My US History trip is an amazing opportunity to explore our Country's history. It will take you from the Boston Harbor to the Statue of Liberty, and then to the U.S. Capitol. You can dine in some of the best restaurants in the country, enjoy some exciting adventures (like a Boston Duck Tour or Potomac Dinner Cruise) and explore inspiring sites and museums. Unlike other trips I've posted, I’ve broken the pricing into four different categories instead of 3. The four categories are luxury, expensive, moderate and value. I did this because there are wide swings in pricing, and I wanted to capture a broader mix. This allows you a better opportunity to mix and match hotels across price categories. For instance: you can reserve a luxury hotel in Boston, a moderately priced hotel in New York and go with a value resort when you get to DC.
This is not a plan that I am offering, but a post to inspire you to explore different vacation options. With that being said, you can take this idea and adjust it to fit your needs, maybe by cutting nights or even destinations. I list the pricing after tax (except on some transport), and the prices are for July, during the peak travel time. The trip is calculated for a family of four, but I do list what a couple should expect at the bottom. So let's get started. Below are a couple maps of the trip and total cost:
Let's start with the transportation costs.
For the flights, we will fly into Boston and depart from Washington DC. Considering this is an open jaw flight, I'm increasing the flight budget to $1,600 ($400 per passenger.) That said, if you're using points, or can find a cheaper flight, that is awesome, and you can subtract that expense from the total cost. The rest are the transport costs are as follows:
Once on the ground, there's a couple ways you can enjoy this adventure, by road or by rail. There is a trade-off for each and you will have to decide which is best for you. For example, is a train, which provides a less stressful way of traveling, better than the freedom a car offers. For this trip, I'm planning for the train because I feel it's more reliable and safer (not worrying about getting lost, blowing a tire, crazy drivers in traffic, etc.)
As far as pricing goes, the train option would cost about $694, which includes trains from South Station (in Boston) to Penn Station (in New York) and from Penn Station (New York) to Union Station (DC). This estimate also includes all transfers to and from the hotel.
If you were interested in driving, the cost is comparable to the train, at $750. This estimate is purely the point to point cost. By saying that, I mean you will rent a car in downtown Boston, drive to your New York hotel, and then immediately return the car. Of course you can park at the hotel, but this would edge the budget of the car up closer to $1,400.
As far as getting around once in the city, since the three destinations are more walkable, you will rely on Uber, cabs and public transportation. Also in the activities, I've included on-off bus passes in order to see a lot of sights.
Boston has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a place rich in history, a party atmosphere or a laid back coastal city, Boston can be all those things and more. It's really one of my favorite cities in the US.
When I first went to New York, I was surprised with how safe I felt with my family. I admit it, I watched way too many movies and formed an opinion of New York as an intimidating place. But after getting there, it wasn't that overwhelming. Yes, the city is crowded, and yes, it can be loud and chaotic, but it can also be relaxing. Off the city streets are world class museums, architecture and even relaxing strolls in the park.
When I was in 8th grade, my school took a field trip to DC and I fell in love with the city. We saw the sights, we cruised down the Potomac on a dinner cruise and we paid our respects to those who made it all possible. While New York may have had more indoor activities, DC embraces the outdoor. Don't get me wrong there's a ton of activities to do indoors (I think it should be a crime to skip the holocaust museum when visiting), but I love walking the national mall. Walking through and around the monuments and exploring the memorials, it still inspires me. The hotels offer a wide range as far as pricing, but all provide ideal locations.
Itinerary and Activities
This plan takes advantage of experience packages. These are deals that allow you to visit multiple locations for one discounted rate. Like for New York, I have included a 7 event package. This allows you to mix and match some of the best destinations in the city for a low rate. So the Statue of Liberty, the Met, the Top of the Rock, and all other New York activities (except for the Broadway show) are included in this 7 event package. Each city has that offering, so I took advantage of the savings.
There are also a lot of free options in the destinations which can be sprinkled into the itinerary, or instead of the package plan. For example:
- Wander through Central Park in New York or visit Time Square. Go window shopping at one of the high end stores.
- Stroll along the Freedom Trail in Boston for a look into the city’s history. Walk past the house where Paul Revere lived and see where the Boston Massacre occurred. With a cell phone, it's pretty much a free walking tour. The USS Constitution is also free to visit.
- Almost everything in DC is free, I just proposed a on-off bus ticket.
I have built-in about $160 per day which I think would be enough to get breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For couples, I've adjusted the amount spent on the flight, the activities, the food and the room rate. If you were to go, the prices would be similar to the chart below.
As mentioned earlier, the prices are based on higher summer prices, so if you were to go during the shoulder or off season, you could expect a discount. Overall, I think this trip would be a great option for any age group. It's a chance to explore the East Coast and the history of our country.