Caravan's New England Tour Anyone?


May 23rd, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Caravan's New England Tour Anyone?

I've read the past posts on Caravan Tours, but see nothing regarding their New England Tour. Has anyone been on this 8-day bus tour beginning in Boston to Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Newport, Mystic, Sratton, North Conway, Portland, Kennebunkport, and ending back in Boston? DH and I (retirees) have never been to New England and thought this would be a great way to get an overall view of New England. Thanks in advance for your comments/recommendations/suggestions.
bng52 is offline  
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May 23rd, 2011, 08:11 PM
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It seems much too rushed and it would be a very quick overview of New England. I dont think this is a great way to see any of New England as its great to go to a destination and take your time. This just doesnt seem very relaxing to me. At the same time, this could be a great introduction and then you can pick a place to come back to on another trip. It may just depend on how much time you actually spend in each location.
tchoiniere is offline  
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May 24th, 2011, 04:19 AM
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I live in NH and have enjoyed spending weekends in one of those places. We usually spend a week when we visit the mid-coast area of Maine. We've stayed in VT splitting our time between two areas. I agree with tchoiniere. It might be a good quick overview but it's a rushed schedule.

The last time I took a short bus trip so I could see the Grand Canyon I was so disappointed that we ate at chain restaurants. Check into where the tour ends up for dinner each evening.

Except for Boston, it's easy to drive around New England and in Boston you just don't need a car and can use public transportation. I suspect a bus tour would also travel mostly on interstate hwys and you would miss some of the scenic back roads.

Based on your interests, I would pick a place to visit and get a rental car. For example, my husband loves the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine. They have some great weekend events. It's near Rockland and I love the Farnsworth Museum. We both love the short hike to Owls Head Light. I also don't like the idea of sleeping in a different bed each night.

You can get some great suggestions for drives on Yankee Magazine's website.
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May 24th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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I looked over their site and agree that it is a quick overlook of the area.

The price seems about right for a couple. Half of the cost would probably be what you would pay for hotels along the way. If you had to rent a car, pay for gas and the meals that are included on the trip, that would probably be about what you would pay for the rest of the trip. I'm assuming the included meals are ok.

If you have never been to the area, it would be a way to get a taste of each of the places you visit. Kind of like doing a tour of the British Isles in a similar time.
emalloy is online now  
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May 24th, 2011, 06:02 AM
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Everyone prefers to travel differently but it sounds like too much in too short a period of time to me. I think you need to find people who have actually taken this tour for their opinions.
RLFox184 is offline  
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May 24th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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I assume this is the tour you're asking about?

All I can say is that it'll be an "overview". I'd say that if you're leery of driving and not into DIY touring, then the tour is okay... I would find it exhausting to pack & unpack almost every night (you have a 2-night stay in Hyannis; otherwise it's all one-nighters.)

Also, you do realize the tour doesn't actually spend any time IN Boston. So, if you do want to visit Boston, you'd have to add in a couple of days either at the beginning or the end of the tour.
yk is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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Unless there is some reason you cannot drive a car, then it sounds like a terrible way to see New England. While the places they picked are not bad, it sounds like they picked them so they could say they hit all six states. Not to insult Conn and RI, but the other four states have better scenery. If that tour does not spend any time IN Boston, and you have no interest in seeing Boston then I would see about flying (assume that is how you are arriving in the area) into Manchester, NH, Portland, Maine or BDL (between Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT). Those airports are easier to drive in and out of and you could do a loop from any of them.

Here are some photos to get you thinking about where you'd like to visit

I would spend several days on the Maine coast (from York up about as far north as Camden), at least a couple each in NH (White Mountains and/or lakes region) and a couple in Vermont.

If you want to see Boston then I would fly in and out of there and see it for at least two full days at either end of the trip and rent the car for the rest of the time.

The time of year makes a HUGE difference in New England. In the fall you'll get the fabulous fall foliage color - but most places can be crowded and you need to book hotels well in advance. From Memorial Day to Labor day is the nicest weather, but along the coast you'll need to book in advance then also. Inland you could wing it if you are not fussy. Late April and May are nice and you could do without reservations (except in Boston around college graduation weekends). Unless you are a skier you do NOT want to come here between January and mid April (those of us who are stuck here try to find ways to leave then).
isabel is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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I live in NH and know the distances. You'll spend most of your trip IN the bus. Their itinerary is a waste of your money the way they have it planned out. Hope you can find a better option.
Jaya is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2011, 10:14 AM
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I have been on one Caravan trip and my sister just did another one (Mexico and Costa Rica). Neither one of us wants to do another one. Way too much time on the bus! Some days we didn`t even get to the hotel until after dark, after driving all day.
pat is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2011, 01:26 PM
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The total bus travel time would be only about 14-16 hours total.

If you're planning to go during fall foliage season, you'd want to choose tour dates that put you in North Conway no later than Columbus Day. Late October dates may be a "super value", but you'd miss the beautiful colors in the White Mountains.

If you don't care to drive (and you'd just be sitting in a car versus a bus), this is a decent tour and may be a very good value - as tour companies typically get far lower rates than you would booking the same establishments independently.
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