TRAVEL ALERT: Before you buy your Plane Ticket…………

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Typically, when your planning a trip online , you purchase the Airline Tickets, book the hotel and then make car rental reservations. Its time to change the order…………. Recently, I was planning a trip from Sacramento to Dallas. I found a great price online  for my airline tickets.($210)   The hotel,was a hundred dollars a night. However,my rental car would have been $536 for four days. Normally, I would have jumped on that low Airline Ticket and then booked the hotel and the car rental. But I saw something on the news about car rental prices . What Happened? Due to the pandemic and fewer travelers. Rental Car Companies reduced their fleets. Today the companies are unable to keep up with demand as semi conductor chip shortage has slowed auto production.   Some experts, are anticipating the shortage to last though the summer travel season.  In Sacramento, the lowest prices car available Tuesday was a sub-compact Chevy Trax ( my size 15EEE shoes are larger than this car ) for $76 per day. A Nissan Altima was $119 per day.

Consider Public Transit

In Sacramento and most large cities a rental car is necessity. There are many cities, New York, San Francisco, Portland come to mind ,have excellent Public Transit and if your not intimidated by the locals,it could say you hundreds. Most public transit systems have maps online. Some will allow you to type in the addresses . The site will then provide a printable route,with detailed guides and schedules. However, if you that person who is more comfortable in a rental car, be prepared to shell out $$$$$ You will save $$$ on Air Fares and Hotels if you book early. Recommendations: Make your car reservations early (do not prepay) and check weekly to see if the prices has come down. Should you find a lower price.    Simply make the new reservation and once you have the conformation number cancel the old reservation. You can do this weekly. If your flight is delayed, call the rental car company. Have a pen and paper available and write down the time, person you spoke to and review you new arrival time before hanging up. Do not prepay for the car unless its under $350 for the week and choose a major company- Hertz, Avis, National, Budget, Alamo, and Enterprise via their website. Due to the shortage , I recommend avoiding smaller rental car companies and going thorough a third party like Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia Hotwire etc. These are fine companies. However, a third party reservation isn’t as flexible as making the reservation directly, with the rental car company. There are restrictions on third party reservations . If your flight is a few hours late and you didn’t call to extend your arrival time, you could lose your rental. (Most prepaid rentals are non-refundable.) CityFella