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Old 05-22-2011, 08:21 AM
 
607 posts, read 2,217,418 times
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Looking into a family trip back to new england in July/august. Anyone know of any discount sites to find the best deals on airfares and car rentals. Would be leaving from Northern CA.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,288 posts, read 19,563,227 times
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Southwest is generaly priced ok. If you are going to a long (over a week) it might be better to rent the car off-airport so you dont have to pay the airport taxes/fee each day of the rental. The taxes/fees can add up to as much as the rental. Also look at cites like MHT SW has lots of flight there.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I frequently use SWA from West Coast to Manchester or Boston (depending on best fares). Sacramento has pretty low fares on SWA, but check the whole region to realize the current market (Oakland can be low too). For family travel SWA is REALLY a plus... free bags + FREE changes and credits from missed flights.

I get Priceline (name your price) cars for $10 - $16 / day @ airport, tho it does make sense to rent off airport to avoid fees... (my 7 day airport rental this week was $58 in fees and $70 to car company...)

I stay in private guest homes ($10 / night for whole family), and the New England stays have been some of my best in the last 25 yrs. My kids really enjoyed them, as we usually stay with farm families who have kids themselves. We used a homeschool guesthome directory, but there are several varieties and each list a profile of host family and accommodations. These places definitely make the trip special. We eat via fresh fruits and veggies from grocery / farm stand and spend about $3-5 per day per person. The guest home usually furnishes a free meal.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Try KAYAK - Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Cheap Tickets, Cheap Travel Deals - Compare Hundreds of Travel Sites At Once .
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:18 PM
 
607 posts, read 2,217,418 times
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When you say off airport car rentals?? I have never heard that term before. Take a cab down the road to somewhere??? The car rents at the airports just seem very expensive. I would love to know another way to get the rental car.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,288 posts, read 19,563,227 times
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Many Car Rental have pickup/Drop off at near by hotels. Or have a 'local' addition office 'in-town' (usualy a strip mall). Some like enterprize, Hertz, etc will 'pick' you up.

Once ive taken the a Hotel shuttle from the airport to there hotel about 3 miles from the airport, the Car Rental company then 'dropped' a car there for me. They actualy drove the car over from the airport, but because it was 'rented' off airport they dont have to charge the taxes/fees. The drop off might be back at the hotel or at the airport (depends on agency). 2nd time in SanFran I took BART over to Walnut Grove and walk'ed to the Hertz office accross the street from the BART sub/way line. Seem that that stop was the place all the SF/OAK go to get rental cars due to it being over some line on the map.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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i worked in maine a few weeks last year. the company, being cheap, flew me into boston and there are buses that go directly from airport to portland (concord i think is the name).

but for car rental prolly best to just rent in boston. i shopped around in maine itself and it was more expensive.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:15 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 59,133,752 times
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Best car rental prices in New England are in Providence. Best airfares are usually into Manchester. I fly in and out of New England usually twice a month, this isn't just conjecture or a once a year vacation.

I would probably price out SW to Manchester, but don't ignore US Airways. They usually have decent fares in and out of OAK, and fly to every single airport in New England. If you can be flexible with your dates by a day or two in either direction and don't mind really early morning flights, they can be ultra-competitive.

Manchester has the shortest security lines, Logan's sucks. Providence and Bradley are about even and typical of most US airports.

Providence and Manchester are the cleanest and friendliest, Bradley is filthy and Logan is nasty in terms of both people and facilities.

I'd worry about airfare and not rental car pricing. You can use one of the name your own price sites for that. As long as you don't want a larger van or SUV, Thrifty, Payless, Budget, and Alamo are seldom over $200 for a week with unlimited mileage and a car that will seat five. Two weeks ago I rented a mid-sized car in PVD for $118 for five days including all taxes.

If you do choose US Air, keep luggage to a minimum--one roll on and a small daypack or tote per person. You can check the roll on's at the gate for free to your final destination. For a casual vacation trip there's no reason you'd need more than one bag per person, so this is a great way to save $$.
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