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Old 09-25-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
3,402 posts, read 2,592,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simbared View Post
Five weeks in Orlando and you lived to tell the tale? I hope you at least got to see some other parts of Florida while you were there. I love the coastal areas.
I've visited Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach and its environs e.g FLL. I did like Palm Beach but really um wasn't impressed with Orlando.. I didn't like the flatness of the landscape or the fact that it seemed more like I was in Brazil than the United States of America.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
3,402 posts, read 2,592,727 times
Reputation: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
The cheapest scenario I can think of is like this:
- Fly to NYC (EWR airport) and stay near that airport for your NYC trip. You can hop on the NJ Transit train daily for your NYC fix, it's not far, only 1 stop away from Penn Station in NYC, and you save significant money by staying on the other side of the river. Just make sure you don't wander around in Newark at night. Some parts of Newark are only suitable for someone with a death wish. Don't insist on 4* hotels. Book 3* airport hotels that cater to business customers, they will be cheaper, cleaner, and generally offer more free perks (free breakfast, free airport shuttle, free shuttle to the train station, free internet - all of which you need to pay extra if you stay in 4* hotels). Get yourself acquainted with Priceline.com - The Best Deals on Hotels, Flights and Rental Cars. for your hotel booking, the name your price / bidding type. You still need to shell out $70-$90 for airport hotels, but it's cheaper than paying $200-$300 in NYC.

Transport From NYC to DC (when in US, don't say you're going to Washington, you'll be asked "Which one?". Say DC = District of Columbia, which is what we call it around here). Take one of the-NYC-to-DC busses. Google "NYC to DC bus" and you'll find tons of choices. Avoid anything that leaves from Chinatown since the drivers are usually iffy at best. Bolts bus is good, megabus is good. The trip is roughly 4 hours one way, and you pay $25 AT MOST. Sometimes if you show up on the day of departure, you may even get on with only $5. It's a local secret that most foreigners don't know. I live roughly 25 miles from DC and never fly or take the train to NYC. The bus is clean, has AC, has WiFi, they give you water, and they're on-time.

While in DC: this is the tricky part, especially if you don't drive or can't get a rental car. This means your option is only to stay in proper DC. Be prepared to pay close to $200 even for 3* in DC. Again, get yourself acquainted with Priceline and check out BiddingForTravel.com - The informed Priceline Travel Bidding Forum while you do that to get an idea of how much you should bid. Not sure if they'll accept foreign credit cards though.

For the 3rd city, why not check out Boston, also in the East Coast? They're relatively cheaper to get to, you can buy a one-way ticket from DC to Boston (jetblue is cheap airline you can check out), then once you're done with Boston you can take the bus from Boston to NYC (same bus that serves DC-NYC line, they go to Boston too, same cheap price, and it's about the same distance from NYC to Boston as it is from NYC to DC, except one goes north, the other goes south). Plus Boston is walkable compared to anywhere in Florida.

If you just want to relax on a white sandy beach, then nothing compares to Florida's gulf coast (you do know Florida has the Atlantic cost and Gulf Coast, right?). My personal favorite beach is Siesta Key, about 50 miles from Tampa, literally sugar white sand that stays as cool as talcum powder even in peak summer weather. Word of advise, the tourist season in Florida varies depending on where you go. South Florida gets really expensive in Spring, Fall, and Winter, because that's the only place in the lower US that's warm enough for us to wear shorts during that time. In Northern Florida (my recommendation is Destin or Pensacola), their high tourist season is summer, because they get cold in winter (generally 50 degrees F in winter, and nobody wants to go to the beach in that temperature). Hotels will be roughly $100 - $150. If you stay long term, I would even rent a vacation rental / condo. It's cheaper, better amenities and you can make small meals at home for breakfast and lunch, then splurge for dinner.
Thank you. I've adjusted my budget/money and I can now afford about 3,000. I don't know how much that will get me but I will see at the time of booking.

I should be using that airport as there is a flight there from Belfast and the airline are now installing WIFI which is a mega bonus to me. I also like the addition of the train to Manhattan. I looked up Dulles and so far I am not impressed with the fact that there is no train station to the city centre.. I don't plan to use a bus to get to DC if I do go there, I just priced the flights and Jetblue have 45 one way from JFK to IAD so that should be perfect. I love flying anyway..

Think I might just do:

3 nights/4 days in NYC
4 nights/ 5 days in DC
2 weeks in Florida.

But that is up for adjustment and I am sure it will be adjusted by the time I book it. I am quite worried about washington as I don't know anything about transport there. People will probably have a fit about me going to Florida but honestly I like it there, I am happy with sunshine and malls/cinemas - and no I have no wish to goto Spain AGAIN I have been there enough times now.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,125 posts, read 2,909,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerwhale View Post
Thank you. I've adjusted my budget/money and I can now afford about 3,000. I don't know how much that will get me but I will see at the time of booking.

I should be using that airport as there is a flight there from Belfast and the airline are now installing WIFI which is a mega bonus to me. I also like the addition of the train to Manhattan. I looked up Dulles and so far I am not impressed with the fact that there is no train station to the city centre.. I don't plan to use a bus to get to DC if I do go there, I just priced the flights and Jetblue have 45 one way from JFK to IAD so that should be perfect. I love flying anyway..

Think I might just do:

3 nights/4 days in NYC
4 nights/ 5 days in DC
2 weeks in Florida.

But that is up for adjustment and I am sure it will be adjusted by the time I book it. I am quite worried about washington as I don't know anything about transport there. People will probably have a fit about me going to Florida but honestly I like it there, I am happy with sunshine and malls/cinemas - and no I have no wish to goto Spain AGAIN I have been there enough times now.
Know that Dulles airport/IAD is not in DC. It's in northern Virginia, which is 25+ miles west of DC. It's very suburbia, hence no decent public transport, and it's the biggest airport in the area so you have no choice. You can, however, take the 5A express bus straight from Dulles airport to DC, about $6 if I remember correctly.

If I were you I would spend more time in NYC than DC. Don't get me wrong, DC is rich with American history. But you can easily do that with hop on/hop off in a few days. The museums are ok, but they don't compare to The Met in NYC for example. And if you plan on walking through ethnic neighborhoods, you will be disappointed in DC. Their Chinatown is the saddest I've ever visited.

I think Florida is a good choice. I go there at least twice a year to enjoy the beach. Go to the gulf side and you'll see why it's beloved by many, including me.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
3,402 posts, read 2,592,727 times
Reputation: 526
Ok thank you.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:21 PM
 
556 posts, read 761,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
Know that Dulles airport/IAD is not in DC. It's in northern Virginia, which is 25+ miles west of DC. It's very suburbia, hence no decent public transport, and it's the biggest airport in the area so you have no choice. You can, however, take the 5A express bus straight from Dulles airport to DC, about $6 if I remember correctly.
There are a few of options instead of Dulles:
1) Fly into Reagan-National (DCA) which is on the DC (WMATA) metro. Flights into DCA are usually more expensive than Dulles, but ground transfers are much less expensive and faster.

2) Fly into Baltimore (BWI), which is served by MARC and Amtrak. The MARC train will get you from BWI to DC Union Station in less than an hour for $7, no reservation required. Amtrak is slightly faster, but more expensive ($12 if booked early) and requires reservations.

3) Skip the airports and take Amtrak from NYC. If you book tickets well in advance, then a one way ticket from NY Penn Station to DC Union Station is $49 (including all taxes and fees). The train takes about 4 hours, and you get to skip the hassle of airport security and transfers since both stations are in the middle of their respective cities. All trains have free wifi.

If you do fly into Dulles, the best way (IMO) to get to DC proper is with Super Shuttle - not as fast as a taxi, but much cheaper, and easier/faster than taking the bus and metro. Or postpone the trip until 2018 when the WMATA silver line expansion is scheduled to reach Dulles.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:20 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerwhale View Post
I need to save for my planned trip to America next summer. I want to go for a month to the east coast..

I am aiming to save up 1500 by May. I'm not sure if that would be enough.. I was thinking that I would want to go to NYC for a week, Washington for a week and maybe Florida for two weeks.

I will be flying from Dublin/Belfast in Ireland so that will give an idea of flight prices. I already have 10,100 miles with United Airlines and I build up about 100-200 miles each day.. i'm not sure if they would give money off flights?
I will be staying in 4* hotels with bed/breakfast. Should this be enough??.
That wouldn't even get you through a week in NYC in a four star hotel. You'd be hard pressed to spend a week in NYC with $2500 in a three star.

You can have all the miles you need for a flight, but that doesn't mean there will be seats available that you can redeem for those miles.

You would also need money to get between all those places.

Additionally you don't sound very old. Most hotels won't rent to anyone under 21, in some cases under 25.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
3,402 posts, read 2,592,727 times
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No I will only be 19 at the time of the trip so i'm not sure if its a good idea to go so far away.

I have found Holiday Inn for cheap prices so I have adjusted my budget and holiday plans.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
2,539 posts, read 2,463,499 times
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If only 19 traveling alone. I'd do a HOSTEL. I HEAR THEY ARE BIG IN EUROPE AMONG YOUNG AND MORE COMMON NOW IN THE US. Last trip to Chicago I stayed in the Getaway Hostel one. That one was clean, adequate and free breakfast, great neighborhood, north of downtown there. Met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. Surely NYC and Washington DC has some. Do the homework to find a highly rated one. If you use Priceline or Hotwire travel sights they do list some Hostels. They do show up as 2 star ratings though? They do have private rooms too, just don't expect a 4 star bed and room. Of course it is a bit roughing it. But it would free a lot of money to go all out in Florida then. But to have airline miles, seems like you have a good job or parents miles and no need to go cheapest. Also yes I would do a train between at least NYC and Washington DC. Priceline and Hotwire might also save you on the Hotels. Bidding for 4 star in a certain area of a city can save or merely choose a area and price offered and they choose the hotel for the deal. You generally though can't go wrong with Holiday Inns if you just stick to them. Holiday Inn Expresses, offer free Continental Breakfast. As they call it.
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