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Possible US trip Nov 12, will this itinerary work?

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Apr 30th, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #1
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Possible US trip Nov 12, will this itinerary work?

Air NZ has cheap air fares out at the moment until May 11th 2012 so seriously thinking about visiting DD and SIL in NYC.

This is my initial thought, fly into San Francisco 29th Oct 2012, spend two or three days there, then fly to New Orleans. Spend three days or so then, then fly to Columbia Maryland for a few days to visit friends.

Then take the Amtrak or Bolt Bus to Philadelphia, stay a couple of nights there, then bus to NYC. Spend 12 -14 days with DD (have to stay in a hotel as their flat (apartment is too small for visitors) probably use a hotel in LIC where they live.

Then the last few days take the Bolt bus to Boston, and either fly back to NZ from there or go back to NYC and fly out of there. This would be on 25th Nov 2012. This is Thanksgiving weekend so could be expensive travel maybe?

Does this make sense. Would like to stay longer in NYC but it is peak season and accommodation will be expensive.

Any better ideas? Had thought of maybe doing Grand Canyon instead of New Orleans.
Also have been to Washington DC when we stayed with our friends in Maryland a few years ago.

Went to Disneyland, and LA on that trip also, with a quick coach trip to San Diego to Sea World.

Your thoughts welcome, this is just brainstorming at the moment!!!!
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Apr 30th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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I can't discern from your paragraph if you mean to travel to Boston on the 25th or fly home on the 25th.

But in either case, if you can, avoid traveling on Sunday, 25 November. I doubt International flights will be an issue but ***all*** domestic travel will be a total madhouse with people headed home after the Tgiving holiday. Even if you can get a seat on the Bolt bus, the highways will be jammed. Lines at the airport for everything from the toilet to security will be long. An extra day will make a big difference.

Sounds like a fun trip. NO and GC are very different places!
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Apr 30th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Sounds like a nice mix of cities. I would prefer Grand Canyon to NO, but I'm a real GC fan. If you can go back to NY on Saturday instead of Sunday you might be better off and if you go by train you will avoid traffic and/or weather problems on the road between Boston and NY.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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And yes, air travel within the US is particularly high $$ around the Thanksgiving holiday, so if you can avoid flying from the weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after, it'll cost you less.

Also, there is only one non-stop flight from San Francisco to New Orleans. It leaves mid-day and arrives early evening. If you don't make that one, you'll have to change planes somewhere, often Dallas, but regardless, you're going to lose a day getting there, so take that into account in making your plans.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Travel from several days before, until several days after Thanksgiving is expensive and crowded - BUT travel ON Thanksgiving is often much less expensive and less crowded. So you could look into that.

I would also consider cutting one of your locations - except for NY you are moving every three days so a lot of travel for what is essentially two days in each location. I'd eliminate any one and add the days to the others.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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You probably don't want to land in New Orleans on Halloween (Oct 31st).
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Apr 30th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Good points to take into consideration. Thanks so much.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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I would think November would be more pleasant in New Orleans than at the Grand Canyon. If you book round trip now, maybe you could get a decent fare from Boston and avoid going back to NYC.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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The Sunday after thanksgiving may be the worst travel day of the year. Kids are all going back to school, their families are all taking them to airports (so roads are mobbed) and a ton of people who went away for the weekend - to visit family or whatever - will be coming back. I would fly/travel on any day but that one.

As for the itinerary - I would bag New Orleans and Philadelphia and do DC instead. the others are certainly worthy of visits - but IMHO DC has WAY more to see and do.

In terms of weather you should be OK - we usually don't get much snow before Thanksgiving (although it is possible) but do be prepared for chilly and possibly rainy everywhere.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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What do you like to do? That may help us guide you. My first thought was like nytraveler...bag NO and Philly.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 07:26 PM
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nelsonian, no real suggestions for you but I am so happy you may be coming here and will be able to see your daughter and SIL. I know you have waited a long time for this visit.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Have been to DC nytraveller, admittedly only been to a few places. My DH and me to a lesser extent is into jazz, plays in a big band and would like to see New Orleans. We could do Philadelphia in a day trip from NYC maybe.
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May 1st, 2012, 02:52 AM
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I would not bag New Orleans. That is quite a good time to visit since the dreadful summer heat is past but it will not be cold.

I do agree with not traveling anywhere on Thanksgiving weekend. It is the single busiest travel time of the year, much more than Christmas, and airlines, trains and buses will all be mobbed. NYC will be packed with people for the Macy's parade.

On the other hand, leaving NY for Boston on Thanksgiving day itself should not be crowded, and the city will be very pleasant on the Friday-Monday as everything should be open and all the students will be gone.
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May 1st, 2012, 04:11 AM
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How about this? Add a bit of time to your San Francisco trip. It's a lovely city and you could add in Napa Valley for some wine tastings.

Then do New Orleans...if you are jazz lovers, then go!!

For your Maryland portion, stay at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Or you could do Annapolis.

Skip Philly. I've been numerous times (family) and I'm just not a fan. Use these Philly days to add to your San Fran portion.

Spend your 2 weeks in NYC.

Then visit Boston. You won't need a car in Boston. Fly out on Thanksgiving Day. The airport will be very quiet....at least the domestic portion.
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May 1st, 2012, 05:26 AM
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Whatever you do - I think the best advice is check very carefully your domestic/US travel connections during the Thanksgiving period. IMO you are well advised to make any connection you have to on the Sat after Thanksgiving, rather than waiting until the next day/Sunday to try and travel.

I love the Grand Canyon - even if you only got there for a day. You could fly to say Phoenix - rent a car and zip up there - and then back to Phoenix and fly on to NO, whatever.

And Philly is a quick trip from NYC (an hour or so?) - so if you want to see it - and at least make a visit to the famed Liberty Bell and corresponding history - and have a Philly Cheese Steak - you could take the train over in the morning, tour around and be back in NYC that evening.
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May 1st, 2012, 05:30 AM
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I'm with Rizzo mostly. Leave out Philly and add those days to your choice. I think the GC will be hard to get to via air (car rental--OR you could probably get a tour from Las Vegas, which could "get you there" pretty easily. It IS a wonder of the world for sure.
I think it sounds like a terrific trip!!
I agree that travel ON T'giving itself (and I think often the day after) will be very quiet--and very reasonable, if that becomes a part of your plan.
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May 1st, 2012, 05:59 AM
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In Boston, check out one of these food tours.

http://www.bostonfoodtours.com/

They are supposed to be excellent. Need to get my parents to take the kids for a day so hubby and I can enjoy it!

Not sure if the Pops will have started their holiday concert series yet, but if they have, try to go.
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May 1st, 2012, 07:58 AM
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The absolute worst travel day of the year in the US is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The Sunday of that weekend is about #2 on that list. Figure out how to avoid that.

And consider not traveling on Thanksgiving itself - the New York to Boston corridor is heavily populated and will have ton(ne)s of people traveling to the various areas along I-95 or on the roads from Boston to Hartford to NYC. Expect Amtrak service to be slow.
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May 1st, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for all your views, I am taking it all in. We have spent a few days in San Francisco on our last trip, did Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Coit Tower, riding the cable-car. street cars etc. I know there is a lot more to see but there is a lot of the remainder of the US to see also!!!

Rizzo we have friends who live in Columbia Maryland and stayed with them last time. We went to the Inner Harbor, Annapolis, the historic place in West Virginaia, Washington DC etc.

It seems like we are covering old ground but we didn't know our DD was going to end up living in NYC when we did our previous trip in 2007!!!

Travelling by air on Thanksgiving day might be a good idea. I wonder if we should do the reverse, start at Boston, and work our way round to New Orleans. Hmmm!!!
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May 1st, 2012, 03:39 PM
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I have actually traveled both ON Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day here in the US and it was WONDERFUL in terms of minimal other travelers.

However, book your travel early and do not necessarily expect to see a big drop in fares for that particular day. Fares for the whole period (Thanksgiving) will be high.

Are you planning to use some sort of "budget" airline within the US when you do fly?
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