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  • FIRST POST
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 20th Jan 17, 9:22 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    0 WOW
    New England Driving Holiday - Not pre-Booking Hotels
    • #1
    • 20th Jan 17, 9:22 PM
    0 WOW
    New England Driving Holiday - Not pre-Booking Hotels 20th Jan 17 at 9:22 PM
    I'm off to New England with 19 year old PW jr in June.

    We're experienced campaigners in the joys of the USA road trip, albeit further west, and I've always planned route and accommodation well in advance.

    This time I have a loose outline route (below) but I'm considering winging it on accommodation and just rocking up each evening to negotiate a rate, perhaps having identified preferred hotels the night before.

    Logic tells me that if a town is full I should be able to find a motel within half an hour anyway.

    This is a massive departure from my usual highly organised self. I'm trying to bring a little more flexibility and relaxation to the holiday.

    What are your thoughts?

    ---

    Mid Coast Maine 1 (Portland)
    Bar Harbor 2 (Cadillac Mountain Summit)
    White Mountains 2 (Mt Washington summit, Conway Scenic Railroad)
    Northern Vermont 2 (Ben and Jerry's factory)
    Connecticut River Valley 1 (Manchester Village)
    Newport Rhode Island 2 (Beach and Ten Mile Drive)
    Cape Cod 2 (Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket)
Page 1
    • Westin
    • By Westin 20th Jan 17, 9:37 PM
    • 1,203 Posts
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    Westin
    • #2
    • 20th Jan 17, 9:37 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Jan 17, 9:37 PM
    Looks like you are trying to cover a lot.

    Are you flying into/out of BOS? If so that seems a long first day/evening to drive up to Portland especially if on an evening flight arrival which so many of the UK flights are. Perhaps stop in Portsmouth NH and over night?

    Can you possibly extend your holiday to the full two weeks?

    For Cape Cod I would allow more than two days. Check out the costs of getting to Martha's and Nantucket. Might put you off or you might decide to priorize one over the other.

    A return stop at Plymoth Plantation on the return to BOS might be nice.
    http://www.plimoth.org


    Are you near to Manchester this weekend, or London 2-5 February? The Destinations Shows are in town and some of the States you are planning to visit will have reps at the show who might be able to help your planning.
    http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/destinations-holiday-and-travel-show-essential-event-travel-inspiration
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 20th Jan 17, 10:27 PM
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    EssexExile
    • #3
    • 20th Jan 17, 10:27 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Jan 17, 10:27 PM
    I've never pre-booked accommodation when touring in the States & got on fine. It's been a while though so others' advice may be more current.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 20th Jan 17, 11:32 PM
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    cubegame
    • #4
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:32 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:32 PM
    I don't know if this applies in June, but when we did a fall road trip in New England we found it very hard to get decent accommodation without booking. There seems to be much less choice than the norm in the USA.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 20th Jan 17, 11:45 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #5
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:45 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Jan 17, 11:45 PM
    Flights are to / from Boston. It's actually 15 nights the stay - my outline is very high level. Minor edit made.
    • Jimmithecat
    • By Jimmithecat 21st Jan 17, 8:01 AM
    • 116 Posts
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    Jimmithecat
    • #6
    • 21st Jan 17, 8:01 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Jan 17, 8:01 AM
    Why not book hotels where you can cancel the day before?
    We like holiday inn for that reason - as long as you cancel by 4pm the day before you have lost nothing.
    Just a few thoughts:
    The coastal road north from Boston has some beautiful places to visit along the way, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, rockport etc
    North Conway is a good central location for the white mountains - great outlets, walks and restaurants (don't miss the muddy moose)
    Stowe in vermont is quite a way up - the area around Middlebury is beautiful and is a more central place to stay - you could do Ben & jerrys, the Von trapp house etc in Stowe in one day
    Cape cod - if you stay in Hyannis it's an easy drive down to ptown and handy for the ferry to Martha's Vineyard
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 21st Jan 17, 10:31 AM
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    cubegame
    • #7
    • 21st Jan 17, 10:31 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Jan 17, 10:31 AM
    I should have qualified my above post by stating that I am very anti-prebooking for the USA as well......New England seems to be the exception.

    I would recommend trying B&Bs as a departure from the usual though. There are some stunning and wonderfully quirky places.

    If you make it to North Conway, The Old Field House B&B is a particular recommendation of mine. We sat eating freshly made blueberry waffles while watching two bear cubs and their mother play in the garden 30 feet away - one of life's little moments!
    • Wizard of Id
    • By Wizard of Id 21st Jan 17, 10:37 AM
    • 2,390 Posts
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    Wizard of Id
    • #8
    • 21st Jan 17, 10:37 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Jan 17, 10:37 AM
    I am another that has never pre-booked, I never know exactly where I am going or how long I will stay in each place so I just 'wing it' as far as hotels/motels go.
    I always found one withing half an hour of reaching my chosen area to stop for the night and that was usually decided on how tired or hungry I was.
    It really all depends on what height you set the bar at and in my case, if I had picked up any coupons along the way.
    Every man is innocent until proven broke.
    Cryin won't help you, prayin won't do you no good.

    Walk 2000 3000 miles in 2017 - 3189.5
    This week 56.1
    • dondo
    • By dondo 23rd Jan 17, 1:45 PM
    • 454 Posts
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    dondo
    • #9
    • 23rd Jan 17, 1:45 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Jan 17, 1:45 PM
    I have spent quite a bit of time in Maine as I worked there for 2 summers many moons ago not that far from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park- Cadillac Mountain is a lovely spot.

    When we had time off we quite often would just rock up and stay in a hotel/motel somewhere without pre-booking. That said this was over 20 years ago so before the internet was prevalent for booking places.

    More recently (2006) my wife and I spent some of our honeymoon in Cape Cod and stayed in Eastham which was a good central location. As another poster has said 2 days doesn't seem that long especially if you want to do Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. We had a week there that included a visit to Martha's Vineyard. I also seem to recall that the ferry prices were quite high (we went as foot passengers).

    Couple of other things that maybe of interest.

    1) We did whale watching out of Provincetown which was great.
    2) There is a ferry service between Boston and Provincetown in the summer which may help save a bit of driving
    • vanilla8
    • By vanilla8 24th Jan 17, 3:32 PM
    • 617 Posts
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    vanilla8
    Keeping an eye this thread as we have booked flights into and out of Boston for September time, so just trying to plan our route now. Not sure we will be able to get away with not booking - as Labour Weekend means its a popular time for them
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Jun 17, 3:02 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    Just to update ... currently in Vermont.

    I bottled it and booked everything. Enjoyed every second of it so far with another four nights to go.

    Had we not booked we'd have been fine turning up just about everywhere without a reservation at this time of year. A couple of places we've been the only guests. Great service at breakfast!
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 17th Jun 17, 3:38 PM
    • 13,239 Posts
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    Gloomendoom
    Glad to hear it's going well. We did a roadtrip without pre-booking a few years ago and, although we never ended up sleeping in the car, it did get a bit fraught at times.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 17th Jun 17, 4:06 PM
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    EssexExile
    As I said earlier we've never had a problem winging it, I'm glad nothing seems to have changed.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • nirajn123
    • By nirajn123 7th Jul 17, 6:32 PM
    • 129 Posts
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    nirajn123
    Sorry, I am hijacking the tread, we are looking at a road trip in April next year in the West coast covering SF, LA, LV. 2 + 11yr old. Would no pre-booking work there too? East coast is generally more populated than west so that might affect how many places are there to choose from (and the timing of the year)?
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 7th Jul 17, 6:41 PM
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    • 1,648 Thanks
    EssexExile
    You normally find that when you get to the part of town where the motels are, there are loads of them. And enough restaurants to match. In the less populated areas there are still plenty.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 7th Jul 17, 7:33 PM
    • 7,280 Posts
    • 9,005 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Sorry, I am hijacking the tread, we are looking at a road trip in April next year in the West coast covering SF, LA, LV. 2 + 11yr old. Would no pre-booking work there too? East coast is generally more populated than west so that might affect how many places are there to choose from (and the timing of the year)?
    Originally posted by nirajn123
    Great area.

    Make sure you take cold weather clothes if you're considering Grand Canyon or Yosemite.

    And check your planned routes carefully for seasonal road closures.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 7th Jul 17, 8:43 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    Wet weather clothes too.

    Based on soggy experience.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
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