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travel decisions

Melbourne, Australia
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travel decisions

hi, I will be in the US in October this year for 1 month.

I am thinking of 1 week in New York, Boston, Massachusetts area , Washington.

Questions:

1 what is the best way to get around?

I dont really want a tour, as I have done the bus thing in Europe & swore I wouldnt do it again. However, is this the easiest? I may be on my own travelling. if so, what are some good American touring companies?

2 is this a reasonable & easy amount of distance to cover in this time? Am I better flying or going by train, & then getting local tours out into the countryside?

II would especially like to see the famous Autumn colours.

Thanks

Boston
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1. Re: travel decisions

Boston to NYC is about a 4 hour drive by car or bus or train. Ditto for NYC to Washington. The plane is about 45 minutes between Boston and NYC and NYC to Washington, but the Airports in both of the latter are well outside the Downtowns. If your budget permits, take the Acela High-speed train, which only cuts a half hour off but is much more comfortable. You can arrange for guided tours in each of the cities if you wish when you arrive.

Boston...
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2. Re: travel decisions

1 week for each city or 1 week to see all 3?

Best way to get between Boston, NYC, and DC is by Amtrak train. Then use that particular cities public transportation once you're there.

You really aren't going to see the "famous" Fall colours leaving out of DC. That's probably a little too far south. Not sure what is offered out of NYC as far as daytrip foliage tours go. I know there's a couple of daytrip tours out of Boston that will afford you some nice colours out in the countryside, but if you really want to enjoy the colours, then you should be renting your own car and planning your trip like most everyone else plans their's...that is, to rent a car in Boston, do a 1 week loop around New England, spending a night or two in a few different areas along the way, and returning back into Boston where you can drop the car off and be done with it. That is the best way to see the colours and enjoy your trip.

I agree that the extended (7-10 nights), guided, Foliage tours can equal lots of time spent on the bus. Tauck offers the best Foliage tours, but they are also about twice the cost of the cheaper outfits. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and in Tauck's case, they offer much better itineraries, great destinations, and very nice places to sleep in those destinations, and they try to keep the distances between places at a minimum, so you're not on the bus all day long. Definitely worth the extra money if you wanted to do a guided tour.

Boston, MA
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3. Re: travel decisions

Besides Amtrak, you can also take a bus to the major cities. The price of the many busses are cheaper than the Acela even the luxury limoliner bus.

You can take many day trips from Boston via public transportation. For a Foliage trip, you can hop on our local commuter rail line and spend the day in Concord. There are many other daytrips are available via public transportation including Salem, Rockport, Newport, RI - just to name a few.

Enjoy

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: travel decisions

Tipping in the USA & Canada.

As an Australian, i am not used to automatic tipping.

We only do this for special service.

In the US & Canada, can you tell me what is adequate / generous / insulting?

Also, do I have to tip everyone?

Thanks

Boston
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5. Re: travel decisions

There are some good threads, although not current, on this topic. Type tipping in the search box and you'll find a wealth of information.

The typical rule of thumb is tip 15-20% in restaurants (although if you dine out with a larger party often an 18% tip is tagged on), and taxi drivers. One dollar per bag for those who check in or handle your luggage. Housekeepers - a few dollars a night.

When tipping, base it on the pre-tax amount.

Andover...
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6. Re: travel decisions

With one week in Boston, you will have time to venture outside of the city to seem some nice fall foliage. I agree with the advice that the train is probably the best way to get between all three cities. One week in DC will be nice but I would personally shorten the week in NYC and add a couple of days to the Boston area..especially if you want to see foliage.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: travel decisions

Am I better to look for the autumn colours around Boston in early or late October wrt the weather?

Boston
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8. Re: travel decisions

Late October or even early November.

Boston, MA
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9. Re: travel decisions

But if you plan to get a bus trip NORTH of Boston to NH or VT, then you'd want to go mid-October.

Boston
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10. Re: travel decisions

For additional information: http://www.yankeefoliage.com/