Memorial Day 2012 1 Plan
Memorial Day 2012 2 Things Never Go as Planned
Memorial Day 2012 3 Vegas, Baby part 1
Memorial Day 2012 4 Vegas, Baby part 2
Memorial Day 2012 5 Driving, Driving, Driving
Memorial Day 2012 6 Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
Memorial Day 2012 7 Practical Things About Train Trips
Memorial Day 2012 8 San Francisco Pier 39
Memorial Day 2012 9 Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf and…
As I was saying, I always try to squeeze out my vacation hours as much as possible.
The original plan was, I go in work early, say 8 AM (normally 9AM), and get out at 2PM-ish without having a lunch break. That way, I work 6 hours (= $$), I don’t have to use the vacation hours, and I still get to have dinner in Vegas.
And when I said 2PM, my mom was supposed to already go to the rent car shop and pick up the car. (We weren’t so clear where mom would park her car…)
Well, the day before, I told my manager that I would work from home. That way, I and my mom can go to the rent car shop together, one person can park our car somewhere, and then head out to Vegas.
Well, things never go as planned.
Actually, the entire memorial trip was all about ‘going around circle’ + 'unexpected money save’
We saved some money unexpectedly, and we wasted a lot of time for something stupid.
I started working from home at 8 alright. Working, Working, Working…
I wasn’t supposed to be busy, but for some reason I got so so busy.
Even my weekly routine work didn’t work out as usual.
So instead of 2PM, we ended up leaving the house at 3PM.
We arrive at the local Hertz location. (Please see the bottom for reservation info)
Apparently, there are at least 4 people working, and only one is helping the angry customer.
We waited a good 20 min, and finally a seems-to-be manager came out. Then, the staff goes in, so we’re still down to only one staff helping customers.
We finally got our turn and got our car - Chevy Malibu.
We don’t really rent a car often, so we have limited experience. But every time we rent a car, we always get a new car - very few mileage, full gas, just car-washed, nice and clean.
This time, it was high mileage, gas was not full, car has a lot of damages, no car wash, a dead ladybug in the back seat, cookie crumbles all over inside of the car including the driver’s seat.
We were both highly disappointed, but I knew they don’t have another car, and we were getting late, so I just wanted to get out.
But I would not rent from Hertz, or at least from this location ever again.
Now the time is about 4:30PM. There was no way that we would be able to make it to Vegas and have dinner.
We decided to just eat here and drive to Vegas.
We just went somewhere local. It’s a buffet where you pay upfront.
I wanted to use my new chase card where you can get double points for dining. And I found out my card was missing. I was going back and forth of my car and later found that it was on the other pocket of the purse. But I tell ya, we lost at least good 20 min.
Anyway, we got in, sat down, enjoyed our food (food wasn’t too good but we were hungry).
Then, mom found something.
Could it be…??
This is what we’re assuming that happened.
The price is $23.74. The counter staff was charging my card and punched the number in. The machine accepts the number only and in the terms of cents. So if you were to charge $1, you need to actually type 100.
So for us, she was supposed to type 2374. Then, 4 didn’t go in properly, so only 237 went in. 237 = $2.37
So, we had $2.37 dinner for two, saving of $21.37.
Yes, I was supposed to be honest and tell the restaurant. But… I’m really not that honest you know.
Now FINALLY, time to head to Vegas.
Reservation 1 - Rent Car (From LA to Denver)
<<Money Saved $284, Delta Mileage Earned approx. 1200mi>>
This was actually the last reservation I made.
I need one way (LA -> Denver), so it’s more expensive and has fewer choices.
I needed to find a rent car location that is closed to Denver’s union station because we have a very early train.
We also need a rent car place where they allow us to drop off after hour because we’re leaving Denver on Memorial Day.
Our choice? Hertz.
WHY? Let’s see…
- Hertz is waaaaay cheaper than other ones: usually not the case, but maybe it’s because Hertz openly advertise the one-way rent
- Hertz has the location that allows after hour drop off. The drawback is that they still charge us till they re-open on Tuesday morning.
- Delta has a promotion* with Hertz that gives a discount - makes it even more cheaper than others (*book by 6/30, travel by 9/30)
- Delta has the same promotion that gives you 100 mi/day (normal for any other airlines) but also 500 - 2000 bonus miles.
We’re particular about the car size esp. since this will be a partial 'road trip’ by 2 females.
Someone recommended getting an SUV when we drive up the rocky mountains in Denver.
Toyota RAV4 (cheapest SUV available) is about $150/day. Yes, it is expensive, but that’s what happens if you do one way.
I need to make a reservation for 4 days. No, I need to pay for 4 days.
Technically, we only need from sometime on Friday till Monday Morning (or Sunday night). So, if we were to trim down, we only have to rent it for 2 days.
But Hertz location closes at 2PM on Sunday which is too early for us. And they don’t open on Monday, so to them, we’re technically returning the car on Tuesday Morning. So, it becomes Friday thru Tuesday = 4 days.
That’s 4 days x $150 = $600!!!
Then, when I was trying to book, I realized something BIG.
Yes, indeed, this is one way renting. But.. we arrive Denver Saturday night (office closed), which means we can return the car Sunday morning. That’s only 2 days out of 4 days. But they’re charging us the whole one way renting price to the entire 4 days.
So… if we take time to just visit the office return the car and get a new car, I can rent the rest of 2 days at a local rate.
Also, we need an SUV when we are going to the rocky mountains in Denver not between Vegas and Dever. Thus, we can just get the regular full size car for one way trip and an SUV for the rest.
Now it comes out as..
2 days x $113 + 1 day x $30 + 1 day x $60 = $316!!
-> First 2 days with regular full size car - $113/day (the most expensive one, but we don’t want a small car while driving 15 hrs from LA to Denver)
-> Hertz is doing a weekend promo. $30 for Toyota RAV4 for Sunday and $60 for Monday. (I won’t get the bonus miles from Delta but 1) I still get 100mi/day 2) Saving $30 is waaaaaaaaaay better than getting 500 mi (approx. value less than $5)
-> Now this is a saving of $284!!! and I get SUV for the mountains :)
Mileage hasn’t posted to Delta yet, so I don’t know exactly how much I’ll be getting. Hertz says to wait about a week before requesting an investigation.