Like snowbirds, rental car companies’ move their fleets south for the winter. Instead of paying a fee to move the cars north, they offer special one-way rentals out of the state of Florida. This is a great opportunity to take in a Florida vacation for a fraction of the price, by combining a one-way fare to Florida through a low-cost carrier like Allegiant, or Spirit, with a one-way car rental home. 
We ranked the following offers starting with Alamo. We felt they offered the most flexible options and was the first to post complete program details. That said if you can earn points with one of the other companies, by all means, stack a cheap rental with points towards the next free rental or reward level.  

  • Available on one-way rentals picked up at participating Florida locations and returned to a participating Enterprise location in the Continental US outside of Florida.
  • Offer valid for reservations picked up between March 26-May 31, 2018 from the following participating Florida locations:  Fort Myers, Sarasota, Naples, Punta Gorda, Orlando, Disney Hotels, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, and Sanford.
  • Offer valid for reservations picked up between April 1-May 31, 2018 from the following participating Florida locations:  Tampa, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton.
  • Offer rate as low as $9.99 base rate per day applies to an Economy through a Full-Size vehicle, as low as $19.99 base rate per day applies to Intermediate and Standard SUVs and as low as $24.99 base rate per day applies to Minivans.  Base rate excludes taxes, fees, and surcharges.
Although Alamo advertises a base rate of $7.99, lower rates are available, depending on the renal location. The program may also be available through select National Car Rental and Enterprise locations, however, it is not advertised. We list Alamo as #1 because it offers the most flexibility for outbound locations.

2. Hertz – Base Rate $7.99/Day
  • Pending Confirmation: Their offer is usually a little better than Avis. We will update as soon as the program terms are published. Be sure to subscribe to this post for updates. 

3. Avis – Pending Confirmation Usually has a base rate of $10.00 Per/Day
We have no details, and nothing has been set, but with a rate that is often lower than Budgets advertised rate, we fell that whatever they offer will be better.

4. Budget Car Rental – Base Rate $14.49/day
  • Valid for rentals April 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018, with BSD Code BCD code S374100

  • Vehicle must be picked up at a participating Florida location and returned to a different participating U.S. location outside the state of Florida; excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville
Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California

The base rate is higher than the other offers, with a short offer window. The one plus is the option of going coast to coast for a flat rate; which may work for college students heading home, or someone relocating. But the offer is available through Alamo for a lower price with a better vehicle inventory. 


Convert your old Cell Phone into a Home/Travel Security Camera

Ever wondered what the hotel maid does in your room when you are not there, want to know if the kids made it home from school okay or you just want to watch the house while on a long trip? I wanted to do the same while on a weekend trip leaving a mischievous senior citizen and a teen alone. I know about all the paid options, but I needed an alternative to the quick and easy $200 options. I also did not want the networked security system. 

My first thought was a dash cam, (we have several installed for the above teen driver), but that would require removing the cameras from the car, but it is a viable options depending on your monitoring goals. My next thought, phones. There just has to be an app that will let me turn old phones into a security system. As luck would have it, there are several free or low cost options. 

But in looking for a low cost, (free), option, I checked and most free aps should have the following basic options:

  • Uses the phone/tablet’s camera to detect motion and record full video/audio.
  • Instantly upload photos to a free cloud storage account if connected to a network of WI-FI. 
  • Notifies you via email, text that recording has started or alarm has been triggered.
  • Options to start an alarm after a period of time,with or without sound. For example, if you are using this while traveling, you may want to opt for a silent alarm in order to not alert the hotel staff. This would just let you know they are in your room.  
To get started 

You will need a smart phone running Windows, iOS or Android. If you do not have an old off contract smart phone, buy a prepaid Android or Windows phones off eBay, or through your local big box store. Most phones will run $20 - $30; with a few sales that can place basic smart phones as low as $10. Just skip the network activation.

What are you goals

The following are considered the best security camera apps by the operating system with free basic service with some type of paid option. This is a good start, but you should do your own research to determine what will work best for your situation:

Salient Eye (Android) 
  • Captures pictures on motion detection
  • SMS and email alerts (optional)
  • Push notification alerts (optional, requires registration and remote control app: remote.salient-eye.com)
  • Sounds alarm (optional) - Example, you want to monitor activity in a hotel room, or to use as baby monitor
  • Scheduler - pre set the days and hours in which the system will start and stop automatically
  • Auto active of led light (=Flash) on low light conditions
  • Photos are available immediately online (optional)
  • Start/Stop/Take picture remotely (optional, requires subscription on the remote control app: remote.salient-eye.com)
  • Keeps working when screen is turned off
  • Password Protection
  • Works up to 10 hours with no power supply (on battery)
  • Very easy to setup and use

Manythings (iOS 6.0 or later)
  • Rasy set-up - simply install the app on both phones. 
  • Live video streaming - CCTV functionality to see what’s going on in real time. 
  • Motion activation - camera will automatically record on movement.
  • Cloud-based DVR - past events are automatically backed up to the cloud. 
  • iPhone, iPad and web viewers - gives access from anywhere. 
  • Motion activated alerts - receive alerts on movement use as a driveway or burglar alarm. 
  • Talk functionality - for two-way audio communication.  
  • Facebook Live Broadcast (optional) - choose to share your live feed with others over Facebook.
  • Secure - private feed, share or download important clips from the app. 
  • Adjustable motion sensitivity - ensure you only capture significant events.  
  • Motion detection zones - only monitor the areas you need to. 
  • IFTTT integration - for home automation and enhanced alerts. 
  • Connectivity - use over wifi or your spare phone’s data connection. 
  • Stills only mode - for time lapse and still capture. 
  • Clip chart - share and view the best clips from manythingers around the world.  

Security Camera (Windows 8.1  & 10)
The app is free with limited cloud storage, but offers a paid subscriptions starting at $1.50 a month.
  • Use your Windows Phone as a Cloud Security Camera.
  • Record image snapshots to the cloud.
  • Set image resolution and upload frequency.
  • Continuous recording or motion-triggered recording.
  • Offers paid Cloud Surveillance service.
  • Live view or playback from any devices or web browsers.