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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Town's Crier » ITT: Help Sipia plan a vacation to the United States! (Please?)
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Topic Subject:ITT: Help Sipia plan a vacation to the United States! (Please?)
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 12-16-17 05:44 AM CT (US)         
So I'm currently trying to plan a vacation to the United States sometime next year, probably in the summer. Figured it's a little embarrassing to be enrolled for American Studies and never actually set foot in the country I'm studying. Took it up with my parents; they're naturally inclined to pick a pre-determined tour from a brochure and stick to that. Only one problem: Those tours are disgustingly expensive and there's no way we can afford that (I could probably buy a decent house for that kind of money). So now it's mostly up to me to plan this out, since I'm the family's (closest thing to an) expert on America. And I kinda need help, because I have no experience with this kind of thing.

We're probably going to go for the Northeastern states. (We might visit the rest of the country some other time.) The intention right now is to rent a car and plot out a route along the best cities and sightseeing spots. It'll either be all four of us or just me and my dad, depending on the budget. Should take around two to two and a half weeks.

What I need to know is:

-Any advice on the plans above? Anything we should keep in mind or avoid?

-What places should we visit? Any must-see locations? And is there anything definitely NOT worth seeing?

-How long will traveling by car take? How far can we reach in the time we have? For context, we hail from a rather small and dense country, while the US is of course pretty expansive, so we have little sense of scale.

-Given my field of study, I'm of course mostly interested in the people and the culture. Anything we should experience while we're there?

-My little brother loves hamburgers. And, well, the US is kinda famous for them. If he's coming along, it's inevitable we're getting some at least once or twice. So... Where might we find the best burgers?

-About how much should we expect this to cost? And of course, what can we save on? (Yeah, we're cheapskates. )

Thanks in advance!

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
AuthorReplies:
ColdCanuck
Squire
(id: Coldviper)
posted 12-16-17 08:48 AM CT (US)     1 / 20       
It will take you 21 hours to drive from Miami to New York, that's about the distance from Berlin to Madrid. Use that while you're thinking of scale
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-16-17 09:38 AM CT (US)     2 / 20       
It is six hours from Albany to Buffalo. That's going across one state. Pennsylvania is basically six hours to cross through. It's five hours from where I am to Fall River, Massachusetts.

You need to take a look at the distances involved. The East Coast states are still comparatively small in relation to the other states, but still big on a European scale.
-What places should we visit? Any must-see locations? And is there anything definitely NOT worth seeing?
New York State. Don't spend your money here; our state government doesn't deserve it. Even if it means missing your opportunity to meet your Moffu onii-chan...

As for a route... I-90 goes from Boston to Seattle... and passes through my neck of the woods. So... you can wave, just don't spend money. <_<

What else do you want see? Do you want to see, say, historical battlefields? The Revolution pivoted on the American victory at Saratoga. Lot of walking, though. Art? Culture? New York City has stuff, Boston has stuff...all the old cities basically. Just... see the vast, open areas? We're good for that. And it would be nice to have someone overseas know that there's more to my state (indeed, two-thirds of the population) than Donald Trump's backyard. >_>

For people... hell, man. Which people? No, really. Every state quietly divides itself up into groups. Plus the old port cities have strong identities, like Boston and NYC. And then argues over where those lines are! But for more radical changes... Amish folks are big in Pennsylvania.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
John the Late
Knight
posted 12-16-17 09:38 AM CT (US)     3 / 20       
Not what you asked for, but: What do you think about studying there for a semester?
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 12-16-17 10:43 AM CT (US)     4 / 20       
It will take you 21 hours to drive from Miami to New York, that's about the distance from Berlin to Madrid. Use that while you're thinking of scale
It is six hours from Albany to Buffalo. That's going across one state. Pennsylvania is basically six hours to cross through. It's five hours from where I am to Fall River, Massachusetts.
That helps considerably, thanks.
New York State. Don't spend your money here; our state government doesn't deserve it. Even if it means missing your opportunity to meet your Moffu onii-chan...

As for a route... I-90 goes from Boston to Seattle... and passes through my neck of the woods. So... you can wave, just don't spend money.
I did hear staying in New York sucks your wallet dry very fast. My dad said we should book a hotel in advance if we're staying there.

And a meetup might be fun... If you pinky swear you're not actually one of those sexual predators on the internet I heard so much about.
What else do you want see? Do you want to see, say, historical battlefields? The Revolution pivoted on the American victory at Saratoga. Lot of walking, though.
Is there anything to see there, or is it just a big empty field and a tour guide saying "Some shit went down here"? It could be interesting, but only if I can learn something I didn't already know from the history books.

As for walking... Hmm. My mom and brother tend to tire quickly. So it depends.
Art? Culture? New York City has stuff, Boston has stuff...all the old cities basically.
Yeah, but what kinda stuff? Which museums etc. are good? Basically, I need to fill out an itinerary for each city we visit, because my parents will not be amused if my plan is "We'll go to this city and then figure it out on the fly".

Oh, and I'd like to visit Washington DC at some point, there's bound to be cool stuff to see there.
Just... see the vast, open areas? We're good for that.
Just as long as there's something to look at there. My dad did mention he'd like to see the Niagara Falls.
For people... hell, man. Which people? No, really. Every state quietly divides itself up into groups. Plus the old port cities have strong identities, like Boston and NYC. And then argues over where those lines are!
Well... Cities here do that too. Obviously there's far too many different subcultures to cover, especially not in one go. But I'd like to see as much as possible while I'm there, which is why we'll be traveling around rather than just sticking around one place. So, a little bit of everything, or as close as we can get to that.
But for more radical changes... Amish folks are big in Pennsylvania.
Oh boy, the Amish. Have to think about that one. They've got quite the reputation.
Not what you asked for, but: What do you think about studying there for a semester?
Certainly. I'll definitely consider it if the opportunity comes up, and it almost certainly will, but that won't be for a couple years.

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
ColdCanuck
Squire
(id: Coldviper)
posted 12-16-17 10:46 AM CT (US)     5 / 20       
Just as long as there's something to look at there. My dad did mention he'd like to see the Niagara Falls
Cross the border and see it from the Canadian side, I'll meet you there and we can hit the casinos
MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 12-16-17 01:40 PM CT (US)     6 / 20       
The most important thing to pack for a trip to America is a plane ticket to Australia.
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-16-17 04:14 PM CT (US)     7 / 20       
Australia is just Deepest South. <_<

Oh, one thing I do need to warn you about... at least while you're in NYS. Just bit me a bit while grocery shopping. When you buy anything except fuel, taxes are not included in the listed price. NYS sales tax is 8.25%, so you need to mentally add that when you buy something. If, in NYS, you buy anything beverage in a plastic bottle, there is a five-cent recycling deposit fee as well. This is not on the list price. I just bought two 24-packs of half-liter water bottles, with a list price of $2.50 each. So, they're actually $3.91 each. >_>

I know this is especially traumatic to you Dutch, so you need to be aware ahead of time.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology

[This message has been edited by Moff von Degurechaff (edited 12-16-2017 @ 04:15 PM).]

ColdCanuck
Squire
(id: Coldviper)
posted 12-16-17 04:48 PM CT (US)     8 / 20       
That's actually true, I think it's to remind us how evil the gov is
NYS sales tax is 8.25%
Lucky bastard, it's 13% in Ontario.

[This message has been edited by ColdCanuck (edited 12-16-2017 @ 04:49 PM).]

Lilthbehr
Squire
(id: Lildbehr)
posted 12-17-17 01:37 AM CT (US)     9 / 20       
Just as long as there's something to look at there. My dad did mention he'd like to see the Niagara Falls.
It's awesome for people that don't see waterfalls that much. But the Canadian side has a better view.

I would recommend Baltimore if you are interested in social culture. The poverty and segregation there tells it's own tale of America.
Lucky bastard, it's 13% in Ontario.
Try 25% on almost everything. Plus 22% income tax.
But we do add it to the list price.

AN EVIL TONGUE IS A MAN'S BANE.
(The above poster is right, did you know that?)
Proud associate of Monsoon Studios
Mithril Knight
Squire
posted 12-17-17 02:24 PM CT (US)     10 / 20       
Try 25% on almost everything. Plus 22% income tax.
Damn, over here we have 16% tax, but it's not applied to food and medicine.

►►►►Mithril Knight◄◄◄◄
My Works
¡Viva México!
My Coat of Arms
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 12-19-17 06:38 AM CT (US)     11 / 20       
Okay, so as a tourist, the US poses some pretty big challenges (mostly aforementioned) that us Europeans are not familiar with. They all jumble together to make the US what it is.

The distance thing. Yeah. You can't overstate this. It's a country the size of a continent. And Canada is even bigger.

What goes hand in hand with that, is that outside of major cities, the public transport is awful/nonexistent. You can't get anywhere by coach, or train, in a sensible amount of time for a sensible cost. You have to drive or fly. Driving takes time, and flying takes money. Most of the time, though, you'll want to fly. It's easily the most economical way to travel out-of-state. And in-state, some of the time.

The exception to this, of course, is the Northeastern seaboard. You can get a train that runs from Boston to Washington DC. It's about the only sensible region for passenger trains in the country. But more importantly, for your roadtrip, it's drivable.

So go to Boston. Drive through Connecticut and New York. Visit NYC. You've got to, while you're there, right? Have a fun drive. But after that, driving? Unless you all enjoy it, why bother? It will almost certainly be cheaper to fly to your next destination than drive with an overnight stay. You could go to Washington DC if you fancy it. You could go somewhere in the South, I have friends travelling to Louisiana in March. Of course, I'll be in Phoenix then, and I'm going to San Francisco after, because that's the side of the US that's hardest to get to, and I might as well go there when my transatlantic flight is paid for by work, and see the East Coast on my own time and money.

So I guess, the main thing is up to you and your family. What are you looking to see? Are you trying to do a roadtrip? Do you want to explore America as a fusion of different cultures fused together in one country (c.f. France, Germany, Spain, Britain, Russia)? Do you want to stay in one or two cities?

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 12-19-17 03:23 PM CT (US)     12 / 20       
I know this is especially traumatic to you Dutch, so you need to be aware ahead of time.
I knew, but thanks anyway. Still think it must be a very annoying daily inconvenience. "You thought this was pretty cheap but LOL psych, that's not the full price!"
I would recommend Baltimore if you are interested in social culture. The poverty and segregation there tells it's own tale of America.
Good call, will consider that.
So go to Boston. Drive through Connecticut and New York. Visit NYC. You've got to, while you're there, right? Have a fun drive. But after that, driving? Unless you all enjoy it, why bother? It will almost certainly be cheaper to fly to your next destination than drive with an overnight stay.
This right here is very helpful. Thanks. We'll have to weigh the options there.

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 12-19-17 07:35 PM CT (US)     13 / 20       
Yeah, definitely Boston. Not sure what there is much further east than that... you might see a wild Stephen King, but the question is whether you'd want to.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
Blatant
DoFH Seraph & Director of Seraphs
(id: blatant7)
posted 12-24-17 11:19 PM CT (US)     14 / 20       
Oh, and I'd like to visit Washington DC at some point, there's bound to be cool stuff to see there.
I actually live in DC! You can't go wrong with any of the free museums, but the Natural History museum and the Air and Space museum in particular are great. If you need recommendations on areas to stay or parking locations just let me know .

Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone. ~ Brandon Sanderson
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-03-18 08:05 PM CT (US)     15 / 20       
Good news, everypony! So, you don't get taxed on the bottle deposit!

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology

[This message has been edited by Moff von Degurechaff (edited 01-03-2018 @ 08:06 PM).]

Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 01-17-18 12:31 PM CT (US)     16 / 20       
Thanks a lot for the help, guys, I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, it seems going this year just isn't in the budget, so this trip will have to wait until summer of 2019, at least. Which is a shame, but at least it gives me plenty of time to plan it out. I'll give a holler if I need to know anything else. Thanks again!

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-17-18 02:35 PM CT (US)     17 / 20       
Oh, good. Then I might have an actual job and some time off and can say hiiiiiiiiiiiiii...

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
Popeychops
"Cool" Huskarl
posted 01-18-18 04:20 AM CT (US)     18 / 20       
Sorry to hear that mate.

Member of BlackForest Studios
Co-creator of Silent Evil (4.6) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2009 (Most Fave'd Multiplayer Scenario)
and The Seas of Egressa (4.8) Voted Best Multiplayer Scenario of 2010
"Popey just hates everywhere." - Chocolate Jesus, on my fear of Romanian organ-traffickers
"Hooray for Dear Leader-Comrade-Generalissimo-Presidente-Lord Protector Popey!" - Lord Sipia, on my benevolent, iron-fisted rule
"You're not Popeychops; you don't get to physics." - Moff, in response to a clumsy muon simile
Kousoku Senkan Moffgou
Moff
(id: Moff Yittreas)
posted 01-18-18 07:27 AM CT (US)     19 / 20       
In all seriousness, that does suck... but it also shows you're putting a lot of thought into the preparation. And maybe the extra time will allow you to refine your itinerary.

One thought would be traveling the nation by rail. However... as a mode of transport, it's about three times the cost per person of air, and well, American rail standards are probably laughable compared to European ones. So, it might not actually be the best idea. It would also take several days and you would see stuff, but not really anything famous or observe much in the way of culture. Probably would be a good way to show just the sheer vastness of the place, but that's not why you're coming.

New RPG Coming Soon | Purveyor of the Poi | Weeaboo Brony Conserative - The Ultimate Foe to the Internet
Lord Sipia: "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SIPPY IS EXCLUDED! EVERYBODY LOSES THEIR SANITY" | Also Lord Sipia: "...Of course. Prepare the butter."
"Moff's anime diatribes/photos are infinitely less annoying than legion's communism, so I don't complain." - Azzie, proving that cute girls driving tanks >> Left-wing ideology
Lord Sipia
Knight
posted 01-18-18 02:51 PM CT (US)     20 / 20       
Yeah, trains are probably not gonna happen. We're only gonna be there for two to three weeks and it'll be at least somewhat expensive no matter what I do, so I'd rather not spend that time sitting around watching meadows and stuff roll by.

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain't
Can certainly give you an awful fright!

--Pink Elephants on Parade
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