During the summer of 2016 and on a break from work and university I was feeling a little down and what makes you feel better than booking your next trip? I had always wanted to spend Christmas in New York and it just so happened that Norwegian Air had some amazing deals on… As public transport in the US is so efficient I found the cheapest city to fly in to from the UK which was Boston, Massachusetts. The plan was to spend a few days there and then make our way to New York and that is what we did!
Firstly, I’m not the best flyer, I get quite nervy since a dodgy experience a few years ago, but the new Dreamliner plane is beautiful. The head room is so much better and it definitely feels less cramped. With the basic ticket price through Norwegian food is not included, in fact there are no extras but you can add them to your booking if you like. if like us, you’re happy to take a picnic the price you save is well worth it. They even have pretty lights for landing!
First stop was chilly (-18C!) Boston. The best value accommodation we found was at the Boston Ramada (booked via booking.com) where we stayed for 2 nights. Our stay included a pretty decent breakfast of coffee, cereals, waffles, muffins, fruit and even scrambled eggs that with a good dosing of tomato ketchup was quite yummy. A twin room has two double beds and all of the rooms are ensuite. There is heating in the room but you have to make a mad dash through the ice cold corridor to get to the reception and breakfast area. As with most American hotels there are plenty of vending machines for middle of the night snacking, ice machines and washing facilities. One of the best bits about the hotel is that they offer a free shuttle bus to the airport and the nearest subway station. Overall the hotel was basic, clean and great value for money.
Of course one of the most important things to do when in the USA is to eat and boy did we! An unmissable speciality in Boston is a ‘lobster roll’ and using trip advisor we found the ‘best in town’ at the James Hook and Co, delicious! We even found time to have the Boy’s hair cut in an oh-so-American Boston barbershop.
The jet lag struggle was real and it took us a good few days to get over it. We’d fall asleep at 6pm and then be wide awake and ready for breakfast at 3am! The boy absolutely loved exploring a whole new subway train system which we found well organised, accessible and the staff went out of their way to help, actually that was something we generally felt in Boston, the people were so friendly!
We then travelled by coach from Boston South Station Transit Centre to the picture perfect small town of Newport, Rhode Island where the snow made it look just like something off of a Christmas postcard. We even came across the Christmas Coca-Cola lorry!
Here we stayed for two nights at the Mainstay Hotel and Conference Centre which was a little higher in quality than our accommodation in Boston but again there were two double beds and everything that you’d need was available, except a shuttle. The historic downtown was 1.6km away so we used uber which was extremely useful throughout our stay. Breakfast wasn’t included so in the morning we headed over to ‘Bishops 4th Street Diner‘ that we’d spotted the day before, a classic american style cafe that served delicious (and huge) breakfasts, the boy loved ordering a ‘side of bacon’ (which I’m pretty sure was deep fried…). Definitely a highlight of our stay.
Our Auntie P came with us on this trip which made the travelling easier (I could go to the toilet on my own, yay!). I booked absolutely everything in advance and online which was all easy peasy.
I offer a few extra tips for travelling to America with kids here.
Next stop, New York City.