Four Small Hacks to Save Big on Car Rentals

UnknownExperienced travelers know that there can be a big variation in car rental rates from company to company.

It is all a function of supply and demand, and it pays to shop around.

I usually start by checking Priceline first, to determine which rental company is offering the lowest rates for my chosen dates.  Then I go to that company’s website to see more details.

Sometimes I use a rental code from an airline website, and sometimes I go through a cash back shopping portal like FatWallet.

On a recent trip, I discovered several other random factors that can make a big difference in car rental costs.

  1. Return Location
  2. Date of Booking
  3. Pick-up Location
  4. Pick-up Time

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Japanese Taiko Drummers at Dulles International Airport

Taiko Drummer
Taiko Drummer – Mark H. Rooney

In celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month, Japanese Taiko drummers will be performing at Dulles International Airport (IAD) on Thursday and Friday, May 30 and 31.

The free performances will feature DC-based musician Mark H Rooney.  Taiko is a dynamic form of full-body drumming based in Japanese tradition. Rooney combines that traditional foundation with a modern sensibility to create performances that are full of energy, endurance, and excitement.

The performance on Thursday May 30 will take place from  3 to 5 p.m. on the departures level – east side.

On Friday, May 31, you can catch the drummers from 10 to 11 a.m. on the departures level – east side;  From 11:15 to noon, the show will move to Gate B41, post security.

The performances are sponsored by All Nippon Airlines (ANA) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

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Gangnam Style @ Dulles International Airport May 3

Catch the Gangnam Style dance phenomenon this Friday at Dulles International Airport.

Psy Gangnam Style
Psy Gangnam Style

The performance is part of a Korean cultural festival Friday afternoon in celebration of the May 2013 Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

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Crawfish Étouffée — in Herndon???

Lobster Special at The Weiner's Circle
Lobster Special at The Weiner’s Circle

Looking for a super reasonable seafood lunch in the Reston-Herndon area (near IAD)?  Your best bet is a small restaurant and carry-out located in an industrial park with the unlikely name, The Weiner’s Circle.

The secret here is to sign up for the daily specials via email.

You will often find listings for lobster tacos, crab cakes, fish tacos with mango salsa, fried oysters, calamari, and New Orleans style seafood stew and crawfish étouffée.  The food is great and the prices are reasonable.

They sometimes feature a whole steamed lobster for around $16.  My advice is to get there early if you want to snag the seafood special.

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The Airlines: Then and Now

The print edition of the today’s Washington Post has a great full page spread of infographics comparing  the airline industry of today to the days before deregulation in 1978.

© Goehrum Christian, Dreamstime Stock Photos

Frequent flyer programs emerging since deregulation generate customer loyalty among hundreds of millions of people, reports Dwuan D. June.

“There are trillions of miles out there — 85 percent of which have never been redeemed,” according to Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst cited in the article.

This statistic demonstrates the potentially large cost that airlines are carrying on their books, if consumers can figure out clever ways to leverage their miles.

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