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How to do a multiple city trip?

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Oct 17th, 2012, 09:45 PM
  #1
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How to do a multiple city trip?

What's the best way to do a multiple city trip?

In September I need to do the following...

Seattle to Indianapolis
Indianapolis to New York City
New York City to Washington DC
Washington DC back to Seattle

I'll be in each city for about 4 or 5 days each, not that it matters.

My friend said it may be cheaper to just catch a train between NYC and Washington DC but what about Indianapolis and NYC? I don't know the East Coast very well or how far apart these places are really.

Is there a website that'll let me enter such a travel itinerary so I can buy my tickets at once?

Suggestions? Comments?
Ty0604 is offline  
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Oct 17th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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You should train from NYC to Washington. Not that it's necessarily cheaper, but it takes less time door-to-door generally and more comfortably, with less hassle.

Then you're talking about 3 other trips. With a stop-over and open-jaw, basically you're looking at 3 one-way fares. Since none of the cities you're originating or visiting are "fortress hubs" for single airline, you can actually piece together one-way fares that's not that expensive.

One site you are use to do your homework is matrix.itasoftware.com. Or kayak.com. These are not booking sites - you can just go back to book with the individual airlines. Or if you insist of buying all at once from one single site, use orbitz.com or travelocity.com or expedia.com.

Anyways, just give you an example. I put in some random dates in Feb for your three flights, into matrix.itasoftware.com. It came out with the lowest fare of $474.

SEA-IAH-IND on United 2/6/13
IND-PHL-LGA (or other connections) on USAirways 2/11/13
BWI-IAH-SEA on United 2/18/13

That's just the cheapest. If you don't want to fly out of Baltimore FOR THIS PARTICULAR FEBRUARY DAY, then may be a little more. But the point is that the total cost is just the sum of three one-way fares. So, you can just pick and choose. Then book each flight separately, or together. For example, if you choose these dates, you can indeed buy the SEA-IAH-IND and BWI-IAH-SEA flights on United at the same time for about $338. Then buy USAirways for $150. [A few dollars discrepancy due to taxes.]

I chose Feb as Sept is still far away and airline may not offer the lower fares currently. If I punch in 9/6, 9/11 and 9/18 for the same itinerary, I get the lowest fare of $637 on AA, US and US. Again, just the sum of three one-way tickets.

---

For your train trip from NYC to DC, there are two services. Acela Regional takes as little as 3:15 and cost $82. Acela Express takes as little as 2:45, and cost at least double, often triple.

Forget about training between Indy and New York. Yes, a seat costs $95, but it takes 21:57. Greyhound also takes 20 hours and $100.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 12:23 AM
  #3
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Thanks rkk. That's a lot less than I thought it may be. I was betting on spending $1000 for airfare alone, anything less is awesome. The problem I have ran into is that a lot of websites only let me book trips 330 days in advance, meaning I can plan the start of my trip but not the end. Still another week for those websites but can wait a week.

I don't mind layovers actually. It's cool to see the city, even from just landing and taking off, for a few moments.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 01:04 AM
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Save yourself all the trouble and money by NOT booking this far in advance. Airlines often don't publish discount fares 11 months out, and schedule and equipment can and WILL change many times between now and next Sept. Please please please wait until at least the spring to look and to book.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Agree with rkkwan-wait.The Amtrak Cardinal runs 3 days a week picking up passengers about midnight in Indianapolis. The train is currently scheduled to arrive in Washington after 6PM. This train is notoriously late. The fare is cheap enough in the $75 to $90 range.
For the return trip price a flight out of BWI which has an Amtrak station. Newark also has a free connection to an Amtrak station (EWR)
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Oct 21st, 2012, 11:13 AM
  #6
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I'm not sure I can wait until the spring. I have to be in these cities on certain days and I'm concerned if I wait I wont be able to get tickets for those days. I also need to know roughly how much the trip will cost me so I can budget better. Those combine make it hard to wait.

As for Amtrak, I'm not interested in spending more than 6 hours on a train so the Cardinal is out. Is BWI in Baltimore? If so how would I get from Baltimore to my hotel in DC? Is there not an airport in DC?

Isn't IAH Houston? It seems a little silly to fly Seattle to Houston to Indianapolis, it's a little out of the way. Even Baltimore to Houston to Seattle as you suggested on the way back. If it's cheaper than I'm all for it though...
Ty0604 is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2012, 05:43 PM
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There are no non-stop SEA-IND anyways, and you'll have tonnes of connecting flights avaialble, so why pay more and buy early now. The other flights, you need to consider if you want to pay more and fly non-stop or connect. If you MUST fly non-stop on specific day, then yes, there are limited seats, but still NO REASON to buy now. They're not going to fill up those seats for next September until at least next summer. NOBODY BUYS THIS EARLY!!! You're paying for more no reason, and as I said, flight times can change, and flights can get cancelled. You're only buying yourself hassles.

I am not telling to fly through IAH. Some people will pay more for better connections, some just want the cheapest. Just give you examples for those particular dates in Feb what are the cheapest options. And the type of routes one can find on matrix.itasoftware.com.

There are two airports in Washington. National (DCA) and Dulles (IAD) and there's BWI. Non-stop DCA-SEA will cost a lot more, as only Alaska has the rights to fly those routes (twice a day). BWI is accessible by METRO switching to bus, or by MARC commuter train (weekdays only) switching to shuttle. AMTRAK is costly and not worth considering for DC to BWI. Of course, you can always take a taxi, but that will negate much of the savings for flying out of there.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 09:39 PM
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Baltimore Washington International (Thurgood Marshall Airport) is between Baltimore and Washington DC (closer to Baltimore).
The Amtrak fare from BWI to Washington Union Station is $15 for most of the Northeast Corridor trains. IMHO it is not worth extra money to take the Acela Express for much higher fare.
Fares from BWI to New York Penn Station range from $73 to $143 for the Express trains.
There are also 2 bus companies that are cheap between NYC and Washington.
Buying Amtrak tickets 16 to 30 days in advance does save money vs. buying the week before. To some extent this is also true for buying air tickets.
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