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First Time Travelling to the States (Solo)

Old Feb 16th, 2016, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 109
I kind of like Ackislander's suggestion of making a stop in Burlington Vermont. It's Vermont's largest city, but compared to the others it's more like a big town (more people pass through Grand Central in NYC in a day than live in the entire state of Vermont). While Boston, NYC, & DC are all unique and all great places to visit, they're still all major cities. When I travel to a foreign country I try to spend part of a day in some town 90 minutes outside the major city I'm visiting just to get a different feel for the country. While the ride from Boston to Burlington is very pretty, I hate buses so I'd do it a little differently.

Fly to Boston and spend a few days. Take train to NYC (about 4 hours). Spend a few days in NYC. Then take train from NYC to Port Kent, NY. It's a very pretty ride, first half along the Hudson River and much of the second half along the shore of Lake Champlain. From Port Kent station you can walk to the ferry to Burlington. Spend a day in Burlington then continue on to Montreal. You can take ferry back to Port Kent and the train to Montreal, but parts of the ride are really slow, and it takes at least an hour, often a lot longer, for the train to clear customs at the Canadian border. The only good thing is the car you're seated in will be nearly empty. Or as suggested earlier, there should be a bus. Then visit Montreal and Toronto as suggested and fly back from Toronto.
usroadman is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2016, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,371
I don't agree that Boston is much more expensive than DC, lodging in DC is expensive, so most drift over to Virginia if they require cheaper hotels. Like London's Oyster Card the DC/Baltimore SmarTrip Card ($5, nonrefundable) is worth the investment as it halves the metro fares. I am not aware of a refund scheme of unused funds.

Until the metro line to Dulles is done, you will have to take the bus into the city. The other international airport, BWI, has direct rail access to central DC, short free shuttle required. DC in the summer can be as hot as Manila or Bangkok, FYI, except the days are longer so it cools off less at night.

The Hampton Inn just over the river in Cambridge, MA but walkable to downtown Boston is a good deal with free parking and free breakfast.

You really have enough to see in 2 weeks without going to Canada, given the choice between Chicago and Toronto I think the former has more to offer if you want to see something inland.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2016, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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monkeyb33f are you renting a car or taking public transport, couldn't find it in the thread.

Are you primarily interested in cities?
wrenwood is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2016, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,984
Many of us are confirmed solo travelers -- it is such a self-indulgence! You can go wherever you want, when you want, at the pace that suits YOU! If you are looking for inspiration, you might find some in this thread:

kja is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2016, 03:29 AM
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>>I don't agree that Boston is much more expensive than DC,
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2016, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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For a solo traveler a HI hostel will be at least 20% cheaper than the one star hotels in the area.
It's been a few years since I stayed in the Boston area.
When we stayed for a wedding outside Boston, we stayed outside and took the T into the city for a day trip.
IMO there is no reason to rent a car anywhere from Washington DC to Boston.
The one time that I landed at Dulles to save a few bucks, I rented a car since I was not going into DC.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2016, 01:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 6
Hi Guys,

Sorry, I have been caught up with work so only just had a chance to check back in. I had planned on using public transport. I can/do drive so a rental car would be an option, but I just figured I’d have more opportunity to enjoy the sights if I didn't have to worry about the road ahead.

With regards to cities etc. I honestly just looked at a map and picked the major cities around New York - I’m not set on going anywhere, and I’ve never travelled to the states so have nothing to go off in terms of what I want to do. The Canada idea just came to me as it felt like a bit more of an adventure.
monkeyb33f is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2016, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Unfortunately the Hampton Inn In Cambridge I mentioned above is no longer inexpensive, over 50% more than 3 years ago.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2016, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I would definetely stay north in June and/or July, DC only if early June.

My plan would be to fly into one city (DC or NYC) stay for a few days and explore, then rent a car and drive to the next city (via smaller cities, towns, rural landscapes etc) When you arrive at City #2, turn the car in at the Airport, take a taxi downtown and explore City#2 (Boston?) before flying home.

We have found this type of multi city flight plan allows the most when one only has 2 weeks to explore any area with so much to see. There are a lot of sights you can only see if you are driving.
wrenwood is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2016, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 120
I use a site called to research hotels. You can put in a landmark and then see how far the hotel is from your landmark, see reviews and pricing. Once I find a hotel I like, I usually call the hotel and book directly and let them know what time you expect to arrive, especially if it's later than normal check in.
Fishnlines29 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2016, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,686
<if I might be better served trying to spend more time in less places? >


I think you are trying to cover too large an area with only 2 weeks time. You could make a really nice trip doing NYC and Boston with time in the New England states (Vermont is gorgeous, as is New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts). You can move around by train and bus or rental car. Early summer is a perfect time for New England.

Skip Canada, skip Florida, skip DC, etc.
suze is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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ps- Welcome to the forums, Nick. Have a GREAT trip.
suze is offline  
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