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  1. Default Lots of Questions!

    Hi,

    I'm due to land in Boston in 2 weeks and i'm feeling a bit underprepared!

    Firstly I'd like to book a motel for the first night, but i'm finding it really difficult to find anything in the boston area (within maybe 2 hours drive) thats around $50.

    I know that motel 6 is recommended a few times on this forum and else where, but the their motels near boston don't allow you stay there if your under 21 (unless your a child or with your parents) i'm 20 (my boyfriend is 21).Does anybody know whether this will be a common problem we face?

    Is $50 a night a totally unrealistic budget for a motel room?

    How hard is it to find a motel for the night during that day?

    To visit citys is it best using public transport? Researching Boston seemed to suggest that there are car parks at some subway stations, is using this recommended?


    We haven't yet finalised our route yet, we are using Microsoft Streets & Trips to plan it, does anyone have experience of how accurate it is on driving times?

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default With a grain of salt

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyFace
    I know that motel 6 is recommended a few times on this forum and else where, but the their motels near boston don't allow you stay there if your under 21
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Most motels in the USA are going to require that over-night guests be older than 21, some require 25. There are exceptions, of course, but you might wish to consider camping as an alternative.
    Is $50 a night a totally unrealistic budget for a motel room?
    In Boston, I would say yes. But in many places in the country $50 is adequate - except that your age may carry some sort of sur-charge. Here is another post dealing with this issue.
    How hard is it to find a motel for the night during that day?
    Not sure I understand the question, but generally it is easy to find motel rooms each night without reservations.
    We haven't yet finalised our route yet, we are using Microsoft Streets & Trips to plan it, does anyone have experience of how accurate it is on driving times?
    It is a little optimistic -- the general rule that we have found to be the most accurate is the following. If you drive at or slightly over the posted speed limits (65 mph to 70 mph) over the course of a an eight hour travel day you will average 57 mph west of the Mississippi River somewhat less (53 mph to 55 mph) east of the river.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-06-2006 at 03:44 PM. Reason: addeda link to a similar post & answer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Not my experience

    Most motels in the USA are going to require that over-night guests be older than 21, some require 25. There are exceptions, of course, but you might wish to consider camping as an alternative.
    I'm going to disagree with this. I can't think of ever even hearing about a motel with a 25 age requirement, nor have I ever seen a motel charge an additional rate for being underage. They may require people to leave a credit card number or put down an extra deposit, but I've never heard of an extra charge.

    From what I've seen, you should be perfectly fine. Most motels just require you to be 18 and/or have a credit card, although there will occationally be the 21 requirement. Really, even in most of the cases where there is a 21 rule, it's designed to keep local kids from using their hotel to host parties, so if you are showing them you are out of town, you can often get around even these rules.

    In your specific case, as long as your boyfriend is over 21, I would be shocked if you had any problems with hotels.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default The partially refunded deposit

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    They may require people to leave a credit card number or put down an extra deposit, but I've never heard of an extra charge.
    Technically that is true, the procedure I am familiar with is the larger deposit and sometimes there is a transaction fee associated with the deposit. But I would agree with you that travelers will probably not have too much of a problem. Hotels/motels/lodging establishments of all kinds are interested in furthering their business and so the incidence of any sur-charges is probably still fairly small. I have seen references to this practice in TOS (terms of service) documentation, but when I was that age (a while ago) I don't ever recall having such an additional expense levied on me.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Boston

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyFace
    Researching Boston seemed to suggest that there are car parks at some subway stations, is using this recommended?
    It has been my experience that driving in Boston isn't generally something one would do for enjoyment (Mark may have a different opinion), though it has become easier since the Big Dig.

    I almost always take the T to get around the city, though Boston is very "walkable", and you can get a good overview of the city proper in a single day. Some of the T stations have very limited parking, so check the above link for further information.

    Two hours outside of Boston gives you a lot of options (Worcester, MA, Providence,RI, Nashua, NH - heck, even Springfield, MA if traffic is good *cough*), but you most likely will have to spend a bit more than $50/night on a room.

    What do you have planned beyond Boston?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default Boston: Driving Hell

    It has been my experience that driving in Boston isn't generally something one would do for enjoyment (Mark may have a different opinion), though it has become easier since the Big Dig.
    I certainly will agree that public transit is a much better option than trying to drive through Boston. However, I learned this because I tryed to drive in the city, trying to get to a game at Fenway. It took more than one hour to get from the Exit off I-90 to the ballpark, and this was 11-12 am in the middle of the week. I'm sure I don't want to know what rush hour would be like.

    I have used the park and ride method for my explorations of Chicago and New York. It really does work well if the city has a good mass transit system. The problem is, beyond Boston, New York, Chicago, DC, and San Francisco, there aren't very many US cities with a public transit system that work well enough to be useful to the average traveler.

    Getting back to a previous thought about hotels, if you are flying into Boston, I would try to find a hotel in the city. What you might save by trying to sleep outside the city will be lost on the extra days of expenses for your rental car as well as daylong parking.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default You ought to try it in a super-sized vehicle!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim
    It has been my experience that driving in Boston isn't generally something one would do for enjoyment (Mark may have a different opinion), though it has become easier since the Big Dig.
    Well, you may remember that I enjoy Manhattan and Montreal.... Boston, on the other hand is one my all-time-most-annoying-places-to-drive-in. If you want a real thrill, try driving a high-profile vehicle that also carries propane (so tunnels are a no-go). When I drive into Boston, I hire a taxi -- not to ride in, but to act as my "pilot car" and I have been known to use a custom interpretation of certain traffic rules/laws in order to reach downtown. I haven't seen the Big Dig yet, that is certainly going to be on my list....

    Thanks for the current tips on the "T".

    Mark

  8. Default Our Plan So Far

    Thank You all for the advice!

    What do you have planned beyond Boston?
    Like I said we haven't got our plans finalised yet, its really difficult trying to fit in everything we want to do, but still make it a holiday, not a mad dash. So all and any advice and suggestions would be really, really welcome.

    DAY 1 : Land in Boston, drive to Providence
    DAY 2 : Spend the day driving towards Nigeris Falls
    DAY 3 : few more hours driving, Spend afternoon and evening at Falls
    DAY 4 - DAY 8 : drive across the middle of America to Las Vegas
    DAY 9 + DAY 10 : Las Vegas
    DAY 11 : Drive to Los Angeles
    DAY 12 + DAY 13 : Los Angeles
    DAY 14 : Drive to Grand Canyon
    DAY 15 : Grand Canyon
    DAY 16 - DAY 20 : drive across the middle of America to Washington
    DAY 21 + DAY 22 : Washinton
    DAY 23 : Drive to New York
    DAY 24 + DAY 25 : New York
    DAY 26 : Drive back to Boston
    DAY 27 : Boston
    DAY 28 : Whale Watching
    DAY 29: Flying home from Boston

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Too much driving

    I really think you are doing way too much driving....and this comes from someone who loves to drive. I'm tired just reading your itinerary!! I think your trip is more mad dash/less holiday than you envision doing.

    Why don't you consider doing a more regional trip? Maybe a circle that keeps you east of the Mississippi? Save LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon for another trip when you can concentrate on the western half of the country.

    For example, you only have 2 days each in LA and Washington. You won't even be scratching the surface of what these cities have to offer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
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    Default Mad Dash

    I agree with Judy - you're going to find that driving that much is going to cut into your time to actually relax and enjoy the places you are travelling to. Between what's available East of the Mississippi, there will be enough to see to fill most of that time.

    If you tire of the city, you can always plan a day trip away from any one of these that will make you feel as though you're worlds away (Boston to White Mountains in NH, New York to the Adirondacks, Washington to Shenandoah area, VA are just some examples).

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