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It turns out Atlanta's nowhere near Naples
May 24, 2012 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be spending three weeks in Atlanta this summer. How can I see a friend who lives in Naples, FL without spending $300?

I anticipate only having between 5pm on a Friday and 9am on a Monday to pull this off. Flying to Ft Meyers costs $300+. Greyhound takes 15 hours and costs $250. I see two possibilities.

One is renting a car and driving, which does not seem like a reasonable proposition. While I know how to drive, I don't own a car and have never done a road trip on my own. This would probably cost $200.

The other is meeting somewhere in between. Where? My friend is quite literally the proverbial little old lady--she's about 90 and weighs 90 lbs. She can't really see (so she can't drive), but is otherwise in perfect health. So we're down to planes, trains and buses on her end.

In summary the questions are: 1) Where could we meet that isn't Atlanta or Naples? 2) Is there some idea I haven't thought of?
posted by hoyland to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
 
See if you can catch a ride with someone else and help pay for gas?

Ask around for donated frequent flyer miles?

See if she can split the cost of a ticket with you?

See if she can fly to you and get some kind of senior discount?
posted by Michele in California at 3:56 PM on May 24, 2012


Rideshare? Not that I know anyone but you might put out feelers among your social network & Craigslist (insert caveat about being safe with strangers met through Internet).

I moved a truck cross country pre net days using flyers at a tricks top; ida hit colleges for homeward bound students, too.
posted by tilde at 3:58 PM on May 24, 2012


Naples to Atlanta is probably a 10 hour drive assuming no major inconveniences. It doesn't surprise me that flights are that expensive, flights into that coast are for some reason and there's no great public transit options as far as I know. At least it would be a straight shot up and down I-75, which might make it easier to catch a ride.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:02 PM on May 24, 2012


Urk, Amtrak is closer to 400 one way & routes you through DC.

What about private plane? Know any pilots you could hitch with?

Stumper outside of ride share or car rental (gas costs & might get charged more for taking it out of state).

:?
posted by tilde at 4:05 PM on May 24, 2012


It seems like a convenient halfway point would be Jacksonville, FL, which is about 6 hrs. from Naples and 5.5 from Atlanta. If you choose the ridesharing option, you might have success getting to J'ville given its size.

It may be worth looking at flights to Tampa or Miami, too, which are about 2 hrs. from Naples. You could rent a car from those airports and drive to Naples pretty easily, I would imagine.
posted by Comic Sans-Culotte at 4:06 PM on May 24, 2012


You could take MegaBus from Atlanta to Gainsville, Orlando, or Jacksonville. The prices depend on when you book and where you're going. Roundtrip to Orlando in June is running about 70 bucks. Roundtrip to Jacksonville in July is running about 10 bucks.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 4:12 PM on May 24, 2012


The closest airport you can fly into is Fort Myers, and the closest Amtrak stop is in Tampa. I don't see a way you're going to be able to do this without renting a car. It's not going to be very easy for her to get to Jacksonville without a car.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:48 PM on May 24, 2012


If she'd also be willing to catch a bus, the Florida Express Bus company goes direct from Naples to Orlando (5 hours, $70 if picked up from your house), and Orlando to Atlanta (~9 hours, overnight available).
posted by jacalata at 5:37 PM on May 24, 2012


The closest airport you can fly into is Fort Myers, and the closest Amtrak stop is in Tampa. I don't see a way you're going to be able to do this without renting a car. It's not going to be very easy for her to get to Jacksonville without a car.

If I read the Amtrak schedule right, there's actually an Amtrak thruway bus to Naples. I'm okay with renting a car. I'm not so okay with renting a car and driving 10 hours each way on my own.

How did I not realise Megabus runs from Atlanta!?
posted by hoyland at 7:30 PM on May 24, 2012


Renting a car is probably going to be more expensive than you think it will be, just because of added fees not listed on the prices quotes and required insurance.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:34 AM on May 25, 2012


How about Megabus to Gainesville or Orlando? You could get the bus (like $1 each way) and then rent a car or something from there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2012


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