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  1. Default planning east coast trip


    I'm plan to do a East Coast road ( Boston or NY => Miami ) trip with 3 friends, sometime next year ..
    Why East Coast ? It's closer to Europe then West Coast, so it would save us some money on our flight. On top, the East Coast looks more populated, so we decided on that ..
    However, since I'm European, I need some information about a few things ..

    motels :
    - are they common on the East coast ?
    - situated rather around major cities, or can you find them about everwhere ?
    - what is a +/- normal price for an overnight stay ? ( 2 or 4 person room )
    - I doubt they offer some sort of breakfast ? maybe the bigger ones do ?
    - what's your opinion on them ? In major cities we would look for youth hostels, but outside of them, are motels a good choice ?
    - is there maybe a good chain of motels on the East Coast that you recommend ? if so, do they have a website + possibly a map ?

    - how much is the toll exactly ? I don't think they would be a major cost of the trip, but I'd like to have an idea on how much they'll cost
    - only on highways ? or on every major road ?

    - doing every major city would take a lot of time ( not to mention money ) , since staying just one evening in a big city won't give us much time to visit a lot of things. what major cities would you recommend ? I was thinking Boston, NY, Phili, Washington & Miami .. between Washington & Miami, what other major cities are in between them that are worth a visit ?
    - what smaller cities would you recommend ? I was thinking Charleston, Raleigh, Savannah, Jacksonville .. ?

    - timewise, how long would a trip from Boston => Miami take ? Driving would be every morning from 9 to noon or so, with maybe a 2-day stay in the major cities .. 2-3 weeks doable ? not enough ?

    - what would be a good daily budget ? 50 € ( +/- 68$ ) a day for breakfast, lunch & dinner + 2 admissions or so ( museums, etc.. ) + gas money ( 1/4 since we'd be with 4 people ) realistic ?
    - most common international credit card accepted in the smaller cities ? Visa ?
    - is an Internation Student Card well known in the US ?

    - good books on East Coast trips ? I have a previous version of Road Trip USA , which is nice, but I'm looking for another good book with a day to day planner.

    - anyone did a similar trip ? what problems did you encounter ?

    Major costs I can figure out together with my travel agency, but the smallers things like I mentioned, they don't always know a lot about that.

    Thx a lot in advance, I hope to get some usefull comments :)
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-28-2007 at 08:42 AM. Reason: Preferred Link Format

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Once Over Lightly

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Motels: Are thicker than flies (an Americanism for very common) everywhere, and will run anywhere from around $45 for a lower end, minimalist room to $100 or more for something a bit better. You might be charged an additional $5 or so for extra people per room, particularly in the lower priced establishments. The majority will offer a 'continental' breakfast consisting of bread, coffee, cereal and juice, and will clearly state so in their advertising. I use motels extensively when I'm on my way from point A to point B and just want a place I can roll into, shower, sleep, and roll out of. Every major chain in America (and there are dozens) has a web site.

    Tolls: Are more common in the east than elsewhere in the US. Toll roads are marked as such on maps and you can usually look up on the web or elsewhere what they charge. The major one's you're likely to use are the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Florida Turnpikes, as well as the occasional bridge and tunnel.

    Cities: You've already listed the most visited cities on the east coast. How much time to spend in each one is up to you and your friends. You can usually find lower cost accommodations a few tens of miles outside downtown along major highways.

    Time: You're looking at 25-30 hours of pure driving to get from Boston to Miami, depending on traffic. If you only drive 3 hours a day, that's going to take you 9-10 days, so the trip is doable in two weeks, even at your leisurely pace.

    Money: Perhaps the biggest variable of your trip. For starters, I'd assume you need $100 per person per day. If that seems unrealistically high for you, then you need to reconsider whether such a trip is within your grasp.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default A few details


    Tolls costs are extremely variable. In many places you can route your trip around the toll roads and actually have a more interesting drive, if slightly less speedy. For the most part you'll barely notice them in your budgeting - you'll find having to stop and wait in line more of a nusiance than the cost.

    If you are using a travel agent, have him or her do some looking for interesting places to stay. For example, when we were planning to go through Nashville, we found that the old train station had been converted into a lovely hotel and were offering great rooms with a view of the central atrium for less than $100 per night (several years ago). It was a great place with good parking right downtown. Those kinds of things are possible in many cities, but it takes some looking or inside information that you agent might have.

    The only problem we ever encounter is not enough time to see everthing we want to see. If you are interested in American history there is so much in that area that you could spend months. A couple of highlights are the Freedom Trail in Boston, The historic villages of Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia, Fort McHenry in Baltimore Maryland, Castillo San Marcos and the Spanish Quarte in St. Augustine, Florida, and two lesser known but very interesting places, Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina and Fort King George in Darien, Georgia, just to scratch the surface.

    As far as cities, you've gotten the obvious ones on your list.

    Have a great time,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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