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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,217

    Default Fly/drive to Missouri

    We just returned from a fly-drive trip to Missouri. With just 10 days for spring break, a big desire to see our new granddaughter, and our daughter about to undergo some serious medical treatment, flying seemed prudent. For the first time ever, upon arriving at the car rental agency in St Louis, we upgraded our car choice. Normally we go with a "standard" sedan. This time, we chose a Chevy Traverse, which is listed as a "crossover/SUV" --- larger than the average mini-van, smaller than a Yukon or a Suburban. For our purposes this trip, it was perfect. The vehicle appeared to get 18-20 city and combined driving, 22+ mpg highway. We needed its space for the luggage, and later for hauling around one very sweet baby girl and her stuff!

    This was never intended to be a "road trip". However, when one puts 900 miles on a rental in 10 days, we did spend some time on the road in it. We stayed with my husband's sister and her family in Columbia, MO, traveling down to Jefferson City (40 miles one way) 6 of the 10 days, and traveling over to Mexico, MO some of those days too. So we were driving that triangle.

    Fuel was running $3.79/gallon when we first arrived there at the end of March. Within three days, it had dropped to $3.69 in Columbia and Kingdom City, though it stuck to $3.79 at Jefferson City. The closer you get to St Louis, though, the prices were in the $3.83 range. This morning I filled the rental for the last time at $3.69/gallon, just outside of STL.

    One thing I learned about Enterprise rentals: if you sign up for their cheaper "return the car and we'll fill it for you at this rate" plan, they charge you for a FILL, even if you bring it back only down a few gallons. Or at least, that's what the paperwork said. We signed up for that when we rented the car, thinking that the $3.78 gal price was loads cheaper than the $5+ gal they'll charge you if you don't sign up and bring it back less than full. Well, the guy removed an $80+ charge on the bill when he saw that I brought it back full. Boy, was I glad I thought to fill it, even though it was only down 6 gallons or so. From now on, we'll always bring a car back full if it goes out with a full tank!

    I also learned something about airline TSA practices: I brought back some special Missouri BBQ sauce that we love -- a bottle for us, and a bottle for the lady taking care of our cat while we were gone. I put it in my suitcase, wrapped in a grocery bag which was tied. When I opened my suitcase at home, there was a note that they had searched my suitcase. I also noticed that they had untied the bag and not tied it back up. I was thankful that the bottles did not break or my clothes would have been ruined. Next time, I will pack the BBQ sauce in a clear zippered bag. (This special sauce is called Show Me BBQ sauce. We just love it!)

    When we return to Missouri in the summer, it will be by road.


    Donna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Penang, Malaysia
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Wow great info Donna!! We start our 3 month road trip next week - this I info will be so helpful for us. Especially appreciate the gas price updates!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,229

    Default Interesting!

    Donna, I too had a note in one of my cases, when I opened it. Attached was the padlock they had wrecked. I cannot imagine what they were looking for, but the easter eggs, which had been in a light clearly see thru container, were scattered throughout the case.

    The least they could have done is give me a new lock. I buy very good ones. Arrggh!

    And here, on the east coast, it is well into the 3.90's for fuel. Am assuming that I will mostly see it over $4. That way the budget won't get too big a shock.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,287

    Default Congratulations !

    Thanks for the report Donna !

    It must have been great to meet and hold your new Granddaughter, Congratulations !

    Dave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Madrid
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the gas updates and for Enterprise rentals tip!!

    I'll be going to St. Louis in October and from there I'm renting a car, so your info comes in very handy.

    Maria

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,217

    Default

    Maria, over the past 25 years we have flown in/out of STL airport many times. In recent years, we fly Southwest as the air fares are about the most reasonable. We also use Enterprise for our car rentals almost every time. (Once we used Hertz.) We find that Enterprise is usually the cheapest.

    I go through each car rental company's website, as you can book a vehicle and then cancel it later. Going through a travel website such as Priceline may seem cheaper until you have to change a reservation -- that's the "gotcha" to those.

    When we decided to upgrade to a larger vehicle, we were offered a "special" on the spot. Now that I'm home and have checked, it truly was a special offer, about $10 day cheaper than it would have been if I'd booked it originally.


    Donna

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