Hello All! I have been reading your posts for the last couple of weeks and have already gained such great advice just from reading your suggestions for other posters! I am planning a trip this year (late spring…early June-ish) from the Boston area to Orlando to visit some friends. In the past I’ve flown down for a long weekend or so, but have always had a desire to see more of our great country and thought I would take the opportunity to combine both into one trip. I have one week (or up to 9 days if counting Saturday to the following Sunday) and would like to travel down via a route that parallels the Appalachian Trail. My first thought was to rent a car and take 4-5 days to drive down and 2-3 days visiting my friends and fly back. My priority is to be able to take my time and enjoy all there is to see along the way. I am very interested in not only the natural beauty of the area, but also the opportunity to meet locals and fellow travelers. I will most likely be taking the trip solo, which is a little scary but exciting at the same time! So, my concerns are this, one of course is safety, and I do feel much more comfortable after reading many of your posts on solo women travelers (thank you Judy for your wonderful inspiration!) Also, the cost of a one way rental car is much more than I expected. Of course if I factor in the rental car cost, gas, hotels (no sleeping in the car for me, thank you very much), and my airfare back it’s still not bad for a week’s vacation. But I tend to be frugal and now am also thinking how much I enjoy driving my own car (a recent model Toyota Corolla) and my comfort level behind the wheel, gas mileage, knowing its history and safety vs driving an unknown rental by myself over and around mountainous roads. So, now I am toying with the idea of driving down as planned but taking a little less time, also a day less with friends and driving home via 95 which I can probably do easily in two days. The bottom line is weighing between being in a car I know and am comfortable in + lower over-all cost vs more time to spend travelling and visiting + not having to make that highway (probably boring) drive home at the tail end of my trip. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!