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East Coast Travel Advice

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1. Posted by Irish 2007 (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

Irish 2007 has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hey Guys,

Myself and a couple of friends are planning to head over to America for a month or so this summer (mid-August onwards) and, whilst we've all done a good bit of travelling around Europe, our stateside experience and expertise are minimal! Our provisional plan is to fly to Chicago for a week or so, then rent a car and drive over to the east coast and travel to New York and Boston and anywhere in between that catches our eye! We're all in our twenties and we're not too bothered about comfort or luxury, just having as much fun as possible, but some general advice would be warmly welcomed:
- Is the Chicago-eastcoast trip feasible or would it be a ridiculously long and monotonous drive?
- About how much would it cost to rent a car for 4-6 weeks? (Nothin fancy, cheap and cheerful will be just fine!)
- What are the hostels like over there? Would they be the cheapest and handiest option?
- Any other lesser-known spots in the general area we should visit that we might not have heard of?

We're just a few Irish lads lookin to have a bit of craic and adventure on the road and hopefully make a few friends along the way - Any tips or advice would be great - we've plenty of time yet to plan but it'd be nice to get a head-start!

Shane Guckian

2. Posted by luckysnap (Budding Member 37 posts) 9y

Chicago is OK however unless you fly you will see nothing but rural landscape. I suggesst you fly to Boston then south to New York, then to Washington DC, then to Williamsburg, Virginia, then to Virginia Beach then south to Charleston, South carolina, then to Savannah, Georgia, then to Saint Augustine, Florida, then to Palm beach/Fort Lauderdale A1A and then to South beach(Miami) and fly back from there.
You will experience a lot of American History and plenty of great cities.

3. Posted by gypsierose (Budding Member 26 posts) 9y

Chicago is a great city - plenty of things to do and experience, however luckysnap is correct in stating the landscape itself is correct in that it is flat. I wouldn't say go so far to say it doesn't offer much in terms of history though or things to do.

To rent a car for that long would be quite pricey but if you are spliting the cost it may not be that bad - the only rental places that would allow you to go from one state and drop it off in another would be the major companies like Hertz or National or Budget. I would look at their websites. They should all run about the same price I think. If you belong to Hi-Hostels, they should be OK - they are international and if not, you should join as I think they offer discounts if you are part of them.

In terms travel, I think that luckysnap actually gave you a great route for your trip! I'm from Chicago -- but it's cheaper for you to fly to NY and that is a great route to take down south.

4. Posted by Jessie C. (Budding Member 10 posts) 9y

Great advice so far, but no one has really addressed the hostel situation - or lack thereof, I should say.
There are few hostels in the entire US - far fewer than any European country by an extreme margin. The metropolitan cities are the worst. For example, in Boston there is only one hostel, and it only operates in the summer as it is primarily a university dormitory.
If you're ok taking turns on the floor, a shared hotel room is about as cheap as you'll be able to do it.
May I suggest a way to defray that cost? In the Northeast particularly, you can go a few days here and there without a car. Boston is a compact 'walking' city, downtown NYC can keep you entertained for days (not too mention having a car in NYC is more trouble than it's worth), and if you make it as far south as, say, Miami, you can ditch the car for the rest of the trip at that point ;)
Bus and train travel between the major East Coast cities is cheap, frequent, and comfortable.

5. Posted by zentric (Budding Member 22 posts) 9y

i'd like to agree with the east coast suggestion! the DC area (maryland and virginia included) is beautiful, and of course there's all sorts of stuff to do...

driving from chicago to the east coast wouldn't be boring per-say... there are plenty of cities or sites that you could stop and check out along the way, depending on how far you're willing to go out of your way (philadelphia, niagara falls, etc). just be forewarned that unless you're planning to go around pennsylvania, the entire state is pretty much made up of toll roads.

6. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

wow...only one hostel in boston? i must have then stayed at it...called international something...

what a shit hole and full of dodgy people! luckly i was with a few friends...other wise i would have hot my ass whooped in my room by some red knecks!

7. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

plus i think it will cost MUCH more if you book over the web than through a travel agent...cos it has always been more expensive when i have looked at this.

8. Posted by Simon1983 (Budding Member 50 posts) 9y

Quoting Jessie C.

Great advice so far, but no one has really addressed the hostel situation - or lack thereof, I should say.
There are few hostels in the entire US - far fewer than any European country by an extreme margin. The metropolitan cities are the worst. For example, in Boston there is only one hostel, and it only operates in the summer as it is primarily a university dormitory.
If you're ok taking turns on the floor, a shared hotel room is about as cheap as you'll be able to do it.

To be honest I didnt have any problems finding a hostel anywhere in the states. Having said that the only city we didnt need a hostel was Boston. We crashed with my mates cousin. Just look up a couple of hostels online before you get to the city, then call them when you arrive.

I personally wouldnt drive from Chicago to NY or Boston, it'll be an almightly mission. Flying would be pretty cheap anyway. Just wait unitl you are out there and book the flights. It was a lot cheaper than booking them over here using something like Expedia.

Hope that helps.

9. Posted by Irish 2007 (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

Nice one lads!

From what I've read I reckon we'd be as well to leave Chicago to another trip and just stick to the coast heading down from Boston until we run out of cash or get sent home! I like the idea of headin South to Miami through Virginia and the Carolinas, etc. Thanks again for the tips, I really appreciate it - if I've any more rookie questions I'll know where to come!

Shane

10. Posted by KristenS (Budding Member 56 posts) 9y

Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the the US. People are very friendly for visitors. Yes there is plenty of farmland between Ill and the east coast, but there is places to see along the way. Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Pittsburgh and Phillie are worth stopping in for a day while you drive east. Quite true about the Carolinas and Savannah Georgia. Truely worth spending time on the beach and relaxing. Sounds like you could use a few days of relaxing after all this trip. There are motels called Super 8, Motel 6 & some others that are no frills but okay for areas all over the states with standard 2 full size beds per room. A month is enought time to see all this but if you do not get all the way south you will get a good feel for the US. I would fly into Chicago and out of Atlanta. Buy Mosquito spray, our winter has been mild so far.