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In panic, messed up car rental reservation

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Dec 14th, 2017, 11:24 PM
  #1
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In panic, messed up car rental reservation

Hello, I am in a total panic now and looking for ideas/suggestions. I just realized my rental car reservation is for pick up in Kona when we are flying into Hilo on Dec 21. The drop off is correct at Kona on Dec 29. I have tried to find another reservation but no cars are available. I have tried on sites like orbitz and expedia, directly through rental agencies like alamo and hertz. Nothing. I called the number on my reservation and they looked and couldn't find anything either. they recommended I call tomorrow to see if anything opens up. I know it is about 1.5 hours between the locations and there doesn't seem to be a way to easily get over there to pick up the car. Any suggestions?
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Dec 14th, 2017, 11:54 PM
  #2
 
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I think you are SOL . . . there is bus service but not at all useful -- I think only 1 or 2 each day each direction.

Using a car service would cost a fortune (it will take more than 1.5 hours IME)

sorry (Any chance you can change your booking to fly in to Hilo instead? )
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Dec 15th, 2017, 05:55 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Have you tried Harper's Car Rentals? They are a local company - office in Hilo. Might be able to rent for one day to get where you need to go; a little more expense but a problem fixed. Here's a link: https://www.harpershawaii.com/

Or, and I have never used this so I don't know anything more about it, how about Turo? The peer-to-peer car sharing service? I just checked and there was a Chevy Spark available on Dec 21 for $100.

IT's a busy time of year, everything's booked, so if you find something I would book it. Good luck and post back with the results?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 08:20 AM
  #4
 
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Hawaii car rentals are scary because stock is so limited. The car service might not cost a fortune via Uber or Lyft--you can check the apps to find out. Good luck.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 12:37 PM
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You could actually fly but you ahve to go via Honolulu and it could take hours.

I'm surprised all the Uber lovers haven't suggested that option.

I think Janisj has offered the best advice about re-booking but just how badly do you really want to get over to Kona?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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"I'm surprised all the Uber lovers haven't suggested that option."

Look 2 inches above your "Uber".
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Dec 15th, 2017, 12:46 PM
  #7
 
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From what I have read on the TA forums, Uber service is very scarce on the Big Island. I remember reading about someone a few years ago who ended up renting a U-Haul, that might be an option to get you across the island.
No luggage on the bus unless it can fit in your lap or underneath the seat.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:13 PM
  #8
 
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Well darn, that may not be an option, then.

Are you alone or are there 2 or more of you? One person could take the bus and then return with the car.

TJM's options look promising.

How much would a car service be?

I have so much sympathy for you, b/c on our first trip to Hawaii, year and years ago, I forgot to book our car rental. Thought it was no biggie, but almost ended up carless.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:20 PM
  #9
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Thank you for your responses. After researching many different options with pricing, it made the most sense for me to change my flight to Kona so I can go pick up the car. Fortunately this only cost me $33 change fee. The rest of the family will keep the reservation with flying into Hilo. I am not too crazy about driving from Kona to Hilo at night with the dark, windy roads. I don't feel safe driving Saddle Road, so I would rather drive the longer Hwy 19. Any one know how Hwy 19 is at night?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:30 PM
  #10
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The car rental agency said they would release the car at the end of the business day at 11:30pm and if I showed up the next morning to pick up the car, it would be considered a new reservation (with different pricing) if there were any cars available. I was able to get a Hilo rental for 1 day and thought we might drive the next morning to get it, but that wouldn't work. They also wouldn't change the name of the reservation to be my husband who is better driving overall and in the dark. I thought about changing all of our flights to Kona, but I couldn't change our hotel reservation in Hilo and what is left is so pricey. I am so mad at myself for making this mistake. I was in such a panic that I still can't seem to calm down despite finding a solution. Maybe I am just really nervous about the driving at night on unfamiliar windy roads.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:36 PM
  #11
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And I really appreciate everyone's advice and concern! When I couldn't figure out what to do, I immediately thought of the smart travel people on this forum!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:59 PM
  #12
 
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You found a solution--good for you!

How about you pay another $33 ( a tiny percentage of the overall cost of the trip, surely) and have Husband fly with you to Kona? The way I see it, he's legally obligated. Unless he has to stay with kids? I am unclear as to who is the "rest of the family".
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:20 PM
  #13
 
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If it was me -- I would not drive that road late at night since you are unfamiliar with it.

I would have the rest of the family fly as originally booked, I would pick up the car . . . and stay that night in a hotel in Kona and drive over the next morning.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:28 PM
  #14
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We have 2 kids under age 7 so we don't want to subject them to the windy road, esp since one gets car sick. He is staying with the kids.

Janisj, is the road difficult to drive in the dark? I will be pickign up the car around 8:30pm if they can't give it to me earlier. So not super late, but still dark. I will look into the cost of a hotel in Kona, but I believe they are all high.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:38 PM
  #15
 
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Ah, little kids, I get it.

I don't love driving but I'm a confident driver. 90 minutes on a highway can't be that bad, versus the hassle of wasting hours in a hotel; you're not bushwhacking, after all! But it's your decision.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:49 PM
  #16
 
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Saddle road (I have only driven it once so not an expert but . . . ) Is pretty narrow (but not dangerously so) and would be very dark. It is a high elevation road and if it is raining or foggy it would be awful IMO.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:03 PM
  #17
 
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Arrive KOA. Pick up car. Stay overnight in Kona. Drive to Hilo in daylight the next morning.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:13 PM
  #18
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I do not plan to drive the Saddle road even though it is quicker. I know there are sometimes problems with fog/visibility and there are areas without cell phone reception. I would be driving Hwy 19 around the top of the island. How is that in the dark?

I am still mulling over the idea of a hotel for the night in Kona, but the cheapest from a quick search on orbitz seems to be around $140 which is a lot.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:22 PM
  #19
 
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>>How is that in the dark? <<

It would be better -- but also nearly 2.5 hours.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:54 PM
  #20
 
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Still, I would spend the night in Kona and drive the next morning when you are fresh and rested and it's light.
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