I Just “Saved” $150 By Double-Checking My Car Rental Reservations

Lately, I think my kids spill their milk at the table at least four times a week. No lie. Some of the more spectacular spills involve various family members leaping from their seats to avoid being drenched, entire plates of dinner awash, or a huge sodden mound of napkins and placemats to launder at the end of the meal.

“SLOW DOWN!” I find myself yelling. “IT’S NOT A RACE!” I know that if my kids just didn’t rush so much, they would be able to keep their glasses in the full, upright position. But they’re kids – they’re naturally in a hurry. Still, it’s just a teeny bit frustrating. (Okay, it’s a lot frustrating).

Anyway, my “missing” Hawaiian flight reservation was a great example of how I should practice what I preach. I have a nagging suspicion that my reservation was missing due to user error – mine. I’ve been juggling a lot lately: I’ve got a job, a husband, two kids, and this blog, plus I’m the manager of Bear’s Little League team, I’m on the PTA Board, I’m a room parent at my kids’ school, and I just got accepted into an intense writing workshop. Also I’m in Physical Therapy because my foot is falling off. And I have a few friends that I like to see sometimes.

So yes, I am busy…but aren’t we all? Stuff goes awry when there is too much going on. Something’s gotta give. Things fall through the cracks. Realizing that maybe this had become the norm rather than the exception in my life, I decided to back up and sort through all the papers on my desk, read all of the email in my inbox (yikes!), and review all of my pending travel plans. I cross-referenced and confirmed and double-checked…and you know what, so far it has saved me over $200.

For starters, car rental rates have dropped significantly since I booked our travel. I’m not even sure why I reserved a car so far in advance; I’m sure I had a good reason at the time, but now I have no idea what it was. (Note to self: always double-check to see if rates have changed in the weeks and/or days leading up to a trip.) I also discovered that I had a few receipts to turn in for reimbursement from Feecation.

All of this feels like free money. However, I never would have noticed if I hadn’t taken the time to SLOW DOWN. I’m glad I did, because IT’S NOT A RACE. And my main point is that YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

I hope your slowdown also yields rewards. As always, if you’ve got any tips or stories to share, I would love to hear them.

Comments

  1. pinkisnice says:

    You know, it never occurred to me to check car prices once I’ve secured my thoroughly-researched deal. I love the quest and then I love to check it off my list. Looking forward to what I might save next time, even though I just got another to-do!

    • Points Pixie says:

      pinkisnice – looks like we both need to start using autoslash (see below). Thanks, Heavenlyjane. I knew someone would be able to tell me a good tip here 🙂

  2. Heavenlyjane says:

    Why aren’t you using AutoSlash?

  3. Rebecca says:

    good to know, I had no idea that car prices fluctuated so often, although now that you mention it, I have noticed that sometimes my rentals in SF are less expensive than other times, never knew why or took time to figure it out. I’ve never rechecked rates closer to my trip either, just never occurred to me, thank you for the tip!! Sounds like I need to learn about autoslash too! all sorts of nuggets of good info!!

    • Rebecca says:

      Had to come back for a followup comment….. I’m checking out autoslash, i’m sure it has some great markets it works well for, but based on initial experience, prob not right for me.

      1) For starters, out of 3 airports I searched on (LIH, SFO and SEA), it was only able to find availability in Seattle. Really? I can understand maybe LIH but come on, not in SF either? I searched July, August and Sept for a one week rental.

      2) limited carriers – Advantage, EX Rent a Car, Fox Rent a car, Hertz, Payless Car Rental and Sixt car rental. I’ve only heard of Hertz. I’m not trying to be a snob and perhaps at a different time in my life I may feel differently, but with all the travel I do, really prefer a brand that I’m familiar with and trust. Having car rental status is a bonus (I’m Avis First). Hey, to each her/his own.

      3) Autoslash best rate was $241/week for economy or $272 for intermediate. Using my Avis corp account, lowest rate was $162 for intermediate. $100 savings using Avis.

      I always appreciate tips and learning about new ways to save money, but for me, AutoSlash looks to be more difficult and more expensive.

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