Parent checklist for BCT

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by vshun, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. vshun

    vshun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Taking Wed evening flight from DC with our DS for i-day and thinking what would be the parent checklist before departure:
    1) signup for write2them for mail;
    2) WebGuy/Aog $20 a month option for 1 year (before or after coming back?)
    3) Drop appointee from car insurance (or use remote student option, not sure yet of price difference).

    Anything else is suggested?

    OT - rental prices for Wed through Fri through the roof, I was waiting to rent expecting them to come down but they seemed to go up. Anyone used priceline option for Wed to Fri and what was the winning bid and type of car? I tried to bid yesterday $45(small) to $$65 (premium) car and priceline declined all. Outside of priceline it looks like $100 per day after taxes is typical rental going, even through Costco and AAA. Is demand outstripping supply at Denver at this time so badly?
     
  2. Keep Calm and...

    Keep Calm and... Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    22
    1) check
    2) check - I signed up for WebGuy/AOG last week, that way I'll be ready to log in Thursday evening and start my new nightly habit of scrolling thru hundreds of pics trying to spot DS.
    3) We will just use the "away student" option. If you drop them off insurance completely it will be outrageously high rate to add them later or for them to obtain insurance on their own as "uninsured".
    4) write DS a letter and drop in the mail

    I just checked carrentals.com and found $68/d. Good luck :)
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    1) Agreed. Write2Them is the only way to do the mail to your DS. Make sure you, family, and friends write daily
    2) Agreed. We only did WebGuy for the first year which is well worth it and we haven't missed the few pictures posted the rest of the time. We signed up before we dropped him off at I-Day.

    I would add:

    4) Dress comfortable including a hat and drink lots of water. The high altitude combined with low humidity can be tough on flat-landers.
    5) Get lots of hugs before he walks up the stairs at Doolittle because he will be gone until A-Day or Parent's Weekend.
    6) Hang around the Chapel Wall after he leaves on the bus. You will be able to see some BCT activity and enjoy the Colorado sun.
    7) Go to the Colorado Parent's Club picnic for food and meeting other 2019 parents
    8) Use your iPad or laptop to follow your DS on Webguy Thursday night.
    9) Go to the Swearing in Ceremony on Friday morning. Arrive early. The Chapel wall will be full.
    10) Bring binoculars to see him on from the chapel wall during the Swearing In Ceremony. The squads will line up north to south (A through H) but position yourself at an angle to the squad not directly in front so that you can see beyond the first row as it will be too crowded to move much once the Ceremony begins.
     
    Boozebin likes this.
  4. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    161
    Signed up for web guy/aog. What is the write2them? Have not heard about that -- gave friends/relatives addressed envelopes to DD mailbox -- will those not get to her during BCT? Also, is there way to get letters to BCs that are not otherwise receiving anything? I know how to do post BCT care packages, but what about letters during BCT? Thanks.
     
  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    811
    Denver is notorious for high rental car rates. Recommend you look for offsite locations and take a hotel shuttle or taxi. Some even let you drop at the airport for no additional fees.
     
  6. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    77
    When renting a car from Denver, do most get the "toll road" option from the rental car company or do you avoid the toll roads? When we went out the first time a few months ago for the Appointee Tour, we took the option, but I seem to recall that it was a little expensive. Just curious what other more seasoned parents have figured out. Thank you.
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    We never do the toll road option.
     
  8. Smalltowngirl

    Smalltowngirl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    26
    We were just there two weeks ago for camp and the toll roads were all open for "testing"--no charge. Not sure if it's changed yet.
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    Snail mail will make it your DS or DD eventually. However, Write2Them is run by an USAFA grad and his wife and designed specifically to provide letters during BCT. The service converts emails from family and friends into letters which are hand delivered to the USAFA post office the next day insuring a constant stream of letters to your Basic.
    http://www.write2them.org/

    I believe the only way to get a letter to Basic is to address it directly to them. So you would need the name of any Basics not receiving mail to send them a letter.
     
  10. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    161
    Thanks
     
  11. vshun

    vshun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks for the replies. We plan to stay through Friday morning and binoculars are packed, will line up one letter away from squadron to see most of the folks at an angle.
    KeepCalm - carrentals/Costco might be $68 per day but this is before taxes so after taxes comes to like $100 per day. I rented in Denver several times last few years but never saw that rate for economy car. Will try priceline again this evening through the whole usual gamut (they let you bid twice on each type of car, and you start with economy and go up a few dollars to next type of car, up until Premium).

    Also to add to the original list - someone mentioned in past years they give to their kid for return mail several prepaid envelopes with stamps and return address and also partially prefilled template type letters, such as "Today my day is ____. The most difficult part was _____. The thing I miss most is ___" and mentioned that given lack of time and fatigue having most of the letter prepopulated helps basic. I am not sure where to find that template, it would be helpful now to print a few and give to DS. Also wonder if this will be confiscated.
     
    keeperkat90 likes this.
  12. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    Agree with this. If you want to rent at DIA, then I recomend this site: https://booking.carrental8.com/
    I just rented a midsize for $20/day for parent's weekend. I've used them in the past with no problems.
     
  13. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    313
    I take E-470 a bit of the time since I live by it and that rarely happens, it does but don't count on it. To be honest it only shaves about 20 minutes of drive time. If you're hitting rush hour traffic on I-25 it may save you a bit more time but still not worth it.

    My opinion it's not worth it to get the toll option on a rental here.
     
  14. vshun

    vshun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Interesting, did you do cost analysis for both options? Many posts on this forum advocated dropping it entirely saying student is covered anyway when they come home for Christmas/thanksgiving/spring and summer brakes as being licensed driver. Maybe I will call insurance company but doubt they will offer unbiased opinion that will save me money and not them:)
    Ideally, one needs to do know cost comparison of "away student cost" for 2 years vs. increased premium 2 years from now if insurance on your child is dropped entirely and gets added back to insurance 2 years from now. Do most of the upper cadets get to keep cars on campus as C2C or just a minority? For example, if DS would have gone to VT AFROTC, I believe cars there are discouraged all 4 years on campus, but AFA might be different as cadets may try to get away more often to relax off campus.
     
  15. Buckeye

    Buckeye Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Another option for those with USAA is Hertz with the USAA discount. Even in Denver the rates on Full Size are reasonable ($56/day during parents weekend).
     
  16. vshun

    vshun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Looks like parents weekend rental prices are reasonable at Denver airport, carrentals or hotwire shows about $17-25$ (small to intermediate car) a day plus tax. Also USAGradWife posted she booked with similar rate with carrentals8.
    Strangely it is next few days that are very expensive, and when I checked a couple of months ago they were also expensive back then.
    For this week I went with Thrifty promotion ($55 a day plus tax) which comes to $150 total for 2 days for intermediate car. For parents weekend, might try to bid $10-$12 a day on priceline, but looks like their good deals are in the past and we can find better deals in other places (carrentals, carrentals8, AAA, City TYP, Chase UR portals which are run by same travel agency, etc). For a couple of bucks difference it is not worth it and you cannot cancel priceline bid later.

    As for family car insurance - I called my company and student 100M away option was the same price as dropping student fully from coverage (our coverage went down by a third for 3 cars) so selecting Student away option was a no brainer for me. Unfortunately our umbrella policy surcharge (about $100) for youthful driver stayed the same.

    For write2them - created account yesterday, they seem to be very responsive, all is set up and ready to go, recommend their service so far from what I have seen.
     
  17. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    We kept our DD on USAA car insurance (they have a special rate for cadets). They are allowed to borrow cars from upperclassmen & we felt that it was important to keep her covered for those instances.
     
  18. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    10
    Only problem with the Car insurance is when he barrows upperclassmen's cars.
    Just keep that in mind.
     
  19. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    10
    My Parents sent me pre-written letters that i had to fill in, and envelopes with addresses on them during Basic so i wouldn't have to remember everything and could send letters quickly.
    Your Basics will only have time to write at night. So they will either be staying up late to write one on their own, or they can quickly fill in a pre-made one.
     
  20. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    10
    I don't want to sound like a ad, but if you would like to see extra photos of Basics (no guarantees that your son or daughter will be in them), you can check out a Cadet run Facebook page that just posts pictures that we take ourselves, USAFA Spirit.
     
    FalconsRock and Keep Calm and... like this.

Share This Page