November 2022 Trip Report- Getting There…Or At Least Trying

I returned a little over a week ago from my Walt Disney World vacation that was mainly to participate in the runDisney 5k with my son. As I mentioned in a previous post, this was to be a different kind of trip for me because I was only going to visit one of the Disney World parks instead of going to all four parks during the six night stay. Even though we didn’t have plans that were packed full of things to do, we did have a plan to do something for each full day that we were there.

The night before we were leaving, I went with my mother to go pick up the minivan that we rented for the trip. Neither of us trusted our own vehicles to make it to Orlando and back home so we rented a minivan. Aside from it coming out cheaper than all four of us flying to Orlando, my mother won’t fly anymore so this was the way we needed to travel. But once we got to the car rental place, we found out that they didn’t even have minivans at this location. They never offer them at this location, but the website we booked the rental from gave no indication of this and listed a minivan as an option. The rental car company even charged $80 more at the counter than the reservation showed it would be- and then they tried to give us a Ford Fusion for the same price as what a minivan rents for at their locations that do offer minivans.

This slowly became a very frustrating situation since a regular car was not an option for us. Even though the four of us and our luggage would have fit in the Ford Fusion, the fact that they were charging the same (plus $80 more) for this car as the rate for a minivan AND that with my mother’s mobility issues she has trouble getting in and out of a regular car, this situation was not going to work for us. By the time all of this transpired, it was almost 9p.m. They had no SUV options either so all we could do is cancel the reservation and try to figure out what to do from there.

I had gone outside to try to call nearby car rental places to see if they were open and if they had a minivan available on super short notice. One place had a minivan and another had an SUV, but both were over $300 more than the price we had expected to pay from the original company. Ok…it was Budget. It was Budget Rent a Car that we had an issue with. I was going to keep all of the company names out of this but there’s really no point. We used Expedia to book this just like we did in May for a car at Hertz. We had no issues then and I’ve had no issues booking a car through Expedia, or a few other websites in the past, but this time, it didn’t work out for us.

Ok, getting back on track, I only found more expensive options when I was calling around the night before we were leaving for our 22 hour road trip to Orlando. Once we got back in my mom’s minivan and discussed what else to try, my mom suggested looking on the website for Enterprise. I’ve used Enterprise a lot and knew the ones in our town were already closed so I hadn’t bothered trying to call any of their locations, but I hadn’t looked at their website. Sure enough, on the Enterprise website, at the location closest to where I live, it showed they had a minvan available and it was even $20 less than the jacked up price Budget was going to charge for the Fusion. By now it was about 9:45p.m. so I reserved the minivan online with Enterprise and we decided to drive by that location to see if they had minivans in their lot. There were a few minivans as well as several SUVs, so we could only hope that they were really available for the 7:30a.m. pick up that we reserved the next morning.

To say this was a stressful night is an understatement. By the time we drove home, it was almost 10:30p.m. and I still had a handful of things to pack and small things to do before going to bed. But since I was worried about whether or not we’d get a vehicle that my mother could get in and out of without hurting her knee, I couldn’t really sleep. It was around 3a.m. before I finally fell asleep and I had to get up a little after 6a.m to go try to pick up the minivan from Enterprise the next morning. Luckily, we got to Enterprise a few minutes before they opened and were able to get helped almost right away. They had a minivan! Knock on wood, but I’ve never had an issue when I’ve rented from Enterprise and they made it super easy to get the van and for us to get back home and get loaded up to leave.

It still ended up being closer to 9a.m. when we got going. We had originally planned to leave by 6a.m. since we were driving almost halfway there the first day. Leaving three hours late and the stress of the rental mishap the night before put all of us in a bad mood and it was such a rough road trip. We really didn’t run into much traffic or have any big issues, but it was still 11p.m. before we got to the room we booked in Hattiesburg, MS for the first night on the road. Because we let the rental situation make us cranky, it just made it seem like the longest drive ever. We were so tired but we were able to get some sleep before getting back on the road the next morning.

We stayed in the Avid Hotel in Hattiesburg, MS at the end of the first night on the road.

The next day was fine also. We left about an hour later than we planned but there were no traffic jams, no stopped traffic because of accidents or construction, but it still felt like the absolute longest road trip of my life (and I’ve made that same road trip many, many times before). It was 8:30p.m. when we finally got to Disney’s Old Key West and to our two bedroom villa. Since it was another long day on the road, we just picked up some pizza along the way to take to the room for dinner.

I was so happy to arrive! The only downside was that we arrived after it was already dark so I couldn’t really see the view from our patio. But we arrived safely and I was ready to relax and get a normal night’s sleep. So yes, we did get there just fine, but the road trip to Orlando felt like it took a week instead of it being over the course of two days because we let the rental debacle with Budget put us in a bad mood before we even hit the road. I wish I could say that was the only thing that didn’t go as planned.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with the next part of my trip report! I hope to see you here! °O°


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