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Old 11-03-2011, 03:01 PM
 
213 posts, read 724,492 times
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So about a month ago, I planned for and booked tickets for a trip to Washington and New York during the Thanksgiving weekend. The itinerary like this:

1. Fly from DFW to Washington on November 24th morning, join up with two friends at the airport, pick up a rental car and go around D.C. the whole morning and afternoon.

3. Start early evening the same day for New York city. Drive all the way to NYC and check-in.

4. Enjoy NYC for the next two days.

5. Late on November 26th night, start for DC, drive all the way to the airport, return the car and catch out 7AM flights to return back home.

Now, my question is, does the plan seems feasible? It seemed perfect to me until my friend pointed out that the weather has been pretty finicky off-late. We have booked a 4WD mid-size SUV. Do we run the risk of getting caught in an unexpected snowstorm?

My main worry is that what would the traffic going towards and away from NYC will be like during the Thanksgiving weekend?

Would love to hear your thoughts!
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,497 posts, read 62,167,040 times
Reputation: 32182
Quote:
Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
...trip to Washington and New York during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Would love to hear your thoughts!
1. Fly from DFW to Washington on November 24th morning, join up with two friends at the airport,
pick up a rental car and go around D.C. the whole morning and afternoon.
1a) stay over night in DC

2. Return the rental car at/near the train station.
3. Enjoy a leisurely train ride to NYC.

4. Enjoy NYC for the next two days.

5. Return to DC the same way.
5a) Catch a flight to DFW from NY or NJ

hth
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:15 PM
 
32,079 posts, read 32,980,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
1. Fly from DFW to Washington on November 24th morning, join up with two friends at the airport,
pick up a rental car and go around D.C. the whole morning and afternoon.
1a) stay over night in DC

2. Return the rental car at/near the train station.
3. Enjoy a leisurely train ride to NYC.

4. Enjoy NYC for the next two days.

5. Return to DC the same way.
5a) Catch a flight to DFW from NY or NJ

hth
I too think taking the train is better than driving as you don't need a car while you are in NYC.
Normally it doesn't snow on Thanksgiving, but occasionally it does happen. So better to take the train.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,664,473 times
Reputation: 7720
Quote:
Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
So about a month ago, I planned for and booked tickets for a trip to Washington and New York during the Thanksgiving weekend. The itinerary like this:

1. Fly from DFW to Washington on November 24th morning, join up with two friends at the airport, pick up a rental car and go around D.C. the whole morning and afternoon.

3. Start early evening the same day for New York city. Drive all the way to NYC and check-in.

4. Enjoy NYC for the next two days.

5. Late on November 26th night, start for DC, drive all the way to the airport, return the car and catch out 7AM flights to return back home.

Now, my question is, does the plan seems feasible? It seemed perfect to me until my friend pointed out that the weather has been pretty finicky off-late. We have booked a 4WD mid-size SUV. Do we run the risk of getting caught in an unexpected snowstorm?

My main worry is that what would the traffic going towards and away from NYC will be like during the Thanksgiving weekend?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

In the first place, you really can't see much of DC in a single day and certainly not from a moving car. You'll have to park somewhere to see things and that's when you'll find the District has trapped you, if you're not careful. Wherever you park, street side or in a parking lot, walk around and read the signs before leaving your car. If you don't, you're apt to find a ticket on it when you get back and they're NOT cheap.

For instance, if you park on the curb of Constitution Avenue, walk back to the corner behind you and read that row of signs at the corner. You'll find that you can only be there a limited amount of time AND, if you're still there at 4 or 4:30 PM, you're in a tow-away zone for the rush hour. They clear the curb lane of all parked cars before 5 PM. The fine is $125, I think, AND they'll hook it up to a tow truck and park it on Mall, complete with a Denver boot to keep you from driving it away without paying the tow charge. The District makes millions off tourist's just like you who aren't paying attention.

Best advice? Take the Metro in from the airport and either pay the $40 for the blue tourist busses (you can get on and off all you like) or ride the red Circulator busses to what you want to see. If just have to have a car, go directly to Union Station and park in their garage. It's about as cheap as any parking lot in town and all the busses come right to the front door.

As for driving on to NYC? Yes, it will be a madhouse of traffic and there's no way to avoid it. You only have one way to get there, without driving a hundred miles farther, and that's the I-95/New Jersey Turnpike. Everybody else will be on it too and you can expect heavy, heavy traffic and long lines at the toll booths. It's heavy every day and Thanksgiving is the worst day of all.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:56 AM
 
213 posts, read 724,492 times
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Whew! Seems like my worst fears will come true. My friends insist on driving from D.C. to NYC. Will it be so bad even late at night? The last time I was there, I went to NY by bus and returned by train (got caught in the snowstorm last Christmas). The bus trip was pretty good though it took us close to 6 hrs to get to NYC and the train was slow as a snail. I personally would have preferred taking the bus but with the friends insisting on driving and the flexibility that the car would provide, I decided to rent one.

If I had my way, I would drop D.C. altogether and rather go for NYC alone. Any idea how much traffic will be on the following routes on the following days:

D.C. to NYC - November 24th - Starting at 3 PM.
NYC to D.C. - November 26th - Starting at 11 PM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,497 posts, read 62,167,040 times
Reputation: 32182
Quote:
Originally Posted by abpat2203 View Post
My friends insist on driving from D.C. to NYC.
Will it be so bad even late at night?
The driving isn't the issue as much as the parking and doing.
Same applies to having a car in DC when doing the touristy stuff.
It creates more problems than it solves.

There is also the complication (often) of taking a rental out of area.

hth

Last edited by MrRational; 11-04-2011 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:33 PM
 
213 posts, read 724,492 times
Reputation: 194
The hotel that I would be staying in NY has a paid parking place right next to it which gives a discount to the hotel guests. I could also park it at my cousins place in Jersey City.

As for DC, I think we will look into the option of parking it somewhere when we go around sight-seeing.

Coming to taking it out of rental area, I think most car-rental companies allow you to take the car to neighboring states. I remember Enterprise telling me that as long as the other state shares the border, it would be fine. We took a car from Texas to Arkansas without a hitch.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,827,559 times
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Train, if at all possible.
No stress, not traffic jams, no high parking costs...
Trains are a win!
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,126 posts, read 2,911,096 times
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You do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, want to drive northbound from DC between the hours of 3pm - 9pm on a week day. Trust me, it took me 11 hours once to drive to Princeton, NJ from DC Metro, a drive that should have taken 3-4 hours top. The area around Silver Spring - MD was where I got trapped for 5 hours, no accident, simply sheer volume. Those who don't live in DC Metro truly don't understand the sheer madness of traffic jams in this area.

The only time to leave safely and avoid traffic during week days is before 9am and after 9pm.

Take the train instead from Union Station to NYC. It'll save your sanity.

To enjoy DC without the hassle of parking and traffic, simply get onto one of those hop on/hop off bus.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,188,748 times
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DC 3pm-9pm maybe 8:15ish the earliest is a MESS and thanksgiving all the highways will be filled with people going North towards NYC area. Take a train! The amount of money spent on fuel and parking it may be cheaper. But buying tickets this late maybe not.
The drive will not be good. All this overnight driving etc.. Seems crazy. Why not just fly to NYC??
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