The Contrarian Traveler
Great getaways, insider strategies,
and irresistible deals
WANT TO SAVE ON A CAR RENTAL, RV RENTAL, OR CRUISE? WHEN
COMPANIES RELOCATE FLEE TS, YOU CAN GET GREAT ONE-WAY DEALS
Big Moves, Big Bargains
Steer and Save Sign up with Auto Driveaway
(800-346-2277; autodriveaway.com) and you can
drive—for free—cars that need to be relocated. Just
fill out a form and say where you want to travel.
There’s no rental charge—just a refundable cash
deposit (generally $350). The first tank of gas is
free. Some car-rental companies also offer deals on one-way rentals in spring or
fall, when cars are moved from warmer markets to cooler ones, and vice versa.
Hertz, for example, sometimes offers prices as low as $5.99 a day in March and
April from Florida, going north; and in October and November, going south. Call
several companies and ask about deals. The earlier you book, the better the rate.
When it’s time to come home, you can get reasonable one-way fares from airlines
such as Southwest and JetBlue.
At press time, one
U.S. dollar was
worth roughly 3. 4
pesos, the highest
the greenback has
been against the
peso in five years.
Get a Motorhome Markdown In the
RV biz it’s called a fleet move—when a company
repositions its vehicles to a different part of the
country. You can save 50 percent or more on rental
costs on one of these vehicles, and you won’t
get hit with a one-way drop-off fee. Try Cruise
America (800-671-8042; cruiseamerica.com) or El Monte RV (888-337-2214;
elmonterv.com). In late autumn Cruise America often has one-way deals as
low as $24 per day on used RVs that need to be driven from the company’s base
in Phoenix to resale markets. Also check GoRVing.com, which lists about 400
If you want to save money on
airfare—without doing a lot of
work—try out these websites.
Lets you choose destinations and
dates, then sends an alert if the
Come Sale Away Fall and spring are the best
times to take a repositioning cruise—when ships
move from Alaska to the West Coast, for instance,
or from Europe to the Caribbean, as cruise lines
rearrange their fleets for changing seasons.
Repositioning cruises can cost up to 50 percent less
per day than a regular roundtrip cruise, depending on when you book (they’re
cheaper when they’re first offered). The ideal repositioning-cruise candidate is
someone who likes lounging by the pool and soaking in the ocean air: these are
generally 14- to 22-day trips, and you’ll typically have more time at sea and fewer
port stops than on a regular cruise.
DO THIS NOW!
Sign up for “fare alert” e-mails
and newsletters offered by airline
websites and by travel sites such as
Travelzoo.com, Shermans Travel.com,
and Hotwire.com. ;
TOP LEFT: ROBERT LANDAU; ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS LYONS ( 3); TOP RIGHT: ALDO SESSA/GETTY IMAGES
Sends alerts when prices fall for
domestic and international flights,
checks seat availability, and lists
Web-only fares. It also shows unadvertised and short-lived fares,
as well as “error” fares (often called
“fat finger fares,” because they’re
usually caused by human typos),
which airlines frequently honor.
Goes a step further: it’ll help you
get a refund if you buy a ticket and
the price later drops.