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Are 15 days enough to visit New York and Pittsburgh?

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Mar 13th, 2018, 12:13 PM
  #21
 
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I skimmed over your posts (just reply to everyone in one, please, it makes life easier).

NYC is expensive during the holidays and the summer. But itís expensive anyway. Hostel beds start around $50, but are frequently more than that. On NYE they were 80+. Hotels might be $130 in January, $250 in August. For the same room. Theyíre cheap in Jan/feb partly because thereís not much going on, so not much demand. There is a A LOT of demand over holidays and the summer.

DC hostel is around 35-40, I think. DC varies a lot more in prices than NYC. Summer is less expensive than NYC because DC weather sucks then. But DC is expensive during cherry blossom festival and during various political events or conventions. The DC hostel is more school kids and conventioneers, or at least thatís been the case when Iíve visited.

15 days and $2500 isnít a whole lot for NYC OR DC. A cheap hotel could be $150, after tax, and there goes your budget. Youíre definitely looking for a hostel. If that doesnít appeal, cut your trip to one week and and choose 1 city.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 01:46 PM
  #22
 
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I recently checked hotel prices in DC for 2 nights on a Monday and Tuesday, and the same week for Thursday and Friday. Because of a convention in town, the Monday-Tuesday price was about double the Thursday-Friday price.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 02:47 PM
  #23
 
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If that doesn’t appeal, cut your trip to one week and and choose 1 city.

I think that's a great idea. NYC isn't really the place for a budget trip.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 02:49 PM
  #24
 
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I don't want to spend more than let's say 2.500 for 2 weeks time.

Oops, I hadn't seen the budget. That's $178.50 per day to cover a place to stay, transportation, food, etc. You'd be fine if you stay with your friend, but to "do" New York City for that budget is going to take some creativity. Or cut the time a bit to increase the daily budget.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 03:23 PM
  #25
 
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
If that doesnít appeal, cut your trip to one week and and choose 1 city.

I think that's a great idea. NYC isn't really the place for a budget trip.
I think it depends on priorities and what you consider budget. Itís budget for me because there are great cheap food options, and I donít do a lot of the ďmust doĒ tourist stuff....but someone who wants to do top of the rock, drinking, Broadway, etc. yes, definitely one of the more expensive destinations.

I think though the OPís budget just isnít enough for 15 days in major cities, at least not in the US. I donít stay at fancy places, when Iím not doing hostels, and I feel like after tax any city is going to run you 125-150 per night. I donít get the sense that the OP has traveled much but may be wrong about that.

but anyway...

I made a mock up budget for April to give the OP an idea.

$60/day for food
$75/nt for economy dorm at HI NYC (crazy)
50/day for entertainment

15*185= 2775

and that would be me on a budget trip, which means no drinking and probably take out at dinner so I donít need to tip. That doesnít count a transit pass, which is necessary to stay at the HI, probably necessary for NYC period. That doesnít count trains for day trips either.

Man. I was thinking NYC this summer again but I donít want to spend that much on lodging...back to Chicago idea.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 04:28 PM
  #26
 
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I'm unclear if the OP's budget includes airfare. I assume it does not include transportation between the cities. For some of these connections a bus trip would be cheaper (but longer duration) than train trips.
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Mar 13th, 2018, 06:22 PM
  #27
 
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The #43 Amtrak Pennsylvanian leaves Penn station in New York just before 11AM every day. If you buy your ticket early enough you can get the "saver fare" of $59. The train arrives in Pittsburgh about 8PM (9 hours 7minutes).
I don't think I would take a bus across New Jersey and Pennsylvania even if the fare was $30.
The Pennsylvanian goes over the world's longest stone arch railroad bridge outside Harrisburg. It also goes around the world famous "Horseshoe curve".
I haven't been in Penn Station since October 2001 about 5 weeks after 9/11.
If you take the train coming back from Pittsburgh, you can see some of Philadelphia and decide if you want to go to Washington DC on the train. Baltimore is another option.
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Mar 14th, 2018, 07:20 AM
  #28
 
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There are some inexpensive buses between Washington DC and New York and also Philadelphia and New York that are always cheaper than the train. And sometimes these bus tickets can be purchased for less than $10 if purchased far enough ahead. The OP seems to be on an extreme budget, and would have to way time against cost.
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Mar 14th, 2018, 10:14 PM
  #29
 
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Annie--
I'm not totally clear when you hope to go. If it's summer, one plus is that sometimes there is housing near universities that is freed up as students are gone for the summer.

I did a little looking for you and picked July dates. I found some rooms in the $50-80 range in Philadelphia, near the University of Pennsylvania. This was on Homeaway.com. Study the choices, and when you have 2-3 favorites, post the links and hopefully some Philadelphia residents on this board can give you advice about the location of your choices. I am not a resident and was not there long enough to help further.

In New York, you're probably looking at the hostel Marvelous Mouse advised. Except--don't think I'm crazy here--what about staying in a convent? Here are some reviews of the one that's still out there that accepts women guests. Yes, there is a weeknight curfew of 11 pm and weekend of midnight. So that's a little rough. But on the other hand, you have a private room, not a hostel room to sleep in. Shared bath though. And breakfast and dinner at this place. If you're interested, email them.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re..._New_York.html

Sacred Heart Residence

Oh, and I vote on the train, not driving. We drove all over for a college tour, and my husband is an experienced driver. It was very stressful. Take a pass on that idea.
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Mar 14th, 2018, 10:53 PM
  #30
 
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The hostels in Philadelphia are also about half the price of NYC. Although homeaway sounds like a solid option!
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Mar 15th, 2018, 07:30 AM
  #31
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Thank you all for you answers... sorry I am new to this I didn't think it would be better to reply in one post! Thanks for the tip marvelousmouse

The 2.500 budget includes around 500 air fare. I haven't decided which season is best to visit... It will depend on the accommodation as well. I don't like very cold weather so I'd like it to be around 20-25 celsius.
I'd like to take the train coming back from Pittsburgh, sounds interesting!

Thank you for the mock up budget for April. I think this could work

I didn't mean anything bad about Philadelphia when I said there's not much to do... I was just thinking like a humble tourist lol
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Mar 15th, 2018, 07:52 AM
  #32
 
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If you want to take the train coming back from Pittsburgh, you have a choice. The Pennsylvanian back to Philadelphia leaves PGH at 7:30AM . The other choice is to get on the Capitol Limited about 5:20AM and go to Washington DC.
As a humble tourist, I would prefer going to Washington. The cherry blossoms in Washington are a big thing sometime in April.
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Mar 15th, 2018, 11:19 AM
  #33
 
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Tom--the cherry blossoms would be beautiful, but would that make DC more expensive?
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Mar 15th, 2018, 11:40 AM
  #34
 
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Originally Posted by 5alive View Post
Tom--the cherry blossoms would be beautiful, but would that make DC more expensive?
from a Hostel perspective, actually, it doesnít make much of a difference. DC Hostel doesnít seem to adjust their prices as much as NYC.

Still wouldn't recommend it. The blossoms are beautiful but itís such a crowded time to be in DC that I wouldnít recommend anyone make that their first trip.
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Mar 15th, 2018, 12:45 PM
  #35
 
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Oh dear. My concern is still your budget. Which is now even lower since the $500 air fare has to come out of the $2500, that leaves only $142/day for everything else. That's pretty low for lodging and sight-seeing in New York City.
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Mar 15th, 2018, 03:49 PM
  #36
 
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
Oh dear. My concern is still your budget. Which is now even lower since the $500 air fare has to come out of the $2500, that leaves only $142/day for everything else. That's pretty low for lodging and sight-seeing in New York City.
. . . and trains or buses to these other cities. Although the OP will probably stay with the friend in Pittsburgh and save on lodging there.
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Mar 16th, 2018, 09:26 AM
  #37
 
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Well--I think the OP has a few parameters she can adjust as far as budget. She threw out the number 15 days. But if she hasn't bought a ticket, she could lower the length of her visit by a day or two, or spend a little more time in Pittsburgh.

Also, while I agree with MarvelousMouse's budget on entertainment and admittance fees, I don't totally agree on the food. If she's willing to do some days with Subway sandwiches, and stopping at a grocery store deli to get a a couple of items for a meal, she can definitely do some days that are less than $50. I think she could do $30/day. Even downtown DC, I asked a security guard where to get a cheap meal, and she recommended Potbellies. It wasn't far at all from the Mall.

If she stayed at the lodgings I suggest in New York, breakfast is covered and if she gets back in time, dinner too. There is also a grocery store near the property and the women are allowed to leave things in the fridge. There is a microwave.

She does need to figure out her train fares--don't they go up in price as she gets closer to her dates? Otherwise, it's probably the Bolt Bus and I'm not sure if that thing goes everywhere.
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Mar 16th, 2018, 11:05 AM
  #38
 
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If I were on a budget requiring me to do so, I could easily eat three meals a day in NY for under $30, probably under $25. There's plenty of cheap food in NY.
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Mar 16th, 2018, 02:10 PM
  #39
 
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Trains between Pittsburgh, NYC and DC are much more costly and much less efficient than the very good bus services. I know no one who takes the train, but lots of people who use the bus.
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Mar 16th, 2018, 02:31 PM
  #40
 
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I'm not worried about the food budget, you can eat cheap pretty much anywhere. It's a place to stay in NYC on that limited budget that concerns me.
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