Two weekends ago I went to a wedding in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I have been to Steamboat a few times before, but always in the winter to snowboard. In the winter one of the biggest appeals of Steamboat over other ski areas out west is that it has a little airport about 20 miles away that has direct flights from Chicago – much nicer than driving out I-70 from DIA to get to Breckenridge or Vail.
However, in the summer there are no direct flights from Chicago to Steamboat / Hayden Airport and I had to drive up from Denver. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive and my wife couldn’t come so I was doing it solo. I rather like road trips and I took the long way, through Rocky Mountain National Park, which was beautiful, and spent the morning hanging out in Boulder, which I enjoyed as well.
I am really really cheap, especially when it comes to travel, especially when I’m not traveling with my wife (who is not that cheap). So I completely skimped on the rental car and got a $20 / day rental from Hotwire. The car itself wasn’t bad, a Carolla from Avis. Because of the mountains I would have preferred something with a little more power. But what really sucked is that it didn’t come with satellite radio.
I am also really spoiled since, as an owner of TSS-Radio, I have satellite in my car and home and I completely take it for granted. After about 20 minutes of listening to FM I was seriously pissed off – the stations sucked, the reception was awful in the mountains, there were way too many commercials and the playlists were generic and boring.
In Boulder I hit up a cd store and bought 4 cds for about $50. I was a pretty happy camper for the first two listens of each cd, or about 3 hours. Unfortunately, between the drive there and the drive back (thanks to some horrible traffic on I-70 coming back) I had about 8 hours of driving total.
Lesson? I should have paid the extra $10-15 to get a fancier rental car with satellite radio in it.