Taking college age son from NYC to BOS

Old Jul 29th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Taking college age son from NYC to BOS

I have been searching prior posts - and have found great info - but not one that specifically addresses my current situation.
My husband and I are flying from our home in FL Panhandle to NYC on August 30 to pick up and DRIVE our son (no furniture, but a summer's worth of stuff) back to college in Boston.
We need to rent a car - which airport should we fly into? Should we press on to Boston that day after we pack him up? Our plan is to get in as early as possible - noonish, pack him up (he is in Manhatten) and drive outof the city and get either to Boston or as far as we can.
What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance!!!
nicenancy is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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LaGuardia is the closest but really any of the airports will do if you find a good deal on a flight. Although I never rent cars in NYC so not sure if it's easier in one airport over another.

Boston is only a 3.5-4 hour drive so there's really no need to break it up unless there's somewhere along the way you really want to see. Just make sure you avoid driving in CT during rush hour (pretty much from 4-6:30pm). If you can leave NYC by 2 at the latest you should have pretty smooth sailing to Boston.
wyatt92 is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 12:48 AM
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Do not do this in one day. Noonish at an airport is likely 1-2ish by the time you get to him. He will not be packed, unless he is a rare college-aged boy. And you need to pack the car. Everyone will want lunch. It will then be 3-4 by the time you realistically hit the road. You will have been awake since 4 AM to catch the early flight, want to to see your son after missing him all summer and stressed about taking him off to college.

This is the Thursday before Labor Day weekend - traffic will be heavier than usual - although heavier on Friday.

With all due respect to wyatt, 3.5-4 hours NYC to Boston means driving very fast and hitting no traffic (I have done it in that amount of time, but it is really rare).

Flying FL-NYC and then loading car and driving to Boston in one day is theoretically possible, but I would not want to do it.

I might even consider staying the night in NYC and leaving just after rush hour on Friday. You will get to Boston by early afternoon, have plenty of time to unload car to his apartment or dorm. If you do not have a secure place to leave a packed car, do that Friday AM before you leave.

gail is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 03:58 AM
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gail, have you ever seen the students moving in, on Labor Day weekend in Boston? It's a zoo! IMHO, Nancy should arrive as early on Friday as possible.

I agree with the above ideas that by late Thursday, you'll be exhausted; there's no point in leaving town on Thursday, driving at night and tired. On the otehr hand, I also wouldn't want anybody to leave their summer's worth of stuff in the car overnight, in NYC, Boston, or anyplace in between.

So I'd recommend that you get the stuff boxed and ready to go on Thursday, then get up as early as possible on Friday, load the car, and head to Boston then. You'll arrive in Boston after

If you tell us which school he's at, we can give more specific advice. For instance, if he lives in the Fenway the situation is very different than if he's at BC!
Anonymous is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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You can do this in one long day, but other posters are right: the issue is where you are going to UNLOAD. Tufts or Brandeis is very different from BU or Northeastern.

Let us know, and I'll offer a possible scenario for one day.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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I agree with above. Need to know what destination is. Having done the college thing many times from Boton to and from NYC, I offer this experience.

Your son will not have packed so be prepared to do so. Have him get boxes,etc.
Consider renting a van. LGA is easiest into NYC.
I would pack him, load and leave town that night figuring you might not get out of NYC til after rush hour. Or if during rush hour just suck it up. Do not travel on I95, get to I84. Stop in Connecticut on the Boston side of Hartford. Vernon Ct has Reins Deli, a great place to eat and there are motels/hotels there.
Then up early Fri into Boston. Will be a short 2 hrs trip.

NYC hotels are expensive and parking is even worse.
John_T_Cuttino is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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I'll defer to the other posters. Although I do think you should try to get to Boston on Thursday if at all possible.

And here's a very important tip, if you're renting a large truck, don't take Storrow Drive! At least one truck gets stuck on Storrow every college moving day.
wyatt92 is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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One word of advice from someone who has driven up and down I-95 for the better part of 20 years: do not drive up to Boston on I-95. You will get stuck in traffice for hours all through Connecticut.

My suggestion is to head north of Manhattan and pick up 684 in Westchester then I-84 east bound near Danbury, CT. This will take you through a lesser populated part of CT, through Hartford and then up to the Mass. Pike (I-90 eastbound) near Sturbridge, MA. It is a quicker and much less stressful trip than driving on I-95.
Liam is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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Dear Fodor Friends,
Thank you for all the excellent advice. He is going back to BC - his third year and moving into a house (can't get in until Sunday) I have a hotel room rented for Friday and Saturday in Brookline so we can go to the game (Go Eagles!) on Saturday. I like driving at night because it is cooler and less traffic. Thus the idea to pack him up and leave after rush hour on Thursday night is very attractive. It will be an adventure!

His couple pieces of furniture will go up with another friend's truck - so all we will have is his clothes. He very indepently got himself to NY and settled, I think he will have boxes ready when we see him!
I have read about Rein's Deli on several other posts so that too sounds like a great plan.
Thanks again!
nicenancy is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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With three drivers Thursday night should not be a problem.

We drive to NYC and back from NH several times a year and nearly always take the Triborough to I-95 through Connecticut to I-91, etc.

A terrific place to stop for dinner is Block 5 Bistro in Worcester. Easy off and back on I-290. Low prices, fantastic food. You can see the menu/reserve on OpenTable.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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I was going to suggest that you stay in Stamford, CT, but it sounds like you're good to go on Thursday night. There are plenty of motels along the way if you decide to crash; a Sleep Inn north of Hartford comes to mind... At any rate, do pack up the car and head out of Manhattan on Thursday; your car (or preferably minivan) should be fine in any hotel parking lot outside of the city. (My sister does this about once a year.)

Definitely do the I-84 to Mass Pike route rather than I-95, which geographically takes you out of the way and will be chock-a-block full of Labor Day beachgoers. You can take the Hutchinson Parkway to I-684 to I-84 as suggested (Ethan Allen Inn in Danbury is a hotel option). You also can try the Merritt Parkway (Route 15), which runs parallel to I-95 and is cars-only; if the hills and curves get to you, head north on Route 7 or Route 8 to connect to I-84. If you take the Merritt all the way, it becomes the Wilbur Cross and then merges with I-91 south of Hartford. (It's not worth it to stay on Route 15 north once you cross I-91; better to switch to the interstate here.) No matter the route, the FDR Drive to the Triboro is probably your most straightforward way to get out of Manhattan.

Reins Deli is good, but only if you don't have the opportunity to have the same type of fare in NYC. IMO it's usually packed at dinnertime! And the service isn't great. If you want this type of food in NYC, try Katz Deli on East Houston (2nd Ave Deli was better but alas is no more!).
ggreen is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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I think trying to do this in one day is just too much. You will be exhausted and run into heavy traffic getting out of New York.

Much better to relax on Thurs in NYC. You can pick up a car at 7am on Fri (but reserve far in advance - since NYC runs out of cars on summer weekends) with the goal of being on the road out of NYC by about 9 or so. This will allow you to miss rush hours anywhere and make Boston in time for a late lunch.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Pick which advice you want to take - all above opinions have merit.

Take some photos of house before and when you pick him up in May. My son is beginning his senior year in college this fall and for last year and this year is renting a house with 3 other guys. Who is crazy enough to rent to 4 20 year olds? (I wonder about my son's landlord as well).

If this is his first experience renting a house, very positive things are likely to happen. He will learn to cook, clean a little, and even complain about his messy roommates.
gail is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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All good advice my above. My own suggestion would be to fly up on the 29th. Take him out for a nice farewell dinner in Manhattan. Make it clear that he will be packed and ready at an agreed upon time the next morning -- say nine. The take a leisurely drive to Boston. I would recommend the 684 -- 84 -- Mass Pike route. You'll probably be by Rein's deli at lunchtime.
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