I'm going with a friend, and with my rat terrier too, from oergon to Philly and then back, making the trip in about a month.

    This will be my fifth cross-country road trip, driving, in my life. I love the open road. The last time I did a big road trip, though, was six years ago, in my own car...so I have some concerns that things may have changed!

    I'm pretty sure we'll be renting a car. I found a decent price through hertz (I think) but I was wondering if there are any rental companies that do monthly rental cheaper? The reservation says unlimited mileage, but from reading the forums here I am also a bit worried that this may not mean anywhere unlimited...does anyone know how I can find this out?

    Also, since I'm bringing my dog and he is tiny, I am a little worried about ... I guess wildlife? rattlesnakes and such- we'll be taking 40 back from the east coast (I have some people to visit and stay with down in austin) and I am worrying now about his safety in that region of the country.

    Our itinerary is: march 26-april 4, driving to philly.
    april 7-14, seeing some PA/NY sights (we'll be staying with friends)
    april 14-21, I have a business meeting to attend.
    april 21-may 1, driving back, with a short stop here and there with friends

    we don't have a lot of money, I am also concerned about gas prices along the way. I'm renting a compact/economy car, does anyone have any braod guesses about gas cost for a trip like this?

    thanks for reading, and for any help or advice, I love these forums!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Things are Timeless

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The odd road may have been built in the meantime, or perhaps realigned, but RoadTripping goes back at least a thousand years and the basics really haven't change all that much in all that time. Still, since every trip is a new adventure, hopefully everything about it is new and different.

    The best advice I can give you about your rental is to read the agreement/contract carefully. If it says unlimited mileage, that's just what it means. They may hope you don't take them at their word, but that's what they've agreed to. Also, while you're at it, check their cancelation policy. Unlike airlines, there is usually no penalty for canceling a car rental even a day or two before the scheduled pickup date. If you want a better price, just keep looking on-line and if you find one, cancel your current rental and take the new, lower-priced one.

    Dogs are generally pretty good about knowing what they can take on, although my own did tackle a skunk (once) and a porcupine (once). By the same token, rattle snakes are very good at letting you know you're getting too close. There are many who live in the wash where I take my daily walks and when I get within a few feet of them, they become very obvious. If your dog is overly inquisitive and does not respond immediately to voice command, then you will need to keep him on a leash. Actually, while the bites and stings of adult snakes and scorpions and Gila monsters are seldom fatal, the juveniles have not usually learned how to control their venom flow and are much more dangerous.

    My broad guess as to where gas prices will be over the next couple of months is moving steadily towards $4/gallon, and exceeding it at certain locations. Oil is over $100/bbl and continuing skyward, so there is no where else for gas prices to go. In addition, refineries are now switching over to summer blends which are more expensive to produce, and summer brings more driving which raises demand. Budget accordingly and then take a "What, me worry" attitude. There's nothing else you can do.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As far as your rental car goes, I can't tell you if someone might be cheaper for starters because I don't know how much you are going to pay or what else you've looked at. I'd guess that if you already did some basic searching, you've probably found the best price. Unlimited miles usually does mean unlimited miles, but as always, you really need to read the fine print of your rental/reservation agreement. In this case, make sure that the unlimited miles are for 48 states, not just Oregon and/or surrounding states.

    With regards to your dog, about all I can tell you is that millions of people in PA and NY have dogs too, and I haven't heard of any rashes of dogs being attacked by snakes recently. I suppose freak things could happen, but that could be just as true in OR as out east.

    Our Fuel Cost Calculator is located on the left side of the screen, hat should give you the basic information to figure out roughly how much fuel will cost for your trip.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    With regards to your dog, about all I can tell you is that millions of people in PA and NY have dogs too, and I haven't heard of any rashes of dogs being attacked by snakes recently. I suppose freak things could happen, but that could be just as true in OR as out east.

    haha I am worried about the time I'll be spending in the southwest, with the snakes...not PA/east coast. I grew up near philly, I know there's not too much scary wildlife there. Funny thought, though!

    I'll be in the southwest, arizona/new mexicotexas for a few days, it's there that I worry about the wildlife.

    I did the gas cost calculator. Doesn't seem too bad, since we're taking an economy car it should stay pretty reasonable. I am not sure if gas prices here will be pretty consistent nationwide, though- is there a way to find a national average? What numbers should I plug into it for "cost per gallon" if I'm going all the way cross country? 4 bucks, just to be safe?

    I'm glad that I have some people to stay with most nights, there will be a night or two that we may have to sleep in the car. It's only the two of us and the tiny pup though, so I think we will be ok a few times doing that. (we are both short people!)

    Are there any hidden costs I'm missing? Anything I should specifically check out on the rental car? It will be the first time I've rented for a road trip, so I am still a bit nervous about that part.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default even there

    Well, even the same things I said about dogs and wildlife in the east apply in the Southwest. People still own them there, and while freak things can happen, if you have your dog under your control the odds are pretty slim.

    On the FCC, it has a link to gasbuddy which will give you prices across the country. If you are leaving at the end of the month, I'd probably use $3.50 as an average price, but feel free to go higher to give yourself a little more cushion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Why sleep in the car?

    Quote Originally Posted by resa View Post
    I'm glad that I have some people to stay with most nights, there will be a night or two that we may have to sleep in the car. It's only the two of us and the tiny pup though, so I think we will be ok a few times doing that. (we are both short people!)
    Many hotels these days allow dogs. Especially tiny pups. Post #4 in this discussion has a lot of links to find out how to travel with your pup and to help you find hotels that allow your dog to stay with them. That's far more comfortable than sleeping in a car. Or camp...that's what I'd do.

    Are there any hidden costs I'm missing? Anything I should specifically check out on the rental car? It will be the first time I've rented for a road trip, so I am still a bit nervous about that part.
    It seems they always try to get you to purchase their insurance. You should contact your car insurance agent and make sure that it fully covers you when you rent a car. It should but it doesn't hurt to find out all the details. Then you can confidently turn them down if you know you don't need it.

    I would simply call them up and ask them if there are any additional costs/fees/taxes that they haven't told you about yet.

  7. Default

    First of all the route that you chose for your trip sounds great - I bet you will enjoy it.
    Concerning the hotels I can say that I know of many hotels in Philadelphia that take dogs, so I don't think you will have a problem finding one with a decent price.
    I stayed in Philly with my dog for one week last year, but I have forgotten about the name of the hotel. I will let you know if I can find it somewhere.

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