How to get from the midwest to NYC with Stuff?
June 20, 2010 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Transportation options: one-way travel from Detroit to New York. Complication: wedding gifts.

We're getting married in the midwest later this summer and will need to travel back home to NYC (about a 13-hour drive). I expect we'll get a lot of physical gifts, despite having the wedding far away from where we live, and I'm concerned about how to get everything back home. We do not have a car.

I don't want to fly home and pay exorbitant fees for checked baggage.

I would prefer not to ship items because our post office has an excellent history of losing all packages (plus it seems like it would be expensive).

I was thinking about renting a car and driving back leisurely (in mini-moon fashion), but just found out renting a car for four days is nearly $700!

I've heard about situations where you can get hired to drive a vehicle one way or something -- how do we find those opportunities? What options am I not looking at? Are any of my assumptions about shipping/flying unfounded? If you were in a similar situation, how did you handle it?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total)
What about renting the tiniest U-Haul that has a cab?
posted by deezil at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2010

I checked Amtrak; you could take The Wolverine to Chicago and then The Cardinal from Chicago to New York and they should be able to accommodate your stuff pretty easily and cheaply. Don't know if you will have time for this though.
posted by mreleganza at 7:14 PM on June 20, 2010

Not sure where you looked for a quote but 700 seems excessive. Get a quote from Enterprise, in my experience they've been the cheapest.
posted by pyro979 at 7:15 PM on June 20, 2010

If you think people are going to want to give you a lot of physical gifts, register somewhere you can return everything and re-buy it in NYC. Bed, Bath and Beyond, for example; we registered there and were very happy with the experience.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:33 PM on June 20, 2010

Detroit to NYC in a car over four days? That's one day moderate driving, 2 days easy driving. That means < $350, you can get a better rate.
posted by BigVACub at 7:38 PM on June 20, 2010

I would shop around for rental car rates. The hard part is going to be that it's a one-way trip but it's worth looking around. I usually use Hotwire for rentals.
posted by kat518 at 8:09 PM on June 20, 2010

Do you have any specific reason to think you'll be getting lots of gifts at the wedding itself? We got married 1500 miles from home back in April, and this thought had crossed our minds (to the point where we had arrangements made for someone to drive everything back), but the problem never materialized. People are a) savvy enough to realize that you will need to carry whatever they give you back home and b) probably traveling long distances themselves, thus making them more likely to ship the gift to your home address rather than have to carry it in their luggage.

If you're worried about it, get someone close to you (probably your mother) to start dropping hints to your guests that it would be preferable for you to have presents shipped directly to you. If you're registered at any of the big online stores, shipping for most items will run your guests ~$5-10, which most people will gladly pay to avoid the hassle on both ends.
posted by Mayor West at 5:25 AM on June 21, 2010

A couple answers:

I've researched the rental car rates on Expedia and Hotwire, and verified them on a few individual car rental sites (not Enterprise specifically; I'll check there as well). They're all in the $600-700 range for an economy car for the time period we're looking at (not a holiday weekend), so I think it's the one-way thing that's killing us.

In terms of family realizing the conundrum -- yes, we've been dropping hints politely through parents, and we registered only at stores with a major online presence (our family members are certainly tech-savvy enough to shop online; even grandparents are on Facebook, etc.). However, gift-giving seems to have a way of turning my family member's thinking caps OFF, as I consistently get giant pizza pans or other things that don't fit in a suitcase at Christmas time, when I also have to fly everything back home with me. So, yeah. I hope that it sinks in but I do want a plan b.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:24 AM on June 21, 2010

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