Suggestions for travelling from Boston to Miami ?

Heaalih

Jedi
Hello,
My wife, our two little boys and I are preparing a travel to east coast of USA this summer.
We are planning to land to Boston, then stay a week in New York, then travelling to Miami via Philadelphia, Washington and Orlando. Essentially by using bus.
We'll stay in those places two or more days to visit and entertain ourselves.
Would you have some advices for affordable places to sleep ? We started to identify the visits and places we are going to see and we are enjoying preparing that travel.
Thanks
 

scotseeker

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Hello Heaalih, I would check out airbnb or Home Away, both sites have multiple choices that will fit your family.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Keep in mind that, for the most part, except NYC, the US is a "auto-necessary" place. You can't just get off a bus or plane in a city and expect to find reasonable transportation to anywhere. Nor can you walk because things just aren't laid out for walking or biking. Bus stations are usually in very poor and depressed parts of cities and are magnets for the homeless, drug addicts and criminals.

If I were you, I'd ditch the bus idea and rent a car.

Also, people in the US are not generally "foreigner friendly" even at the best of times, nowadays, things are way worse. It would be ideal if you had friends or family there to run interference for you. I just hope you aren't traumatized by such a trip! Good luck!
 

Odyssey

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
Keep in mind that, for the most part, except NYC, the US is a "auto-necessary" place. You can't just get off a bus or plane in a city and expect to find reasonable transportation to anywhere. Nor can you walk because things just aren't laid out for walking or biking. Bus stations are usually in very poor and depressed parts of cities and are magnets for the homeless, drug addicts and criminals.

If I were you, I'd ditch the bus idea and rent a car.

Also, people in the US are not generally "foreigner friendly" even at the best of times, nowadays, things are way worse. It would be ideal if you had friends or family there to run interference for you. I just hope you aren't traumatized by such a trip! Good luck!

You might be able to forgo the car in NYC, Philly and D.C. for day to day sightseeing as you can make use of the subway. But for getting from city to city and touring around Miami and Orlando I'd definitely suggest a car too. It's more comfortable than a bus and you don't have to worry about weirdos surrounding you. When you land in Boston, get yourself a GPS device to use in the car. They may not be 100% accurate 100% of the time but they certainly make travelling a whole lot easier.
 

Heaalih

Jedi
Thank you for those advices !
We found where to sleep in New York city first, via abritel, because we stay there one week.
We finally stay very few in Boston because the nights are especially expansive. We land there because it's where the prices of the fly were less.
We continue to plan our trip.
 

Heaalih

Jedi
Laura said:
Also, people in the US are not generally "foreigner friendly" even at the best of times, nowadays, things are way worse. It would be ideal if you had friends or family there to run interference for you. I just hope you aren't traumatized by such a trip! Good luck!

Unfortunately, we have no family and no friends there. We hope too that we are going to enjoy this trip... We like to visit cities and discover beautifull landscapes.
 

Charade

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Heaalih said:
Thank you for those advices !
We found where to sleep in New York city first, via abritel, because we stay there one week.
We finally stay very few in Boston because the nights are especially expansive. We land there because it's where the prices of the fly were less.
We continue to plan our trip.

Hi. I wanted to suggest BandB.com as a possible website that is becoming popular for accomadations. They feature people's homes or apts and can be a cheaper option than hotel rates in larger cities and vacation destinations. Might offer a unique experience in someplace like Boston as well as the other places you plan to visit. I haven't used it personally but I know people that have or are have their properties available on the website. Sorry I don't live on the East Coast anymore. I lived in Philadelphia - lots historical sites in the city and Delaware which has gorgeous rolling hill countryside. The only beach area I've been to recently is Charleston, South Carolina. I do recommend it. The South will seem more hospitable. Good luck.
 

Beau

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Yeah, don't take the bus. I've done it down the East Coast, you'll stop at a bunch of different destinations along the way that prolong your trip, switch buses in the middle of the night where you end up trying to find places to sit on an already crowded bus and then find yourself in dangerous, creepy bus stations waiting 4 hours for the next bus to arrive. I even had someone ask me if I wanted to buy drugs in the restroom of a Greyhound station. Laura's observations about the state of bus stations is totally accurate with my experiences. I'm pretty sure you can take the train from NY to Philly to DC, and that's better than the bus, but again it's not really family friendly. If you're going all the way to Miami, you'll be miserable taking the bus. It'll take a really long time, you and your children will be uncomfortable. All rentals now come with GPS, so you'll be able to get right where you want to go without hassle and asking locals, which can be an issue if they see someone they can prey on. Believe me, you'll be much happier that you shelled out a few more bucks to rent a car.
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Amtrak isn't awful in business class. Problem is that there isn't much good schedule coverage for trains, except in the DC-Boston corridor. Only in these areas will there be any kind of pedestrian-friendly sight seeing.
I think a private car is the way to go. Maybe even a smallish RV or pull-behind would be good if you don't mind staying at campgrounds. You'll save a lot of money by using an ice chest and little grill for food preps. These can be found for a song at just about any thrift shop.
There are a lot of nice stops along 95, with decent nearby campgrounds. Savannah, Charleston, Saint Augustine areas are all worth a stop and campground stay. Richmond/Petersburg area is fantastic for visiting Civil War sites, if you're into that. DC is great for museums. Lancaster County, PA is worth a drive by.
Anastasia State Park in Florida (near St Augustine) is fantastic for self guided hikes, bird watching, etc.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/anastasia

I have done a lot of urban camping (in my car) by staying in parks areas. There are a lot of state and national parks around, but some require camping reservations. Anastasia was (I think) $12/night per vehicle when I last stayed there.

I would advise a family traveling this way to arrive to US with basic comfort clothing and cash. Stop at thrifts along the way (salvation army, goodwill, etc) to pick up any camping gear or beach toys as might be needed. You can donate it back to a thrift or to a needy family on the way out of the country.
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Frugal lifestyle girl, here. Just want to add that you might be able to save 50% overall just by avoiding Orlando. If Disney is important to you, have fun. I won't go near that place for the price!
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
FYI, Busch Gardens and King's Dominion are more affordable theme parks than the Disney area parks. King's Dominion is between DC and Richmond, VA, right on 95.
Busch Gardens is near 'Colonial Williamsburg', an historic re-enactment village.
 

Heaalih

Jedi
Hi, here a small feedback on our trip. It was an adventure for our family, all four of us.
We landed in Boston, and our first experience in the airport was a bit uncomfortable. We were accompanied in the border control bureau and waited here for an hour with our children. The finally interrogated me on the travel we did in Canada with my wife 12 years ago. [We had our "Permanent resident visa" to Canada and lived there during 15 months. We finally get bask in France. To go there, we choose to travel by boat, in a cargo from France. There was no border control in the harbor so we had to turn around the US border to validate our visa by reentering the Canada.]
Finally we got out but did not find our luggage. We believed we had lost them. Once we got them back, we took our rented car and decided to go straight to New York. We did simple, by traveling by car and sleeping in hotels and "homestay". We ate often in Whole Food Market (selling organic food).

We stayed at least one week and visited museums, miss liberty, and the city. It was great and our children loved the city and everything we visited. We walked a lot and they were strong. The newyorkers are very nice, even in the subway. Maybe because of our children. We then traveled down to Washington and visit some museum and the national mall. It was great but we didn't find somewhere else in the states the people as nice as they were in NY. We then visited a bit Savannah, which was a beautiful town. We travelled down to Florida : some days to Miami Beach that our children loved. And... did our stay in Universal Studio resort, a tour in the Everglades where our children could have carried a baby alligator. All of that was changing our french daily ! It was a bit hard to come back to work after that.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
3D Student said:
It sounds like you had a great time Heaalih. Thanks for sharing! :)

Yes that sounded like a great trip indeed. Thanks for the trip report as well. The ideas posted here are interesting and I hope to plan something good for my upcoming trip to NYC.
 
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