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  1. Default Wisconsin to DC to PA to NY to DC and back to Wisconsin

    WI → DC → WI

    WI → DC 947 miles 16 hours
    DC → WI 945 miles 16 hours
    TOTAL: 1892 miles 32 hours

    DC → PA ($1-3)
    PA → NY ($5-11)
    NY → DC ($8-20)

    21 Leave WI @ 1PM
    22 Arrive in DC @ 8AM, Explore DC
    23 Explore DC
    24 Leave DC to PA @ 730AM BUS DC – PA = $1 each
    25 Leave PA @ 7AM to NY, Explore NY BUS PA – NY = $5 each
    26 Explore NY, Leave NY to DC BUS DC – NY = $8 each
    28 1PM LEAVE DC
    29 8AM ARRIVE WI

    22nd & 23rd DC hotel, 24th PA hotel, 25th NY hotel, 26th DC hotel
    Rough cost:
    Gas: 320/4 = $80/person
    Bus: $15/person
    Hotel: 350/4 = $90/person

    We are in our early 20's looking to spend a week on this "roadtrip" I figured we would save money by taking the bus (gas, tiredness, and free parking. We aren't picky about hotels/motels what so ever, so averaging $70 would be nice. Any suggestions on hotels? Also would like some info as for transportation in DC, Philly, and NYC would be soooo appreciated! Not completely sure as to what we want to see, mostly big tourist sites since we don't have a lot of time in each city. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default back to the drawing board

    Welcome to the RTA Forum! You can certainly travel out to the East Coast and have an enjoyable week, but you do need to make some significant changes.

    I'm sorry, but your plans to drive nearly 1000 miles, without a stop, overnight, and thinking it can be done in 16 hours is not realistic, and put bluntly, is recklessly dangerous.

    First of all, computer estimates like this are only accurate in the virtual world where there is no traffic, no construction, and you have a virtual car that never needs gas, and virtual drivers that don't need food, restrooms, or just a break for their sanity. Realistically, it will take you 20 hours to make a drive of that distance.

    That kind of distance, even with multiple drivers, is simply not safe to do without a full break to get real sleep. It is even worse with your plan, because you will be the most tired at the point of the night where your body will be crying out for sleep. Trust me when I say, at some point of this trip, your reflexes and ability to operate a 2 ton machine at 70 mph will be very much the same as someone who is legally drunk. With 4 people in a car, no one is getting the "real sleep" needed to make up for the fatigue.

    On top of that, that kind of drive is exhausting to the point of being counter productive. It is likely, that the first 2-3 days of your trip would be wasted because you'll be too tired to actually enjoy anything. Simply taking a day and a half, where you arrive in DC the afternoon of the 2nd day will be much safer and will make for a much more enjoyable trip.

    Getting around via Megabus could make sense, but have you looked into parking? Free Parking anywhere around the DC area is a rare thing, so I wouldn't assume you won't have any costs there especially for a stay that lasts a several days. Similarly, getting around via public transportation is a great idea for DC and NYC (I'm not as certain about Philly), but that also means you'll likely need a hotel that is located near public transit stops and that means being closer to the city than the suburbs. That could mean higher hotel rates, that could quite likely (and nearly certainly in NYC) be more than $70 a night.

  3. Default

    There's 4 of us total. We were looking to possibly (if we must) stop in Ann Arbor, MI overnight. So we would just change around our time of leaving to fit accordingly. 16 hours was just off of maqpuest, but I added three hours into trip time.

    I believe I read online that parking at the Megabus station is free, but is that no true? I've been having a hard time finding hotels that are in a safe area near some sort of transportation, so if you have suggestions that would be wonderful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Where in WI are you starting from? I'd think you'd probably want to try to get farther than Ann Arbor, not to mention that Michigan is quite a bit of a detour from a direct route. You probably would spend $100 for two motels stays (one each way), so split up 4 ways, that's only $25 each, a very small price for the ability to have a good trip with proper rest, without spending lots of extra time for a free bed.

    Just looking at Megabus's website, I don't see anywhere that indicates that there is free parking, and based on the location of their DC stop, I see some parking lots, but none that are free. Keep in mind, Megabus does not have any depots, they are generally just stopping points on a street. From my experience most of their stops do not have free parking (They do for one of their stops in Madison, but not for Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, or the UW campus.)

    Hotels are tough to get good advice on a forum like this. We are big believers in sharing first hand experiences, and there just aren't enough people here to give you a good sample for the thousands of hotels just in the 3 cities you're talking about. You might find someone with a good tip, but generally, you're better off looking at some larger sites like TripAdvisor or, etc for more reviews of specific hotels.

  5. Default

    Well, I revised my plans to what seems like a much better idea.

    Wisconsin, WI → Toledo, Ohio → Wisconsin, WI

    WI → OH 491 miles 8 hours 22 minutes
    OH → WI 491 miles 8 hours 22 minutes
    TOTAL: 982 miles 17 hours (20mpg:$200, 25mpg: $160)
    Toledo → Pittsburgh $1.00
    Pittsburgh → DC $1.00 OR Pittsburgh → NY $5.00
    DC → NY $8.00 OR NY → DC $8.00
    NY → Pittsburgh $5.00 OR DC → Pittsburgh $1.00
    Pittsburgh → Toledo $1.00

    Saturday, May 21
    3:35PM: Depart Toledo
    7:50PM: Arrive Pittsburgh
    (Night in Pittsburgh)
    Sunday, May 22
    12:30AM: Depart Pittsburgh
    6:00AM: Arrive Washington DC
    (Night in DC)
    Monday, May 23
    (Whole Day & Night in DC)
    Tuesday, May 24
    (Day in DC)
    11:59PM: Depart Washington DC
    (Sleep on bus)
    Wednesday, May 25
    4:40AM: Arrive New York
    (Night in New York)
    Thursday, May 26
    11:15PM: Depart New York
    (Sleep on the Bus)
    Friday, May 27
    6:55AM: Arrive in Pittsburgh
    11:50AM: Depart Pittsburgh
    3:50PM: Arrive Toledo
    (Leave for WI or Stay the night in Toledo)

    Hotels: 1 Pittsburgh, 2 DC, and 1 NY
    Days: .5 Pittsburgh, 3 DC, and 2 NY


    Saturday, May 21
    3:35PM: Depart Toledo
    7:50PM: Arrive Pittsburgh
    11:00PM: Depart Pittsburgh
    (Sleep on Bus)
    Sunday, May 22
    6:55AM: Arrive New York
    (Night in New York)
    Monday, May 23
    6:40AM: Depart New York
    11:10AM: Arrive DC
    (Night in DC)

    Tuesday, May 24
    (Day & Night in DC)
    Wednesday, May 25
    2:45PM: Depart DC
    8:25PM: Arrive Pittsburgh
    (Night in Pittsburgh)
    Thursday, May 26
    (Day & night in Pittsburgh)
    Friday, May 27
    7:50AM: Depart Pittsburgh
    11:50AM: Arrive Toledo
    (Drive home!! Arrive before 11PM)

    Hotels: 1 NY, 2 DC, 2 Pittsburgh
    Days: 1 NY, 2.5DC, 1 Pittsburgh

    As for driving from here to Toledo, we will probably do two four hours shifts, and stop for a 30 min break to stretch our legs, get food, and get gas.

    Ideas of Things to Do:
    • Washington DC:
    o Free
    • John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • U.S. capitol
    • National Geographic Society
    • FBI Tour
    • Stroll the Mall – not a shopping, just activities and such.
    • Washington monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam memorial
    • National Arboretum
    • National Archives

    We know we can't do everything on the list, but just making a list so we can highlight and research where and when we want to go to each place.

    For hotels, I think I was going to apply for a Hyatt rewards card which gives 2 free stays with only a $75 anual fee, and stay in the more luxurious places with that, and find affordable safe places for other nights.

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