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Thread: Bus trip to NYC: suggestions?

  1. #16
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    Well that is why I'd set up alerts on various sites so that you can get email when there are special deals. Looking randomly may not get you the best deal but if a sale pops up or a last minute travel special, then you could get really cheap airline tickets.

  2. #17
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    Megabus tends to stop in cities and college towns, so if you have a nearby college, I'd look into that....
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I have not actually taken these new buses but I know people who have and love them. Its not the cheap charters you think. And, the Port Authority Bus Terminal has changed. No longer seedy.

    https://us.megabus.com/ (Owned by CoachAmerica)

    https://www.boltbus.com/default.aspx (owned by Greyhound)

    Trailways is still around but not the same as these new bus companies.

    I spent too many years as a tour director living on coaches. Today, I'd rather fly or take the train.

    I tried visiting these sites. Maybe I don't know the interface well enough, but there were some quirks at each one.

    Megabus did offer a direct bus route to NYC at a great price, but you have to go to a city in the opposite direction (about 100 miles away) to get on the bus, and then travel WAY out of the way to get there. Is there some kind of Travelocity for buses that allows you to book a more localized regional bus to get to another city, so you can then transfer to a bus like Megabus?

    Boltbus looks neat, but there's only service for east-coast cities from what I can see.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  4. #19
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    You can check sites like https://www.greyhound.com/ and Welcome to Trailways.com that offer more service.
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  5. #20
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    Correction: I could go to a city 65 miles away, get on a Megabus route, and roll to Buffalo and then to NYC and back the same route for about $45 if I take the buses a certain time of day. Hmm...
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  6. #21
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    $45 dollar return sounds like a pretty good deal to me, the difficult part is finding accommodations in NYC that don't involve putting a second mortgage on your house. I would suggest checking out airbnb.com, most hotels will run you north of $200 dollars a night but you can find a pretty nice room or apartment on there for $50-100 with the added benefit of your host guiding you to where the best lobster rolls are or where to catch the F-line.

    Once you are there there is plenty to do on a budget, knowing your interest in photography I would recommend trying to get involved with a tour of the old city hall subway station, taking a walk down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade after a pizza from Grimaldis (ok pizza snobs, let me have it), walking through Central Park including a midnight visit to the iconic 5th ave apple store just because you can, walking the Brooklyn bridge or taking the Staten Island ferry for a better view of the Statue of Liberty. If you so wanted you can get discounted tickets to the broadway shows by buying them the day of or catching a show that is still in previews. If you haven't already the Met and the natural history museum are worth going to. It will cost you but the Empire State Building and top of the rock have amazing views. You can visit B&H photo and preemptively spend your next years pay.

    Like London you will never see everything NYC has to offer in one visit, or likely 100 years. To try and do it in 12 hours is madness, hell Lincoln Nebraska has kept me occupied for 12 hours, but then again I have an unhealthy obsession with wooly mammoths and the University of Nebraska has an entire hall full of their fossils...

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miking View Post
    $45 dollar return sounds like a pretty good deal to me, the difficult part is finding accommodations in NYC that don't involve putting a second mortgage on your house. I would suggest checking out airbnb.com, most hotels will run you north of $200 dollars a night but you can find a pretty nice room or apartment on there for $50-100 with the added benefit of your host guiding you to where the best lobster rolls are or where to catch the F-line.
    It may not suit some people who value their privacy a lot, but when in New York I always stay at the HI youth hostel on the Upper West Side. It's clean, comfortable and safe, located in Manhattan, and has a cafe, TV room, lounge and a kitchen, as well as free wifi. It offers tours leaving right from the hostel and has staff on duty 24/7 who can offer advice. All for around $50 a night, which is fairly unbeatable.

    I know I sound like I'm writing an advert, but I really do recommend it! Actually I'm heading to NYC later this week and looking forward to the trip very much.

  8. #23
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    Another option is the YMCA. Numerous locations. I checked the West Side YMCA at 63rd St just off Central Park (great location) for the weekend of the bus trip (as an example) and they have single rooms starting at $109/night. You will have to share a bathroom.

    Central Park Hostel New York | Budget Hotels in NYC - West Side | New York City's YMCA

    I have never stayed here so I can't give you any type of report but the Y has been known as an inexpensive place to rent a room for years.

    New York is not a cheap place but it can be done inexpensively if you're careful.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post

    I have never stayed here so I can't give you any type of report but the Y has been known as an inexpensive place to rent a room for years.
    I hear you can get yourself clean, you can have a hot meal, you can do whatever you feel.

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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Shor View Post
    It may not suit some people who value their privacy a lot, but when in New York I always stay at the HI youth hostel on the Upper West Side. It's clean, comfortable and safe, located in Manhattan, and has a cafe, TV room, lounge and a kitchen, as well as free wifi. It offers tours leaving right from the hostel and has staff on duty 24/7 who can offer advice. All for around $50 a night, which is fairly unbeatable.

    I know I sound like I'm writing an advert, but I really do recommend it! Actually I'm heading to NYC later this week and looking forward to the trip very much.
    Is this the place you're talking about? Cool if it is!
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  11. #26
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    In mid-July of 2000, I visited NYC for my first and only time. I was there to attend the 2000 NYC MacWorld Conference and Expo. It was only a year or two later that Apple pulled out and MacWorld stopped having Expos in NYC. The Expo was held at the Jacob Javits Center on the waterfront in mid-town Manhattan near the U.S.S. Intrepid Museum. I had been exposed, virtually, to NYC because our local cable TV system piped in WNEW/WNYW Fox 5, WPIX 11 and WOR 9 for years, so I did get to occasionally see local newscasts that allowed me to peek at the workings of the city.

    The internet's current institutions of travel planning, deal-making and customer feedback were just evolving then. It was crude by today's standards and I was still on dial-up. (Blah!) I made the mistake of not putting enough time into researching my trip, even though there really was not enough useful information available in an easy-to-access form back then. It was worlds apart from my visit to Stanford U in 2003 (Digital Media Academy to learn Final Cut Pro) or to visit legislators in Washington, DC in 2009.

    Back to NYC in 2000: I spent most of my time at the Javits Center, which was okay. I was there to immerse my self in technology and to give some exhibitors (like HP) a piece of my mind. (I have a love/hate relationship with HP) The first night I stayed in mid-town Manhattan at a run-down old hotel for college kids with no air conditioning and a communal bathroom that was flooded with about 2 inches of water. I forget the name of the place (deliberately), but I call it The Fleabag Arms. I had reserved it (for the week) over the internet prior to arriving because it was the lowest rate I could find nearby (actually several blocks away) from Javits. It sucked so badly, that I talked with folks the next day at the Expo who recommended I call a phone number for a bed & breakfast network. I did, they hooked me up with some guy who was renting out rooms in his apartment (a semi-posh place with a gate and a doorman), so I checked out of the Fleabag Arms, got my stuff, went to a Citibank location to get cash drawn on my credit card, and checked in at the apartment. (To get things moving, I took my one and only taxi. And seethed with jealousy as other Expo-goers enjoyed concierge-like service, including a dedicated bus circuit between the Javits Center and their posh hotels.)

    The apartment was nice, mostly quiet, and had at least one other person (a Japanese woman who only woke up at night and seemed to always be either asleep or gone) renting a room. I think the guy who had the apartment was some Felix Unger-type photographer. He was usually polite but a bit of a snob. He did offer me a token muffin one morning. Other than that, I ate out. I only drank a little of his water and used his bathroom.

    While in NYC in 2000, I went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited Battery Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, took a Circle Line boat to visit the Statue of Liberty, and did a little aimless roaming on foot. I regret not visiting the Intrepid. (My maternal grandfather was a Navy Seabee.) I usually ate out of a corner MacDonald's less than half a block from Felix's apartment. I did visit a so-so steakhouse on Friday evening.

    All in all, my improvised "travel itinerary" was probably best described as "a work in progress" or "a successful failure". Either way, judging from the feedback you've all generously provided in this thread, I'm leaning against going on the Moose bus. I can probably plan a weekday trip that will offer more useful outcomes. And the Moose bus fare is looking less and less impressive.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Yes, that's the one! Sorry for not providing a link earlier.

  13. #28
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    MtnMan, that is a shame, NYC has some really awesome food and it can be very economical. When I have gone to NYC in the past, I've stayed at nicer places or at my friend's house in Brooklyn. I highly recommend Brooklyn for a visit. The metro in NYC is fun but can be somewhat confusing but as long as you follow the train map, you should be fine. Even the buses are pretty easy. I love the Metropolitan museum for museum visiting. Walking around a cemetery in Brooklyn was pretty cool, especially when you see all the tropical birds that live there. And of course if shows are great fun to see.


    I hope you can plan a visit and hopefully it will be better than your prior visit.

  14. #29
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    When you do go, I suggest you watch this video a couple of times. It gives the best tourist tips for NYC:

    Johnny T's NYC Tourist Tips - YouTube
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  15. #30
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    ^ Love the pizza recommendations and "don't be a jerk"/"don't go to Applebees". Amen.

    But where do you go for a quality steak dinner that doesn't cost a fortune? And where can you find a good breakfast?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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