I started planning a trip to New England to follow in the footsteps of Michael Portillo, the former politician, now turned travel expert, as long as it has a track to follow, on his Great American Rail Journeys. He has one of the coolest jobs ever and it has got me planning my next adventure.
I started my research using my Virgin Miles which will make my air fare about £262-£265 which is great. I have enough miles to get a flight to the Eastern side of America so either Boston or New York.
I am thinking either 1 March – 8 March or 24 May – 31 May because one of the places I want to include is the Cog Railway up to the top of Mount Washington, NH. I looked at the Cog website and the first day of operation for 2018 is 26 May. I also want to get across to Lake Placid so it looking like March is becoming a little redundant but let me see how the finances pan out.
Boston 1 Mar – 8 Mar – £146 (economy car)
New York (JFK) £198
New York (EWR) £184
24 May – 31 May – £152 (economy car)
New York (JFK) £212
New York (EWR) £210
I choose Boston because the car rental is cheaper than in New York.
So what happens when I search for Flights/Hotel on Ebookers? I will select ‘I only need a hotel for part of my stay’. Please note search is for one person.
See screen dumps below for both March and May
Now look at flight only options
Can you see that by just adding 1 night accommodation can dramatically give you an instant saving on your package plans?
I checked the distance to Conway in the vicinity of Mount Washington and approximately 150 miles drive is perfect for the second day. Now I look at hotels.com because it covers all brands and you can compare at a glance. But first I want to check the rate at the same Logan International Airport hotel that ebookers offered bundled with the flight.
Fascinating isn’t it? So what I am demonstrating is if you put in the time to research and compare you can save £££s.
So if I use my Virgin Miles (Flight, Car & 1 Nt accommodation) the totals will be
£526 – March
£591 – May
If I book via Ebookers a Flight & Hotel (1 Nt accommodation) and Car the totals are
£649 – March
£764 – May
If I book Ebookers Flights, Hotels.com, 1 Nt accommodation and Rental Cars, Car the totals are
£1035 – March
£778 – May
I want to go away soon but will weigh up which works best and I have to book the time from work as well. My initial thoughts are for May because there will be more to see at that time of the year. If my husband wants to join me then I think I will book him via Ebookers and book my flight using miles.
I will start work on my road trip itinerary but it will be a largely leisurely sojourn around New England.
20 Mar 18 Update
I went with 24 May for 7 nights to Boston. My husband decided that he no longer is excited by going to America and the journey is too tiring so I am on my own. I arrive early evening so booked a reasonably priced hotel in Danvers so there isn’t too much driving to do. The following day I have booked accommodation in North Conway for two nights and going to use it as a base to explore the area. The trip up Mount Washington on the Cog Railway will be on Saturday. Afterwards I will travel East to Freeport Maine for two further nights. On my last night I have booked a room just south of Hampton Falls.
Suggestions please – for the night of 29 – 30 May between Portland and Hampton what suggestions do you have? Where should I head…inland or stay about half way near the coast. Have any of you been in the area and if you have what are the must do sights?
I must say that hotels have definitely gone up in price and are really expensive in the Boston Metropolitan area. So my theory of staying in the suburbs is definitely been the way to proceed.
Have any of you been to Concord, NH? Any recommendations for me so I don’t miss anything?