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Old 11-16-2011, 09:01 AM
 
213 posts, read 724,671 times
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Thank you GraceC and FlyMIA.

So it seems like 3PM - 9PM on a weekday is a pain. I would assume Nov 24th being a Thanksgiving holiday, it will be even worse?

I wonder if we can start our sightseeing around 8AM and try to wrap it up by 12 noon and then start for NY. Maybe that way, we can avoid the start of the rush-hour? I am just wondering if the day being Thanksgiving could result in people starting early?

A round-trip on train would probably set us back by around $90 per person and we are group of 5. Driving would be infinitely cheaper at $250 for 3 days rental. Flying to NY is not possible because 2 from our group are flying in from the San Fransisco and me and my wife from Dallas. The cheapest flights were all from Washington - Baltimore area plus we get to sight-see in D.C. as well.

Am I being stupid in still thinking that a car would give us more flexibility and we could beat the rush-hour by starting at 12 noon or after 9PM? Two of us would be driving.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: In Denial
688 posts, read 1,060,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
Thank you GraceC and FlyMIA.

So it seems like 3PM - 9PM on a weekday is a pain. I would assume Nov 24th being a Thanksgiving holiday, it will be even worse?

I wonder if we can start our sightseeing around 8AM and try to wrap it up by 12 noon and then start for NY. Maybe that way, we can avoid the start of the rush-hour? I am just wondering if the day being Thanksgiving could result in people starting early?

A round-trip on train would probably set us back by around $90 per person and we are group of 5. Driving would be infinitely cheaper at $250 for 3 days rental. Flying to NY is not possible because 2 from our group are flying in from the San Fransisco and me and my wife from Dallas. The cheapest flights were all from Washington - Baltimore area plus we get to sight-see in D.C. as well.

Am I being stupid in still thinking that a car would give us more flexibility and we could beat the rush-hour by starting at 12 noon or after 9PM? Two of us would be driving.


Your plan has fatal flaws.

#1, you cannot see DC in 1/2 day (if you leave for NYC at noon). Why bother. If you want to see anything in DC, opt for a late drive to NYC. Leave around 9 or 10 pm. That still is very insufficent (why bother)

BUT really,

#2 DO NOT DRIVE from NYC to DC. Take a train. You will have absolutely no use for a car in NYC. None whatsoever. The car will be a pain. The drive will be more pain than you can imagine. pain. pain. pain. PAIN. :cry ing::e ek::shoc ked::s mack::t hink::e ek:

#3 It is probably too late to get train tix. So likely you will drive anyway. Maybe you will get lucky.



BTW, what airport in DC are you flying into? DCA, IAD or BWI?



Let us know how it goes!!!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:03 AM
 
213 posts, read 724,671 times
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@Marska: Ha Ha! Now if your post doesn't scare me, I do not know what will!

I agree that the D.C. plan would not leave us with enough time to explore anything. It is because of my friends who inisist on spending some time at D.C. as we are landing there. It is at DCA btw.

And you are right; the train tickets are hovering around $260 p.p. so we are stuck with the car.

On the bright side, I asked a specific question in the Washington forum about the feasibility of driving on the Thanksgiving day and it seems like traffic would be less considering everyone would be their families for the Thanksgiving dinner, leaving the roads less congested by then.

All I can do now is pray!
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I answered one of your questions in the DC forum but now that I see the whole context, I have to ask if you've considered taking the bus.

For DC-NY trips and back, pretty much everyone I know takes BoltBus or MegaBus. These buses take about 4.5 hours (comparable to driving) and are much nicer than the typical Greyhound bus. This should be cheaper than renting a car plus paying for parking, and the other posters are correct that if you're sightseeing in NYC, you won't need a car, and a car is more hassle than it's worth. I'd think this bus round trip would come out to under $200 total for the 5 of you.

I don't think congestion is an issue between DC and NYC on Thanksgiving Day, but if you don't want the hassle of car rental, MegaBus or Bolt Bus is a great alternative. The buses depart from Union Station in DC, which you can get to by subway in DC or just take a cab.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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I actually took a bus last Christmas from Baltimore to NY. Though comfortable and incredibly cheap, I vividly remember the trip lasting well into 5.5 hrs.

The car rental is costing us $230. Our plan is to park the car at my sisters apartment in Westwood, NJ and then catch a train/bus from there to Downtown, NY. So yes, I agree that car is not needed in NY.

Some may question the logic of keeping a car in NY for three days and not using it. Our return flight is from DCA early Sunday morning. By keeping the car (parked at my sister's apartment), we have the flexibility to leave NY anytime on Saturday night, drive back to DCA and catch our return flights.

I know it sounds incredibly convoluted. I just hope that all our planning that seemed to smart to us at that time doesn't unravel all around us.

EDIT: Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my questions. I really appreciate it a lot!
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:14 PM
 
Location: In Denial
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well, on a happy note, the subway runs right into DCA so you will have easy access to the major sites. It is the best airport to fly into if you want to just have a look-see at DC.

WMATA - Rider Tools - Trip Planner

and you may be correct about everyone being home for dinner
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Thanks for the information. Just a few more days to go. I am so looking forward to this trip.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
Thanks for the information. Just a few more days to go. I am so looking forward to this trip.

If you're picking up the rental car at Reagan, just leave it unclaimed until you get back from DC. You can ride either the blue or yellow line from the airport right to the Mall and either walk to see what you want or take a tourist bus or the city Circulator bus. Then, when you've run out of time, take the Metro back to the airport and get your car.

If you take the blue line train, ride it to the Smithsonian Station. That'll put you at about the mid-point of the Mall. On the yellow line, get off at L'Enfant Station or the next one up (I forget its name). It's closer to the Capitol building.

But, if you decide to walk, be advised that it's a pretty good distance from the Capitol building down to the Lincoln Memorial, about a mile to a mile and a half I think.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:29 PM
 
213 posts, read 724,671 times
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Awesome suggestion! So I can just pay for the car at Enterprise, catch a train/bus from the airport to the mall, come back to airport, pick up the car and start for NY!

This way I don't have to drive to Union Station to park and also save some money on parking there!
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,669,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
Awesome suggestion! So I can just pay for the car at Enterprise, catch a train/bus from the airport to the mall, come back to airport, pick up the car and start for NY!

This way I don't have to drive to Union Station to park and also save some money on parking there!

Right! And, probably save yourself a parking ticket or two.
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