The other day I teased with an overview of my amazing month long vacation that included a 21 day Norwegian Cruise Lines crossing. I wanted to start with how the adventure began and to maybe have you consider ways you too could save some cash getting to / from the airport to home.
My wife and I live near South Bend Airport (SBN) but our big adventure started from Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) that is a little over a 2 hour drive under perfect road conditions and traffic.
Getting to ORD I do have a number of options. Normally I would consider driving my own car but this was not possible as our return flights home did get us back into SBN. Plus, even if I had been returning to ORD, a month of parking would have been simply ridiculous.
Another very reasonable choice I have is rail, that is, the South Shore train that runs right into the heart of Chicago but with so much luggage I did not want to begin my trip this way, that is, first the train, then a walk from Millennial Station to the subway that takes you quickly out to ORD.
For a brief moment I did consider the idea of flying the ultra short United Airlines one-way hop from SBN to ORD but the cost via cash or points was just, well, yuck. Plus with no status with United I did not want to have to pay for bag fees etc. and we are talking United so…
The solution to my transport was Autoslash!
Using my Costco membership, that they did verify at pickup by the way, we were able to find a one-way rental for just $42 and that was almost 50% off the price I found anywhere else! Even after filling the tank up near ORD my all-in with gas this choice was just under $60!
I did book the cheapest and smallest car they had but was upgraded to a 4 door Hyundai Elantra that you see in the featured photo and picked it up the day before our trip began. We even used Google maps to avoid all toll roads that did add a little bit of time to the drive but my old go-to Indiana toll road and the Chicago Skyway bridge have become so ridiculously expensive I no longer even consider them as an option.
Bottom line we began our trip in comfort, at a very reasonable price, and made it to the airport with plenty of time to enjoy the American Airlines Flagship Lounge before our flight. More on that lounge experience up next! – René
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