Travel ain’t what it used to be. In the “olden days,” people traveled by train and arrived at magnificent train stations – just look at the architecture of Baltimore’s Penn station (built in 1911, around the time the Model-T came out). From the train you took a taxicab (horse drawn, perhaps) to your downtown hotel, and everything you needed was close by. Nowadays we arrive at airports far from the city center, and we have to be able to get around to tour, shop, or attend to business: hence, the marvel of the rent-a-car business. You can land at any city in the U.S. and within an hour drive out with a shiny new car. Wow!
But wait – it is not so simple; nothing good ever is. Navigating our complicated and constantly changing world of personal economics and shopping requires a lot of know-how. This is especially true in car rentals, where no two customers pay the same price, and where rental companies try, and often succeed, in selling you unneeded extras that can be called rip offs.