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Thread: Bus trip to NYC: suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Bus trip to NYC: suggestions?

    There's an ad in my hometown newspaper today: the Moose lodge is seeking people to fill a bus trip to New York City. The trip is $85 for the bus only. It leaves on a Friday evening in May and the bus leaves NYC for my hometown on Saturday evening, arriving in back home Sunday morning. I've only been to NYC once, to attend the MacWorld Conference & Expo in 2000. Didn't get to see enough. If I wanted to familiarize myself with an much as I could to take it all in, where should I go/who should I talk to? (I am applying for a job there. This may not get me any closer, but I'm thinking that it couldn't hurt to go and look around a little.)

    (NOTE: There is an e-mail address and phone number provided with the ad; which I have omitted here.)

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    I am going to let the locals chime in on what to see, but as an occasional visitor years ago, I highly recommend the Strand bookstore to stock up on reading if you like to browse independent bookstores. Enjoy!

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    What about lodging? I guess you would be travelling during the night both ways.

    Familiarize yourself with the Metro stations around the bus terminus. Find out what you want to see and plan your itinerary from the bus terminus in NYC to the sights.

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    I'm into museums and public spaces, so my list is parks:
    Central Park
    Madison Square Park
    Washington Square Park
    Prospect Park
    Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
    and of course all the museums. The Met is amazing. I love contemporary art, but don't like MoMA (too stuffy). I love the Whitney and the New Museum for contemporary art.
    If all you did was wander aimlessly for a day, it would be time well spent.

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    I contacted the person listed at the bottom of that ad via e-mail. Here's what I asked:


    1: Who sponsors and organizes the trip? Is it the Moose lodge? Who administers the trip? Is it you?

    2: What time does the trip arrive in NYC? Where does it arrive at?

    3: Does your organization have connections to people/organizations in NYC to help someone learn/get familiar with the area? (I visited NYC once, for about a week in July of 2000, and got around in a limited fashion while there; I visited the MacWorld Conference and Expo and the Javits Center.)

    4: Are there any connections/recommendations for lodging, etc.?

    5: When is payment for the bus trip due? How is payment handled?

    6: Are there any luggage restrictions on the bus?

    7: Who is the bus/coach service provided by?

    8: Are there any forms/paperwork to fill out?

    Here's the reply:


    Hello, thanks for inquiring about the trip. Here are some answers for you.

    1. The Women of the Moose are organizing the trip. I am the contact person.

    2. The bus should be in NYC around 9am depending on any stops the driver makes. I believe we'll be dropped off at Rockefeller center.

    3. We don't have any connections -it's just a day trip.

    4. We won't need any lodging since we're only there about 12 hours.

    5. Payment is due by this Friday as I need to pay the bus company.

    6. No luggage restrictions that I know of.

    7. Anderson Coach

    8. Just a basic disclaimer.
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    I grew up in San Diego and turn arounds like that to Las Vegas seemed popular with some people. I live in the DC area now and there are commercial bus lines of all sorts that offer trips to NYC for cheap (like $25). It is only a 4 hour ride from here although I prefer to take Amtrak when I go to NYC.

    Depending where you live, there might be other options, you could even sign up on various travel sites to watch for weekend deals to NYC. I have nothing against busses but 9 hours on a bus seems like a lot of time to me.

    Also, most people that work in NYC don't live necessarily where they'd work. If someone was looking to move to NYC, I'd recommend them checking out some of the places that people normally live like Brooklyn or even New Jersey... Unless you plan to make major $$$ and get a job in Manhattan and plan to live there as well then I say go for it. I've known many people who live or lived in Manhattan.

    And I should say that the first time I went to NYC, I hated it but subsequent trips (even in late winter), I have found that I like it. Despite awesome public transportation, I don't think it is somewhere I could live.
    Last edited by Leena; 04-22-2014 at 04:00 AM.

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    I'm a born and bred New Yorker although I do currently live elsewhere. I think everyone should see what I consider to be the greatest city in the world.

    However, you do realize that with this trip you'll be spending more time on the bus than you will in the city? Twenty hours of travel for a 12 hour visit. The trip will be exhuasting. I would almost bet that after a night on the bus, sometime midday Saturday, you'll be ready for a nap with no place to take it. And then face another ten hours on the bus home.

    If it was me, I'd save the money and put it towards a better, longer trip.
    Last edited by Frank II; 04-22-2014 at 04:39 AM.
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    I would be worried about the bus driver and how he/she will get enough rest with an aggressive schedule like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leena View Post
    I grew up in San Diego and turn arounds like that to Las Vegas seemed popular with some people. I live in the DC area now and there are commercial bus lines of all sorts that offer trips to NYC for cheap (like $25). It is only a 4 hour ride from here although I prefer to take Amtrak when I go to NYC.

    Depending where you live, there might be other options, you could even sign up on various travel sites to watch for weekend deals to NYC. I have nothing against busses but 9 hours on a bus seems like a lot of time to me.

    Also, most people that work in NYC don't live necessarily where they'd work. If someone was looking to move to NYC, I'd recommend them checking out some of the places that people normally live like Brooklyn or even New Jersey... Unless you plan to make major $$$ and get a job in Manhattan and plan to live there as well then I say go for it. I've known many people who live or lived in Manhattan.

    And I should say that the first time I went to NYC, I hated it but subsequent trips (even in late winter), I have found that I like it. Despite awesome public transportation, I don't think it is somewhere I could live.




    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I'm a born and bred New Yorker although I do currently live elsewhere. I think everyone should see what I consider to be the greatest city in the world.

    However, you do realize that with this trip you'll be spending more time on the bus than you will in the city? Twenty hours of travel for a 12 hour visit. The trip will be exhuasting. I would almost bet that after a night on the bus, sometime midday Saturday, you'll be ready for a nap with no place to take it. And then face another ten hours on the bus home.

    If it was me, I'd save the money and put it towards a better, longer trip.


    Thanks to Leena, Frank II and Giantsteve for your remarks. I am looking at this with a critical eye.

    I definitely do not travel as often as most folks in this forum. In fact, air travel for me is a very special occasion.

    If I wanted to try a direct comparison between this bus trip and air travel from a nearby airport, what would be the best internet resource to simulate the cost?

    I haven't ruled anything out yet (including the option of just saving money by not going anywhere for right now) but I haven't rule out this bus trip, either. It looks like folks are planning to snooze on the bus. (That would depend an awful lot on the comfort of the seats; not always a given.)

    In Nov. 2012, I took an almost-non-stop bus trip from my hometown to St. Louis and back (700 miles, one-way) and that was overreach for the bus driver.

    This trip would be about 380 miles, give or take.
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    There are various sites that do last minute deal alerts or announce special sales. Travelocity, Kayak and various airlines will send you emails announcing low price tickets. Even if you go to Travelocity, it will show you some low price last minute trips. Kayak.com is a good site to search as it uses multiple sources and will direct you to the proper website.

    If you are on an Amtrak route that would get you to NYC, you can also sign up with Amtrak. Amtrak isn't very quick but it is much more comfortable than a Bus. They sometime have deals.

    You could also just start plugging in dates. Also, if you find a ticket on a site such as Travelocity (Expedia or others), always check the carriers website as the ticket may even be cheaper there. I fly mostly United so I check Kayak, Travelocity and United.com for my airline tickets.

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    For airlines, find out which ones fly from your closest airport to NYC and sign up for their weekly specials. Usually, on Tuesday, you'll get an email with specials for that weekend.

    As mentioned, you can sign up for fare alerts at Kayak, Expedia and Travelocity but always double check the airline's website.

    The same goes for hotels. It's very expensive to stay in NYC so look for specials in NJ, Brooklyn and Queens with convenient public transit.

    When I saw the bus special, my first thought was they couldn't get enough people through their organization so they have to open it up to the public to make it work.

    You could also see if bus services like MegaBus or Greyhound have any stops near you. Fares are pretty low and the amenities are great (wifi, bus attendant, power sockets.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    You could also see if bus services like MegaBus or Greyhound have any stops near you. Fares are pretty low and the amenities are great (wifi, bus attendant, power sockets.)
    Wow, Frank, I haven't tried this kind of bus travel in a long time (in the U.S.) for trips of over an hour. Do most buses now have WiFi? And is Trailways still another option (besides Greyhound)? I've actually heard/read more about regularly chartered buses to go from NYC to places in NJ etc. on the kind of daytrips @MtnMan mentioned. Have to say though, that being let off at Rockefellar Center sounds a lot more appealing than being let off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on the west side of Manhattan.

    moriond

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    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.
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    I've taken MegaBus. The wifi was kind of spotty and the outlet was in a weird place, but it might have been where I was sitting. At $25 each way from Iowa to Chicago, and not having to drive or figure out where to put my car, it was okay. Sometimes fares go super cheap. Like $1. It's worth it to see if there are deals.


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    Nearest airports: 25, 35, and 65 miles away. Lowest air fares round-trip for NYC: $265 on Travelocity. Most air fares priced in the $400-and-up range.

    There were major bus routes through this area, but they shut down in the late 1990's, IIRC. Would have to travel about as far as the airports for buses like those described. Will check out the bus possibilities mentioned, but not optimistic.
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