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Help with flying into NYC, out of Boston, two weeks total.

Help with flying into NYC, out of Boston, two weeks total.

Old Mar 21st, 2009, 02:27 PM
  #1  
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Help with flying into NYC, out of Boston, two weeks total.

We would love some help with planning our trip to New York and New England. We're only in the initial stages, thinking of flying into NYC (from London) and out of Boston. We have enough frequent flyer points but not sure if there will be flights available. We hope to go the middle two weeks of September, arriving about 12 Sept but could move a week either way.

We thought about 5 or 6 days in New York City then hire a car and explore the area between NYC and Boston. I'm keen to see the mansions at Newport, Rhode Island and possibly Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Island but have not done a lot of research yet. We want a few days in Boston too.

So, from those who know that part of the world, can you foresee any problems? Will accommodation be a problem at that time of year? Any public holidays to be aware of? I'm thinking a one way car hire drop off fee might prove too expensive. We could get the car in NY and drop it back in NY but it seems like a lot of backtracking.

Any thoughts appreciated. We are in our late 40's and have travelled to America quite a lot on holidays but this area is all new to us. We are not coming to see the fall leaves.

Thanks, Kay
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 02:41 PM
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If you're only thinking of visiting Newport RI, you may want to just take the train from NYC to Boston, then rent a car from Boston to go to Newport as a day trip. That way, you don't have to worry about the 1-way drop off fee, plus the drive between NYC/Boston isn't the most pleasant.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Amtrak fare for two people from NY to Boston could be as much as the dropoff fee.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:22 PM
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There are no major public holidays in September other than Labor Day, which is Monday, September 7. Most public schools will have started back to class by then and you will have lovely weather without crods of eitehr vacationers or leaf-peepers. So, Good Timing!

The area between NYC and Boston can be extremely charming in the fall, if you travel north first into Connecticut and western Massachusetts, rather than taking Route 95, which follows the rather industrialized coastline.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:23 PM
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crods --> crowds, sorry
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:28 PM
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London to and from NYC and Boston have loads of non-stop flights.

Your rented car can be picked up in NY and returned in Boston - just make sure you plan it that way when you make the reservation. Hopefully you won't encounter too steep of a fee, but driving it back to NY could be more expensive.

New England is a great place. The mansions in Newport are amazing and Boston is a great city, but not overly large and very easy to get around on public transportation.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for all the replies so far, very helpful. It's good that the schools will have gone back and no public hols during that time either. They can cause havoc if they catch you unaware!

Will check out the fare on the Amtrak website (is there only one train company on that route?) and also check a few companies (Hertz, Avis?) to see what the drop off fee would be. We don't mind trains at all but am quite keen to have a short road trip after the time in New York City.

Any other thoughts very welcome.

The next thing will be more research on what to see and booking flights. Then comes the hard bit of deciding where to stay in New York. Will no doubt post again when I have narrowed down the choice - and picked myself up off the floor when I see the rates!.

Thanks again, Kay
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 04:13 PM
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You can also take the www.megabus.com to Boston( sometimes $1.00) and rent a car only the day(s) you do day trips. You do not want a car in Boston, as parking is very very steep, public transport excellent as mentioned, and it is easy to get around.

You may find some hotel deals at www.hotwire.com, or by "naming your own price" at www. priceline.com.

Read www.betterbidding.com to get instructions on this method.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 04:56 PM
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Bolt Bus is another new bus line serving Boston, an outgrowth of the traditional service provided by Greyhound/Peter Pan lines. Their prices are all quite competitive, thanks to the very energetic Chinatown buses, which most of us would not recommend due to their poor records on safety issues.

Many Priceline users will set up a regular, cancelable hotel reservation and then try their luck with Priceline as the date of their visit approaches. Not only do hotel rooms become available on short notice, but since the best rates are noncancelable, there's less likelihood that you'll be stuck paying for a room you don't use. There might be issues with Priceline accepting credit cards from non-US accounts.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Other car rental companies to check are Enterprise, National, Thrifty, Alamo, Dollar, and Budget in addition to Avis and Hertz. All of these companies have services at Boston's Logan Airport.

The airport's website with all this info is www.massport.com.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 06:24 PM
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If you wanted to go between NYC and Boston (or NYC and Washington) I would recommend the bus. I use Boltbus.com (a division of Greyhound), but there are some other companies.

Intermediate points require other more expensive transportation options generally.

The train is Amtrak and there are no competing companies. So, if you wanted to take a train, Amtrak is the only option (and expensive).

If you want to stop along the way, rent a car when you leave NYC. You can take the shore route (Rte 95) to Newport. Stop in Mystic Seaport, a reconstructed old whaling village) on the way.

Given that you have only two weeks--and assuming you want several days each in Boston and NYC, I do not recommend including either Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. First of all Nantucket is a long boat ride (look at the map). You could go over to Martha's Vineyard for the day, but, if you take your car, it's expensive--and it is a large island. If you don't bring your car you won't see much. The islands are where people go for a week or two to have a beach vacation, eat in cutsy restaurants, etc. The logistics of getting back and forth (especially on Nantucket) can take a lot of time.

I would suggest that you do NYC, Mystic (1-2 hours), Newport (one night; see at least the Breakers and another house if so inclined) and then go to Plimoth Plantation (a reconstructed New England village from the Pilgrim era with historical reenactors, etc.). Plimoth is good for 1-2 hours depending on interest. Of course stop at Plymouth Rock (not much of anything, but you are there). Then go to Boston and spend several days there (Plymouth is on your way to Boston).

Another option would be to cut time off Boston and drive out to Provincetown on Cape Cod avoiding the hassle of getting to the islands.

Whale watching is available from Provincetown and Plymouth. Boats go to the Stellwagen banks from both locations. If the whales are around, it is fun. You would need to check if the boat trips are running and when as the summer season ends when the children return to school and there are bound to be fewer trips during the week if they are still going on.

A suggestion: Because you are travelling after the summer season is over, I would just worry about reservations in NYC and Boston. There are bound to be rooms everywhere else. The only potential trouble might be Cape Cod if you plan to be there on a weekend and it is warm.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 06:40 PM
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You should definitely rent a car and see some sights between NYC and Boston. There are a lot of charming places to stop and you easily have 4 or 5 days without stinting time in either NYC or Boston.

As for train - there is only one long-distance company in the US - Amtrak. (All other companies are just local - as in taking commuters into a city from the suburbs.) It's true there are a bunch of bus companies that are less than the train - but you lose all the opportunities to explore the towns and countryside (which can be charming) in between as well as seeing some of the sights in the suburbs of Boston (Concord and Lexington for instance) before dropping off the car. In addition to Newport you might want to stop in Mystic CT, in Plymouth, spend a day on Cape Cod - there are a host of choices.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 07:45 PM
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Two years ago we took the Amtrak from Washington DC to New York city. I googled for Amtrak coupons, and came up with a two for one promotion code which cut down the cost considerably. It might be worth while doing that to see what promotions are on offer. We are from New Zealand and didn't know much about the train situation.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 08:26 PM
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Well I am looking forward to hearing what the drop off fee is for a car picked up in NYC and dropped off in Boston as this has come up a few times lately.

Newport is fantastic. Spend 2 nights. If you are fit, walk the whole Cliffwalk. Visit the 40 steps where the immigrants servants met to find word from the olde country. Fly a kite, maybe take a boat ride. Have a drink in an adirondack chair at Castle Hill, and of course visit the Summer Home Mansions.

Consider Block Island and Martha's Vineyard. Both have ferries nearby. The Vineyard can be reached in Quonset and NewBedford. Block Island from Pt Judith and I think Newport, perhaps other options. Nantucket is harder to get to. Heading from Newport to the Outer Cape is also a great idea. provincetown is an eclectic artist, writers, very gay friendly community. The surrounding dunes and national parks are gorgeous off season as are the surrounding quiet seaside towns.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 09:04 PM
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I almost always use Priceline and Hotwire for hotels, especially in New York City and Boston.

And, I used to be one who urged people to stay in Manhattan, versus New Jersey. But, over the last year or two, I've gotten amazing deals with Priceline and Hotwire for excellent properties in Jersey City with convenient and speedy NJ Path transit into Manhattan. We've really enjoyed many stays at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City and have an upcoming stay at the brand new Westin in Jersey City over July 4th weekend (all at ridiculously low rates). A new "W" will open very soon in Hoboken. So, rooms should be plentiful on Hotwire and/or Priceline in upcoming months (with travel significantly down this year). And, the views of the Manhattan skyline...!

Priceline is also an excellent resource for car rentals (as is Hotwire, but they don't book one-way).

As mentioned, finding the best rental deal requires diligent shopping.

September is our favorite time of the year to visit Nantucket, Cape Cod, Newport, the coast of Connecticut. The summer folk, vacationers, day trippers, are all gone, and the weather is very nice. You would want to plan around festivals, for example "Restaurant Week" on Nantucket the last week of September, as they drive up rates for accomodations. Rates generally drop right after Labor Day, or September 15th. Regardless of availability, however, it's better to plan ahead for the best rates and properties.

We happen to much prefer Nantucket to Martha's Vineyard or Provincetown. It's small, so you can enjoy much on a day trip, but an overnight or two would be better. The fare for a car on the ferry is prohibitive and you wouldn't need/want a car on Nantucket.

The "fast" ferry Hyannis to Nantucket takes one hour and costs $65 each way. The "traditional" ferry takes 2 hours and 15 minutes and costs $33 each way. But, if you stay a few days, you probably wouldn't want to pay for a rental car those days (or pay to park it). So, you may want to consider flying. There are car rental desks at Hyannis airport (such as Thrifty, and I know you can book with Priceline). Air fare is $65 one way, $109.20 round trip, and you're in the air only 20 minutes. We usually take the "slow" ferry over, because we enjoy the ride and the gorgeous scenery as you approach Nantucket harbor and the town, then fly back.

If you decide to visit Newport, urge you to follow the advice of visiting no more than two mansions per day. (They are like enormous museums.) And, there are many well worth visiting! Newport is a beautiful seaport village, so a wonderful destination. If you find accomodations pricey, Middletown is contiguous with lodging at much lower rates.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 06:45 AM
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I think you'll find hotel prices in NYC quite high for the time you're planning. Summer prices (thru Labor Day-
Sept. 7) are much less. If your dates are flexible, you might consider coming over the Labor Day weekend or just before, stay in NYC say Sept. 3-6 or 7 and then head north. I don't think you mentioned how long in total you're planning to stay which will affect how much you can see/do. Agree Nantucket is fabulous just after Labor Day but you absolutely must make reservations there too.

If you've never rented a car in the US before, be prepared for very high insurance cost from the UK. It's worth checking for UK or European cos. that offer 3rd party insurance included in the price although they may have more stringent restrictions on 1 way rentals. whizzcarrental.com is one co. I know but not sure about 1 way rentals.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 06:54 AM
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So of course as soon as I posted I saw your title of 2 weeks total. There are non-stop flights between NYC and Nantucket that are amazingly cheap right now ($75/person). Consider NYC for 5-6 days, then FLY nonstop to Nantucket for a few days, then take the ferry back to Hyannis and rent a car there and drive to Newport and then Boston.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 07:12 AM
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That's a very good point about NYC and hotel rates probably going up after Labor Day. The last time I was in NYC over a Labor Day weekend, it was a ghost town!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 07:51 AM
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I was just ganna say what mcaurie said. fly to nantucket and grab a car in Hyannis
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Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 08:07 AM
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Thank you all so much, this will really help in our planning. I've checked car hire on Hertz, just as an example. It's surprisingly cheap, 147 pound for 4 days rental which includes a US$50 drop fee (yes it does show the two different currencies). That is picking up in New York City and dropping off in Boston city and that rate is prepaid. It's a lot dearer to pay afterwards.

We would like to have the car for longer than 4 days, still juggling the itinerary. I'll need help down the track choosing a pick up and drop off location. The huge number of addresses to choose from is meaningless from someone who's never visited New York.

Looks like we will give Nantucket a miss but may drive up towards Cape Cod, if we have time.

At the moment I'm leaning towards getting a car after our time in NYC, taking our time driving towards Boston, drop the car there, then have a few days in Boston, then fly back to London.

Would two days in Boston be enough? We usually like to see a place really well and not skim over the surface but it's also a matter of fitting everything in to two weeks (including flying time). NYC is more of a priority, I'm thinking 5 days there.

Thanks for the whale watching info but we've done that at Hervey Bay in Australia and saw over 20 whales, it was fabulous but once was enough.

Have I got this right - is the Labor Day weekend a time when everyone leaves NYC so it will be quiet with cheaper hotel rates? We may be able to come a bit earlier.

Thanks again. Kay
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