TRANSFERS OUT OF NYC

Old Apr 16th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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TRANSFERS OUT OF NYC

After three days in Times Square NYC we want to hire a car and drive through Lancaster and BirdinHand to Gettysburg and on to Washington DC where I plan to stay close to the Washington Mall.

I am hesitant to hire a car in NYC and drive through the NYC traffic. I thought it might be an option to take public transport out of the city and pick up a car at a more suburban centre.

I would be happy to take any suggestions.

Thank you

jomaree
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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People should not be fearful of the traffic, because half the time it does not move at all, especially cross town traffic.

I would rent a car from an agnecy, balancing cost and location on the west side, near the Lincoln Tunnel, so you can make a quick getaway.

Avis for example has an office at 43rd and 10th Avenue.

The streets above 14th Street, with some very minor exceptions are a complete grid and very easy to follow.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Hello again Aduchamp1..what would I do without you?

We are staying at the Distrikt Hotel 342 W 40th Street so if I have managed my Googlemaps correctly it looks to be just 2 blocks to your Avis example and then we almost fall straight into the Lincoln Tunnel.

Is it easy to get out of the city and heading for Lancaster from there? Our Aussie driving has gotten us around OK previously but NYC is a different kettle of fish!

As always..THANK YOU! jomaree
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:06 AM
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jomaree, I'll let others give suggestions about alternative pickup locations. I will say that I did what you are planning to with no problems. I was staying at the Hilton on 6th and 54th. I picked up the rental car a block away at the Hertz on 55th, drove just a few blocks over to 12th and then headed up on 12th/ 9A/ Henry Hudson Parkway to the George Washington Bridge and was on 95 in just a few minutes. I was surprised at how easy it was - just a few blocks of "drive through the NYC traffic". A lot less hassle than schlepping our luggage, etc. to another location. We were visiting friends in their place in the country and continued on to Philly to fly out and return the car. It truly was very easy and you're already going to be very close to 12th and that option.

It's also a pretty drive along the Hudson River. We didn't expect to see something as pretty as the Palisades and took a little detour to drive around for a few minutes and take some pictures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pal..._(Hudson_River)
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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Lovely starrs! We will have parents with us so want to ensure all runs smoothly...too old for stress

I shall do some research on hire cars now. I too was not fussed on transferring luggage etc through public transport so I am pleased to hear it is a smooth and reasonably easy exercise.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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My mother and grandmother would fight over bridge vs tunnel (one hated one and the other hated the other). Mom still tells the story about Grandmother navigating her to the bridge while she was driving (that she hated) rather than going via the tunnel (which Grandmother hated). Little battles
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Jomaree, what time of day are you planning to do this? No matter how close to the Hudson River crossings you are, weekday afternoon rush hour traffic will tie you up in knots. Sunday evenings, surprisingly enough, are also very tough for leaving Manhattan to the west.

May I also note that you may want to reconsider driving into Washington, DC, which is almost as traffic-choked as Manhattan. DC has an excellent Metro system--you might want to head for a suburban Metro stop (or, presumably, a hotel near one), say, in Bethesda, Maryland, then travel into and out of DC on the Metro.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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The route from the Linconln tunnel is the most straightforward. Just a short distance (2-3 miles) from the tunnel you'll follow signs & much of the flow towards I-95 south.

I'm not sure the best route to recommend from there. You could either take I-78 West into PA, or head south on I-95 to I-276/I-76.

I think I-78 is your best bet, so in that case you'd only be on I-95 south after the tunnel for about 5-6 miles, to Exit 14-14C/Newark Airport/I-78.

As long as you don't do this after 3pm on a weekday you'll avoid rush hour traffic.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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2 people? Take one of the first 5 Amtrak trains from NY Penn station to Lancaster, PA. Rent your car there. See what you want to see in PA and return the car and take the train back to Philadelphia. Take the next train to Washington DC. Having a rental car in DC is a liability rather than an asset.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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4 people, I believe -
"We will have parents with us so want to ensure all runs smoothly...too old for stress"
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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"Take one of the first 5 Amtrak trains from NY Penn station to Lancaster, PA. Rent your car there."

But I love that idea! $48pp and there's an Avis desk at the Amtrak station in Lancaster.

But I'd keep the car and return it in DC. That's just such a pretty part of the country to drive through/around. I don't see a reason to go back up to Philly from Gettysburg and then pay for another train. Return the car somewhere in DC instead.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Tom Fuller is onto something, although I think from Jomaree's posts, it's likely four people. Amtrak has many through trains from New York Penn Station to Lancaster, a trip of roughly two-and-a-half hours. You can get to Lancaster as early as about 10 a.m. on a weekday.

As TF suggests, rent a car there, spend about six hours or so touring, then catch a late afternoon train back to Philadelphia, about a 1:20 trip. Connect to one of the frequent Washington-bound trains in Philly's 30th Street Station for the roughly two-hour trip to DC's Union Station, in the heart of DC.

This itinerary is a lot less stressful, and ultimately likely to be faster, than driving.

And, TF confirms my comment that you really don't want a car in DC.

www.amtrak.com
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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The problem with renting a car in Manhattan and then driving to Lancaster is not the traffic. its the price. You'll pay double to rent a car here, and i hesitate to think what the drop off fee is to leave it somewhere else. The most economical alternative is to rent elsewhere (possibly Philadelphia) and return the car to the same place, continuing to Washington by train. If you buy your train tickets 30 days in advance, you can probably get a train to DC from Philly for $49 each.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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starrs is right but make sure the drop off fee is less than the train fare. The other option is to take the train from NYC to the BWI station and rent your car at the airport for your trip into PA and return it before you go into DC.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Hello again Aduchamp1..what would I do without you?

Live a long and productive life.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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Just check the fees. We rented in Manhattan and dropped in Philly and there wasn't a bad drop off fee. We changed our plans after the NYC trip was planned because our friends decided to celebrate NYEve in the country, rather than the city. If you are adding in TWO Amtrak segments for FOUR people, that would probably be more than a drop off fee. I've driven out of NYC, LOVE driving the countryside of PA and Virginia and have driven in DC for business. I agree that they don't need (nor probably want) the car IN Washington, DC but REALLY believe that they will enjoy the countryside in and around the Amish countryside and then down to DC. And, I wouldn't even bother going to Lancaster for only 6 hours in the area. One of the best parts of exploring that area is doing it at a leisurely pace. It would be nerve-racking to 1) take a train from Penn Station 2) rent a car 3) drive around for only a few hours and 3) return the car to catch a train to Philly and then 4) catch another train to DC. You couldn't pay me to spend a day that way.

Maybe do the train to Philly and then return the car as Doug suggests but I'd first check to see what it would cost to pick up at Lancaster and return it to a location in DC. And I wouldn't do it at all if you aren't doing an overnight in the area. If you do the Philly train option, maybe an overnight in New Hope if not the Lancaster area.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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To get from the Avis office on 40th St you have to drive only 3 blocks in the city and you will be in the Lincoln tunnel - and emerge in NJ. From there - it;s all highway until you're almost all the way to your destination. But do have a good (paper) map - even if you get a car with GPS _ since the latter have a habit of being terminally stupid - and don;t allow you to make advance plans.

I think your problem is having a car in DC. they are just as useless center city there as in NYC - no place to park at all. Drop the car as soon as you arrive.

As for car versus train - car gives you so much more freedom to do as you want that to me it's worth costing much more than a train (and I don't know if it is more - depends on # of people). But I LIKE driving - not just the freedom driving gives but the actual driving part.

Also - if you are going to see anything outside center city DC (Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, etc) do that before you drop off the car.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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I'll be honest. I don't really enjoy driving, particularly in cities, and I was a bit nervous both times I've rented a car midtown and driven out of the city (once through the Lincoln Tunnel and once going out to Long Island through the mid-town tunnel.

But in the end both were really a piece of cake. In fact it was less eventful than trying to navigate my local Publix Supermart in Florida with all the bumper car mentality.

But one thing I've noted when checking on rentals in NYC. Prices skyrocket if you are picking one up on Friday or Saturday as opposed to getting one during the week.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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We have picked up rental cars at Penn Station with no problems. A friend who lives in the city takes the PATH train to Jersey City and finds the car rental prices cheaper there.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Manhattan weekend car rentals prices are excessive. Many people like to get out of the city on the weekends especially during the summer.

If you need a car on a weekend chcek the rates on Friday, before noon and after noon on Sunday.
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