Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vacation Headache #1 - solved

I spent some time working the phones with the car rental agencies last night. National, Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Thrifty, Dollar, Budget.

Some of them were helpful -- I talked to National-Alamo's call centre for a while, and the woman was trying to be very helpful. Matt at Laguardia was a decent chap, but couldn't quite believe that it was illegal for me to drive a US rental car into Canada. Matt in Bangor, Maine was likewise accomodating. The fellas in Portland, Maine were polite but less trying-hard.

Budget's toll-free line got me Roger in Fredericton -- nice to talk to a friendly maritimer.

I called Thrifty and got a woman who was ... a pain. I called Dollar and got the same woman!

It was all ultimately futile. Nobody could set us up with a Canadian-plated car to drive from NYC to Halifax.

So we looked at other options.

Train? No go.

Bus? We don't have a hunting knife. (Too soon?)

American rental driven half-way and switched to a Canadian car? Not doable.

Rental driven to Portland or Bar Harbour, then the Cat fast ferry to Yarmouth, then a bus or something to head home? Just too complicated and too expensive. The Portland-Yarmouth ferry is $99/person +$10 border fee, and the only departure is, IIRC, 8am. Just too much hassle.

We briefly considered renting an American to drive the rental car across the border, but figured that could lead to complications beyond our tolerance.

So ... I pitched a new plan ... stay an extra night in NYC and fly home.

Problem was, our hotel couldn't accomodate us for an extra night.

No bother. I hacked away at the keyboard and did some math. Came up with a new hotel for the extra night, worked out a reasonably-priced flight on Delta, and wrote it all down. Ran it past Amanda, who doesn't deserve to be this stressed-out on her first week of vacation, and got the approval.

Booked. Done. Fixed.

An extra day in NYC for about $140 more than flying home the day before. Good deal.

Now we just have to figure how to get to Newark, NJ to get home to YHZ!

Thanks to all the people who suggested strategies for our vacation endgame! And impersonal man-to-computer thanks to Google, Expedia and Orbitz for their assistance today.

2 comments:

  1. We used the Super Shuttle (www.supershuttle.com) to get between NYC and EWR in March. It was a great service at $20 per person.

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  2. shoulda hitched! haha.

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