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First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

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Indiana
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First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

I am heading to tour Philadelphia with my wife and two children. We will be staying 6/18 - 6/22. There will be one day that we travel over to the New Jersey shore for a beach day. We want to stay at the same hotel the entire time. We will be driving in from out of town, so we'll have our car.

We are mostly looking at going to historical sites as well as the US Mint.

I am wanting to stay under $75 a night for the hotel. I know I'll probably have to go with hotwire/priceline to get in this price range.

We are considering getting the Independence Family Pass to get around. With this in mind, would it be possible to stay outside of Philadelphia and ride the public transportation into central Philadelphia? I imagine hotels in the heart of Philadelphia will be $$$. Another option may be to drive and park at one of the rail stations outside of Philadelphia and ride the rail in.

I have never been to Phili so I am looking for some guidance on my ideas.

I see that priceline has some possibilities in central Phili which I could try for. I just imagine they are still going to be costly.

Thanks.

Bucks County...
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1. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

I doubt you will get a hotel anywhere in this area for that price during that time (or even during the slow season). The cost difference between hotels in the suburbs and those in the city is often negligible, and is almost always made up for by the cost of the travel between the hotel and downtown. It's been sliced and diced many times here. Every now and then someone manages to save a few dollars by staying outside the city, but it is rare, and the savings don't make up for the inconvenience and time spent traveling.

mt laurel, nj
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2. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

I agree with this person on the cost benefit of staying where you really want to be.

Philadelphia
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3. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

Unfortunately, I don't think your hotel budget is realistic. It is highly unlikely to find a hotel for $75 in Center City even using Hotwire or Priceline.

Edited: 31 May 2013, 04:01
Philadelphia...
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4. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

I think your budget is unrealistic. The only way you would have a chance of finding a room for $75 a night (at least at a hotel I would be willing to stay at) would be to use a blind, nonrefundable site like Priceline or Hotwire. Priceline is not an option for you because when you bid, you're only guaranteed a room for two people in one bed. That leaves Hotwire, and I see only two options for your dates that are even remotely close to $75 per night -- both in the airport/stadium area, which is not a great location.

You might find something in the suburbs on Hotwire, but that would mean commuting into the city each day -- not how I would want to spend a vacation.

For your shore visit, I recommend staying overnight. It's much nicer to have a home base where you can shower and change after a day at the beach.

Philadelphia
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5. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

You have not factored in the cost of parking in center city either.

I would guess most economical option will be either airport hotel or something out near king of Prussia or plymouth meeting or maybe new jersey since u plan to go to the shore. Parking is free at hotels in the suburbs. From the hotel you could then drive in daily to center city and park for the day then walk or use public transit while sightseeing. Unlike the DC area we don't have a lot of hotels convenient to the regional rail. Also regional rail will be more expensive than parking for a family of four.

You might look into a visit to valley forge nat park if you stay in the suburbs

Edited: 31 May 2013, 16:21
Indiana
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6. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

how much can I expect to pay for parking in center city?

Bucks County...
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7. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

$18/day minimum.

Indiana
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8. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

That's not bad. I found a website which shows parking options which are pretty reasonable:

http://www.visitphilly.com/parkingdeals/

I think we will stay in the Cherry Hill area and drive in to park for the day. Then walk around from there.

Bucks County...
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9. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

Add $5 for the bridge toll, which you pay on the way in, none on the way out of Philadelphia.

Cherry Hill, NJ
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10. Re: First time to Philadelphia - options for hotel/transportatin

Bear in mind that from Cherry Hill you will also be dealing with traffic on a daily basis, that will add 30-40 mins to your travel time during rush hour..

That said, since you are considering the shore one day, if you try to avoid weekdays for the city shouldn't be too bad. You could also take PATCO in but with 4 people won't be much in terms of savings.