Charlotte NC travel questions

<p>Hello all –I’m planning a short trip with my daughters to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains over Easter break. We’ll be flying in and out of Charlotte, and renting a car. Was hoping there might be some UNC parents or other folks who might have some advice for us-- </p>

<p>First - are there any tricks to finding discounts on rental cars? I’ve been looking at Charlotte airport office locations (for shuttle service) , and am very bummed out by the prices. Have tried services like Orbitz, and bid (unsuccessfully) on Priceline, etc, without much luck. Will look on AAA, as they often have hotel promotions, so maybe worth a try.</p>

<p>Another issue - flights from NY were plentiful and actually quite affordable, but we're having a very tough time finding flights to/from D.C. My son was hoping to fly down and meet us for the weekend, but D.C. flights are A) scarce, and B) shockingly expensive. He even checked at his school's travel service without much luck. We’ve only been on one plane trip in the last 15 years, so am not very handy at this. Is it ever possible to find cheaper tickets near the last minute, or do prices always go up as the date approaches? </p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>My sibling lives in Raleigh and my niece in Charlotte. My impression is that Raleigh is a major hub and much cheaper than Charlotte as far as air fare. My niece often drives to her parents before flying somewhere. Would it be possible to fly into Raleigh and drive to Charlotte or are you crunched for time?</p>

<p>Sounds as if you’re dealing with Easter weekend prices. Check for flights on kayak dot com. Your son should be able to get a deal out of BWI (Baltimore, can get there from DC by train), or can fly directly to Asheville. </p>

<p>Flights are generally cheaper if you book them on Tues, Wed or Sat. At this point, all prices will probably go up, not down, although Air Tran sometimes offer last-minute deals.</p>

<p>Car rentals in NC are usually extremely inexpensive and can be found on hotwire dot com.</p>

<p>Re: ebee’s suggestion - It’s almost 4 hrs. from RDU to Asheville, from Charlotte about 2 hours.</p>

<p>lspf72, a couple of thoughts:</p>

<ul>
<li>If you are going to Ashville, NC, can your son fly into Greenville, SOUTH Carolina? I believe USAir and United fly from DC to GSP. Greenville (GSP), is only an hour, 15 mins from Ashville.
-rental cars: I assume you checked renting from the airport location. Check out a location within 5 miles of airport and take a cab to and from there. (This summer we are doing this for a three week rental: H hopping in a cab at airport to a location under 5 miles from airport to rent car while I get luggage. Our cost went from over $1000 to $475–from the same car rental company, same car! A little hassle, but worth it to us).
-we’ve also gotten some very reasonable rental car prices from Costco…</li>
</ul>

<p>I would not wait much longer to book flights…</p>

<p>I would suggest Greenville sc also. Nice town on its own. Southwest also flies in there. From Greenville you can drive thru mountains up through Caesar’s Head and Brevard and over to Asheville or take highway if want to get right to Asheville and other areas.</p>

<p>Great hint on leaving the airport. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is running a 9.99 a day weekend special on the economy cars. I did a brief check looks like it might work for you.</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions :)</p>

<p>I’m afraid we probably are getting stuck with those Easter prices. Had never heard about the days of the week affecting prices, but good to know. I did notice a $20 fluctuation from one day to the next on one of our NY flights.</p>

<p>gosmom - I was wondering about those non-airport locations. Was a bit worried about not being able to get a cab easily, but suppose we could get the name of some local cab companies and plan ahead. The savings would be worth giving up the shuttle. And will definitely check out Enterprise!</p>

<p>As for my son, we were hoping to have some luck at Greenville, but no flights at the right time. There aren’t too many Baltimore/Charlotte flights either, but certainly more than from D.C. Guess we’d better get his tickets before the prices go up even more :/</p>

<p>Would MegaBus be an option? They do have service between DC and Charlotte. Current prices over that weekend are about $45 each way. My D has used Mega Bus out of NYC and it’s very, very nice.</p>

<p>Another possibility might be for your S to fly into Greensboro,NC. and then rent a car to meet you in Charlotte. Greensboro to Charlotte is a hour and a half straight down the interstate (I-85). I have known people to drive from Charlotte to fly out of G’boro because the G’boro flights are less expensive.</p>

<p>update re: the car rental –
as per clever gosmom, called a couple within 15 minutes of the Charlotte airport. Ruled out one because the person I spoke with couldn’t think of any local cab companies to use (huh?). The next place said it was a common practice. We’ll spend $25 for a cab between the car rental and the airport, but the rental is about $200 cheaper than the same company’s airport location. As long as we leave ourselves some extra time this should work out very well.</p>

<p>As for my son’s potential visit - very few flights from Greenville. The bus is an option but not sure if he wants to make two 8 hour trips for a 2 1/2 day visit with us :confused: Will keep shopping around–</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>