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Car rental logistics question: 2 days Seattle, 2 days ONP

Car rental logistics question: 2 days Seattle, 2 days ONP

Mar 10th, 2010, 11:57 AM
  #1  
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Car rental logistics question: 2 days Seattle, 2 days ONP

We have 2 days at a business conference in downtown at the Sheraton, April 21 & 22. Parking there is ridiculous, $35 a day. Then, we have 2 days to drive to Port Angeles for a short visit of the Olympic Park, staying at the Olympic Lodge. Flying home on Sunday the 25th at 6:30 p.m.

We are flying into SEA, natch, but it's too much $$ to rent a car when we arrive and pay for it to sit at the Sheraton. For 2 days rental, I found $96 for a downtown pick up at the Hilton, vs. $65 for pick up at SEA. Trying to decide if it would be too much hassle to leave the Sheraton on Friday, take the shuttle to SEA, get the rental car then head to ONP through Tacoma. At least with this route we'd be able to drive directly back to SEA for our flight. Or, shall we get the rental at the Hilton, head for ONP via Bainbridge Island, then on Sunday have to head back to downtown and shuttle to the airport for our flight.

How much time is spent waiting for a ferry vs. just driving around through Tacoma?

Renting at SEA seems to make more sense to me, opinions please? Am I missing something?
gigib is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 07:50 PM
  #2  
 
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Have you checked the FULL cost of car rental at SEA v. downtown? My experience has shown car rental taxes and fees for pick up at SEA are the highest or second highest in the country, and I saved a significant amount of money last July picking up a rental downtown and returning it to SEA - I booked the rental that way after doing some online comparisons - even after paying for a taxi from SEA to a downtown hotel (there is now, I believe, an operating light rail service from SEA (or near SEA) to downtown). (Hertz was the cheapest at the time I reserved, and it imposed no drop off fee for the airport and I also avoided airport taxes and fees).

So, I might suggest taking the ferry to Bainbridge, but the Tacoma Narrows bridge route to the airport on Sunday.

I regard the Wash. State ferry to Bainbridge (or any of the other Puget Sound ferries) as part of the Seattle / Northwest experience. The fare, even with a car, is not too expensive; the ferries are very large (something like 200 cars and 1500 passengers); and the schedule is frequent. I experienced very little waiting time. And, if you have good weather, the views are spectacular!

Happy travels!
pal440fcv is offline  
Mar 10th, 2010, 08:41 PM
  #3  
 
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Generally picking up cars at the airport is more expensive than dropping them off there. I'd do some price comparisons (use the rental companies themselves rather than Expedia or some such) to see what a downtown pickup/airport dropoff would cost. I think it will be cheaper than either "round trip" approach.

Traffic on a Friday from the airport down to the Narrows bridges then up the OP to Port Angeles will be nasty. I'd really opt for the ferry.
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 06:51 AM
  #4  
 
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Gardyloo beat me to it. My suggestion is renting thru a downtown agency, pick up in downtown Seattle after your conference, and return to SeaTac airport on the day you fly out.

(I've always heard pick up at the airport was way more expensive than pick up in downtown so am a little confused by the prices in the original post.)
suze is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 11:13 AM
  #5  
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Thanks guys, I never thought about doing a one-way rental! Found a good one-way rate with Budget through Costco, $106. So, we will get our car downtown, take the ferry, then head to the airport on Sunday.
gigib is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 07:27 PM
  #6  
 
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Glad to be of help.
pal440fcv is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 10:01 AM
  #7  
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Another question. Our plane home leaves SEA at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, when we leave Port Angeles, shall we head for the Bainbridge island ferry back to the city, then down to SEA, or shall we just drive around through Tacoma? Is there any nice hiking or sightseeing down that way?

On Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, I'm hoping we can go to Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, Hoh Rainforest and perhaps the beaches at La Push. We are pretty energetic travelers and can hike for miles.

If the ferry is the way to go, perhaps we should leave something like Hurricane until Sunday morning?
gigib is offline  
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