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Road Tripping in the USA!

Discussion in 'Motors' started by [TW]Fox, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 153,928

    Many people don't realise! Just make sure you check it out.
     
  2. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 3,002

    I need a little advice from anyone with experience of NYC > Boston or Washington. I'm planning a second trip to NYC in September, which will mainly involve shopping/eating/drinking and visiting the odd tourist trap that I missed first time around (including catching either a Yankees or Mets game). Aiming for the first week in September due to it being a bit cooler but still warm. About to pull the trigger on flights as they look relatively decent in the sense that we don't lose the first and last days to awkward travel times:

    Tues 3rd Sept
    10:35 - 12:55
    Manchester - JFK

    Tues 10th Sept
    22:00 - 09:55
    JFK - Manchester

    Direct with Thomas Cook @ £359 each including bags. Checked all the usual comparison sites, including the Virgin and BA sales but nothing seems to come close with hold luggage.

    The general plan at the moment is looking like:

    Tues: NYC
    Wed: NYC
    Thurs: NYC
    Fri: NYC
    Sat: Washington/Boston
    Sun: Washington/Boston
    Mon: NYC
    Tues: NYC

    I'm still stuck between Washington and Boston. The former is looking more likely due to the Smithsonian stuff, political history, the fact it's the capital etc. I can see us running out of things to do in Boston within 24 hours. Any thoughts on the plan or decision between Washington and Boston would be very helpful!

    Then the final decision; Amtrak train @ $98 return or rent a car and enjoy the drive? :)
     
  3. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 153,928

    Too much NYC there I think. Why not start in Boston and end in DC and do all three?
     
  4. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 3,002

    After a quick look on Skyscanner, all of the more reasonably priced flights to Boston or Washington from Manchester involve connections and/or ridiculous stop overs (7h+). I guess we could still fly in and out of JFK but it'll mean more time traveling either by train or car in order to loop back to NYC. Unless I'm missing something obvious? What about staying over in Philadelphia for a night on the return leg back to NYC? This would make it NYC (4 days) > Washington (2 days) > Philadelphia (1 day) > NYC (1 day).

    Absolutely no issue adding an extra night to Washington or Boston, it'll have to be the Monday as we do need to be in NYC on the Friday. That'll make it 5 days in NYC and 3 elsewhere. It's worth mentioning that we are planning to spend some time in Brooklyn, Jersey City and Astoria, not just 5-6 days of Manhattan.

    The only thing I'm wary about is simply running out of things to do in whatever other city we choose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  5. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 153,928

    You can get a train from Manchester to London in 2 hours and you'll find many more direct flights from Heathrow.
     
  6. uncle_rufus

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 14, 2011

    Posts: 3,348

    That will probably cost more than the flights :p
     
  7. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 3,002

    Potentially an option, but then it's another 2 hour train combined with the underground and/or DLR to get to the airport after arriving at Euston. It'll be another £80-90 on top and the saga of traveling, which is exactly what I don't want after a 7h flight on the way back. Your suggestion is valued though, so thank you.

    I think a return flight to JFK from Manchester, followed by 4 days in NYC, 2 days in Washington and a 1 day in Philly before returning returning to NYC is probably the best option at the moment. Alternatively adding an extra day to Washington. A decent amount of time in NYC which is what we originally intended, plus 2-3 days elsewhere for variance.

    If reasonably priced direct flights to Boston and Washington were readily available from Manchester, I would absolutely take up your suggestion!
     
  8. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 153,928

    Booked in advance inpais 14 quid for a direct train from Manchester to London
     
  9. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,650

    I did Boston, NYC and Washington a few years ago. 3 nights in each place but we'd already been to NYC and visited most of the tourist places the first time round.

    I think we flew from Heathrow with a stop in Dublin to pre-clear US immigration and land into Boston. We then flew out of Washington 10 days later. The stop actually 'saves time' as you land into the US at a domestic gate and get straight off with no need to fight through US immigration at Boston. Clearing at Dublin took about 5 minutes on our walk from one plane to another.

    It was a brilliant trip and I'm glad we did it, we used the Amtrak train to go from Boston to NYC and then NYC to Washington which worked well and avoided having to do the same bit of trainline twice.

    Boston was amazing, we did loads of walking and really enjoyed the bars and restaurants. Washington was also good, but after 1.5 days in the centre we explored a few areas further away from the main area of DC (Alexandria) which were very nice. NYC is NYC and always enjoyable.
     
  10. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,408

    Location: Warwickshire

    Seen I can get a Ford mustang for 750 quid from avis. Its for 15 days (50 quid a day) .... Or circa 350 quid for a a fairly log bog standard motor (Ford Edge/mondeo/ SUV) ...

    Trying to weigh up if it will be.worth it for me... Both me and the mrs are used to driving crap cars :p

    Are mustangs likely to get stolen/any issues? I won't be staying in particularly dodgy areas just don't want it to be an issue

    Also what would the alternative car be to a mustang if theyre not available?

    What's the best way to get Google maps/sat nav? Any fairly priced sim cards?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  11. timmeh

    Mobster

    Joined: May 20, 2010

    Posts: 2,888

    Location: Englishman in the USA

    Mustangs are as common as Fiesta/Focus are over there. No one will look twice at it so you don't have to worry about it getting stolen.

    Remember if you get the convertible you'll have pretty much no boot space and will probably have to put bags on the rear seats.

    If you want something similar to a Mustang then it'll be a Chevy Camaro or Dodge Challenger. A friend of mine recently had his V6 Mustang booking with Hertz upgraded to a Camaro SS because the bloke behind the counter said the V6 Mustang was a girls car. The interior was incredibly basic but it was rather fast and sounded great.
     
  12. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 153,928

    Rip-off, it isn't worth that.
     
  13. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,408

    Location: Warwickshire

    Hmmm that's the best I can find it for (I'm 27y/o she's 29). Anything I'm missing?

    Are you sure you're not comparing to when you went with a better exchange rate? (going may 11th to May 27th both @ los angeles) . * doh just realised thats 16 days =£46/night)

    Alternatively could get something like Toyota rav 4/focus /similar for 400 quid

    Dodge challenger/chevvy will be fine!

    Im not worried about boot space, bringing a 60l and a 70l soft shell dry bag
     
  14. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 3,584

    It’s a rip off because the basic rental mustang is a cheap car to buy but they charge premium prices to drive one because of the tourist novelty factor.

    In fact you can normally hire a premium class car for less money that will be a much nicer drive.
     
  15. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,650

    £30-£35 is what I'd expect to pay for a Mustang with all the included insurances.
     
  16. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,408

    Location: Warwickshire

    When did you go? Recently? Alternatively I can just cheap out and get a focus for 350 quid for the 16 days..

    I just like the novelty of an American muscle car but it does seem a lot of money. Will probably have it parked in San Francisco for 2 or 3 days also.

    There doesn't seem to be much in between on the avis website and they seem like a fairly big/easy outfit to deal with.
     
  17. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,650

    Last rental was about 18 months ago but I've never had to stray outside of £30-£35 per day over 5 rentals since 2014. Generally I'd expect to pay £700 for 3 weeks on the West Coast (I've rented from Seattle twice and LA thrice.

    Virgin Holidays (which is actually Alamo / National) has served me well for the most recent few bookings. Avis have only ever been cheapest for a couple of one way rentals for me.

    Just checked Virgin Holidays - 15 days in May (2nd - 16th) is coming up at £557 for a Mustang with Alamo at LAX.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,408

    Location: Warwickshire

    Thanks that virgin is the cheapest I've seen! For the 11th May onwards (16 days) when I'm there is £680.. (42.50)

    Ive looked on a couple price comparison sites and didn't get it cheaper. Reckon it's best to book now or give it a while and keep looking?

    Any other recommended websites? Ill check alamo direct later.

    I assume rental cars isn't one where you can get last minute deals..
     
  19. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,650

    Last minute deals on rental cars are never good. I don't find the price drops much (if at all) but I'll always monitor for a few weeks (Incognito window in Chrome to ensure no cookies are used to track your quotes).

    I've never found Alamo direct to be cheap, Virgin has been the best for the last few years but I've also used carhire3000 and uscarhire in the past. I've always ended up with an Alamo / National booking via these websites. These include all the extras and insurances you'd need and Alamo / National now have very good 'beat the queue' systems for when you arrive. Providing you complete all the paperwork before you travel you can go directly to a car and drive off which can easily save over an hour at the rental desk.
     
  20. Joe T

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2003

    Posts: 11,221

    Location: Northampton

    I was impressed with Hertz's version of the same - big board with your name and car parking space on it, go to car - drive to exit. :)