Travelling from New York to Washington DC

Every day we are asked for advice about travelling in foreign countries. As experienced travel agents we often know the answers to our customers question. If we don’t know the answer we make it our job to find out. This is a question we were asked today.

Question

I’ve booked a holiday to the USA with you. Can you tell me what’s the best way to get from New York City to Washington ?

Answer

There are several options that you might want to consider. This route is one of the most popular because, of course, these are two very important cities. The distance between the two cities is 206 miles.

Flying between New York and Washington DC

Flying is an option and it takes about 1hr 10 mins and costs on average $60, although it is possible to get promotional fares of around $49 each way. There are frequent flights between these two cities and flights operate roughly every hour.You can fly from JFK, La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) and you could fly to Washington National (DCA), Dulles International (IAD) or Baltimore-Washington International (BWI).

Trains between New York City and Washington DC

There are frequent trains in both directions between New York and Washington. Trains run hourly. The journey takes about 3 hours 30 minutes although there is an express train that takes just less than 3 hours. The cost of a train ticket from New York to Washington is about $75 each way and over double this for the express train.

Buses between New York and Washington DC

National Greyhound Lines is the best known service between the two cities and takes at least 4 hours 30 minutes. Buses run every hour. It’s cheaper to buy your ticket on the internet. The cost of a ticket online is $24 and about $40 if you buy your ticket at the bus station.

Driving between New York City and Washington DC

A few years ago I picked up a car in New York City and drove out to the end of Long Island. I can claim that I have driven a car in New York City and I bet many people can’t claim to have done that !

The problem with driving from New York to Washington is that there are lots of tolls so in addition to your fuel costs you can expect to pay about $30 in tolls. Also, the drive is very boring as there is not much to look at. Once you reach your destination parking is a problem so in my opinion the driving option should be your last choice.

A note about Grand Central Station in New York

Grand Central Terminal (GCT) — often incorrectly called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central — is a train station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains, it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms. Even if you don’t intend to catch a train from Grand Central it is worth a visit just for the architecture and the famous “Oyster Bar”.

The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas – Nearly the real Venice !

A visit to Las Vegas is a must in our opinion. It is not just about casinos and gambling. Las Vegas is one of the entertainment capitals of the world with the added bonus of the Grand Canyon only 30 minutes flying time away making it perfect for a day trip. Las Vegas is famous for its glitzy hotels and there are non better than the stunning Venetian.

The Venetian Hotel is a  recreation of  the Italian city of Venice featuring famous landmarks, winding canals and real gondolas.Behind the facade of the Doge’s Palace, you will find marble floors, hand-painted frescoes and plush furnishings surrounding a 120,000-square-foot casino with 2,100 slot machines, 130 table games, a high-limit salon, race and sports book and a newly expanded baccarat venue with added privacy for VIPS.

There are more than 4,000 suites at the Venetian hotel, ranging in size from 650 square feet  to the 6,000-plus-square-foot Chairman suite. Amenities include private bedrooms, bathrooms finished in Italian marble, sunken living rooms, mini bars, dual-line phones with data port, and in-suite fax, copier and printer combos. Free daily newspaper delivery, shoeshine and turndown service are also offered.The Venetian’s new poker room is huge and luxurious and features leather and wood throughout, all in smoke-free environment.

A separate high-stakes area offers butler service and gourmet dining. The room hosts more than 39 tables and a vast array of games suited to both the recreational poker player and the season veteran of the game.The Grand Canal Shoppes, which form part of the Venetian are amazing. They feature such chic boutiques as Jimmy Choo, Dooney & Burke, Mikimoto and St. John Spor.

The Artisti Dell Arte – classically trained singers, actors and musicians from all over the world – perform beneath the sky of the St. Mark’s Square. Here you can catch a ride on authentic Italian gondolas navigated by an opera-singing gondolier.The Venetian’s award-winning restaurants include Delmonico Steakhouse, Piero Selvaggio Valentino, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Canaletto, Taqueria Canonita and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. Nightlife hotspots include the V Bar and Tao Nightclub.You can also catch a show at the Venetian as the curtain goes up nightly with unique, award-winning shows; do not miss Blue Man Group, Phantom of the Opera, or the multi-talented Wayne Brady.

If you are looking for a great price on a room at The Venetian then we have lots of special offers to tempt you. Give us a call for a price FREE on 0800 433 2300.

 For example, the price of a Venetian Luxury King Suite in June 2010 is £104 per room per night.

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New York – Full of Beans !

This is a guest article very kindly submitted by Natisha  Kachhwaha.  

It is a personal view of her visit to The Big Apple.

Many thanks Natisha for a great article.

“One hour in this city and I’m already blown away. I’m here for 4 more days and I’m excited.  Excited as a child who’s just arrived to the world’s most famous sweet shop and wants to see and taste everything now, now, now.  New York. New York. How best to describe this great city than in the form of the country’s best export – Jelly Belly beans. 

Yellow beans. The iconic yellow cabs zooming across the streets of Manhattan.  A note to all passengers, trust your driver 100% but wear your seatbelt, the experience is like no other. 

Red beans. The brake lights that light up blocks of downtown New York traffic.  The famous red steps at Time Square for all to sit and experience time standing still. The top of the Empire State Building as it welcomed me from JFK Airport.

Blue beans.  The famous NYPD logo and officers aplenty.  The clear blue skies that made the glorious bike ride in Central Park all that more beautiful.

Green beans.  Dollar bills passing quickly through my hands. Leaves changing colour in Central Park from green to yellow to orange to red.

White beans. The colour used to light up the iconic skyline against the black night as I drive from the airport.  The Chrysler building spike lit up like a Christmas tree, my beacon in mapping my way around the city. The smelly sewerage smoke floating from underground to street level.

Grey beans.  The majestic thunderstorm I experienced that bought the city to a standstill. The colour which describes the grim and dreary subway system.

Multicolour beans.  A cosmopolitan city. A mix of people, nationalities, languages and food through to the straight talking tough New Yorkers.  “Can you believe this wise guy? Get the f*** outta here!” shouts my cab driver. I can only describe his voice as Tony Soprano.  A true New York moment and I love it.Have an orgasmic moment at Katz Deli just like Meg Ryan. Eat you way through oversized pretzels and hotdogs from street corner food stands. Have the best of Little Italy at Lombardi’s Pizzeria.  Fresh ingredients and herbs with a splash of history and tradition from 1905 make this the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.  Sushi bars aplenty where I learn how to use chopsticks for the first time.

Ever thought rice pudding was boring? You won’t after you’ve been to Rice to Riches.  The only shop in New York to specialise in flavoured rice puddings. Choose from Coconut, raspberry, strawberry, banana, cookies and cream or rocky road. The list is endless, but as the sign on the door says: no skinny bitches allowed.This New York Jelly Bean may have a hard and impatient exterior, but bite into the shell and you’ll get a sharp punch of all its amazing flavours that’ll unlock your senses. So much so you’ll be left wanting more and more”.

About Natisha KachhwahaA first time writer for Global Holidays, I currently work as a Copywriter for a telecommunications company but have started a Creative Writing Course in my spare time which I love. Travelling around the world on faraway holidays or mere weekend breaks is another great escape of mine. Since i’ve caught the travel writing bug i’ve learned to appreciate that without discovering the country first hand your piece will lack passion and interest. I also write short stories and articles and would be more than happy to produce some examples of those who are interested.

Related posts about New York

Short breaks to New York- Bargains

High Steaks in Las Vegas

I love a good steak and one of the best steaks I have ever had was at the steak house inside the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. It was magnificent and the service to go with the great food was also second to none.

A few years ago, visitors  to Las Vegas would go mostly for the gambling and they would be sustained by “all you can eat buffets”. Those days, however,  have now gone because as part of the Las Vegas Tourist Board mission to attract non-gambling customers, the dining options in Las Vegas are now amazing.The Strip Las Vegas 

The Michelin Guide to Las Vegas 2009 features 140 restaurants and many big names have been brought into many of the hotels. Todd English, for Olives in the Bellagio, and Tom Colicchio for Craftsteak at the MGM Grand and just two of the “celebrity” chefs responsible for menus.

There are more master sommeliers (wine experts) in Las Vegas than in any other city in the world.If you can’t resist the classic American food then head to the new Pink’s Hot Dogs in the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino where you will find an amazing 14 varieties of hot dogs to order !

Sample holiday to Las Vegas –Three nights in Las Vegas at the Luxor on a room only basis starts from £669 for adults and £519 for children in early 2010. Price includes flights from London Gatwick.

Call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300 for friendly advice about booking a holiday to Las VegasLuxor hotel, Las Vegas

The Luxor hotel in Las Vegas is a magnificent hotel. The rooms are large and the buffet restaurant has an incredible selection of food. There are also other restaurants within the Luxor, like the steak house that I mentioned above.Although I thought that the Luxor is a good hotel it is at the lower end of the famous Las Vegas “Strip” and it is quite a walk to the main part of The Strip where hotels such as the Bellagio, Venetian, Paris and Caesars Palace are located.

If you need any advice about where to stay in Las Vegas or prices on hotels in Las Vegas then please call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300 as we have very competitive prices on either package holidays to Las Vegas or hotels only.

Read more articles about Las Vegas here:

Book a city break to Las Vegas

An interview with the UK Sales & Marketing Manager for the Las Vegas Convention Bureau

Florida Villas – The Best Deals

A typical Florida villa

I love staying in a villa in Florida. I can remember the first time I stayed in a Florida villa I was amazed at the size of the place ! We had a double garage, a private swimming pool, four good sized bedrooms, a living room the size of my own house and even a walk-in wardrobe. I felt like I had turned overnight into an American as I had also hired a full size car which I thought must be a Cadillac but in fact was only half the size of one, but still it was big enough for me.Most Florida villa’s are in Orlando or Kissammee to be precise.

The Disney theme parks are normally only a 20 – 30 minute drive away from your villa so they make a great choice for families who want to be close to both International Drive and Disney. Because a Florida villa will normally have its own swimming pool you can relax in quieter surroundings after a hectic day at the theme parks.

At Global Holidays we have a fantastic range of Florida villas available and at low prices.Here just some of the villas we have avalable in Orlando. We can arrange a villa for you in most regions of Florida.

3 BEDROOM VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOL Self Catering £275 per week

4 BEDROOM VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOL Self Catering £299 per week

5 BEDROOM VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOL Self Catering £259per week

6 BEDROOM VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOL Self Catering £399 per week

Note:- 8 bedroom villas are available on request

The above Florida villa prices are based on 7 nights in May 2011.

 

Call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300 or click here to look for a  Florida villa

Las Vegas – book your city break Now!

Las Vegas it seems is back in fashion; not that it ever properly lost its glamour, but holidays to Las Vegas are becoming popular again. It’s not surprising that Las Vegas is back in fashion as it has much to offer as a holiday destination. Las Vegas is not just a gambling city. It is the entertainment capital of the world.

I always think of Las Vegas as the adult version of the Orlando theme parks as Las Vegas is not really a children’s destination, although there would be plenty to occupy them.Las Vegas has gone through a slump in visitor numbers and a number of new hotel builds had to be put on hold due to the recession.Las Vegas - the famous welcome signLas Vegas has a huge number of top quality hotels to offer the visitor. Hotels such as the Bellagio, the Venetian, the Wynn, Mandalay Bay, the Luxor and the MGM Grand to name just a few of the famous hotels that occupy The Strip.

These huge hotels offer everything such as their own shopping malls, restaurants, casinos, entertainment, jaw dropping fountain displays, replicas of the Eiffel Tower and even a miniature version of Venice and its canals. You will never be bored in Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is also close to many famous USA attractions such as the Hoover Dam and the incredible Grand Canyon. Hop on a short 40 minute flight by helicopter or plane and you can spend a day at the rim of the Grand Canyon, which is like another world compared to the glitz of Las Vegas.Las Vegas itself is served by good flights from the UK and Virgin Atlantic now have direct flights to Las Vegas from London.

If you are looking for a good price on a holiday to Las Vegas then you should call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300 as we have some excellent deals on both hotels and flights and you also get the benefit of ATOL financial protection as Global Holidays only sells ATOL protected holidays.

We also have staff who have visited Las Vegas so we can give you the benefit of our experience.To read more information about Las Vegas read details of the interview we had with the UK Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click here – Las Vegas information

If you want to book a holiday to Las Vegas call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300 or go to our website to search for your holiday -Click here to search for a Holiday to Las Vegas

Holidays to California – Special Offers

Golden Gate Bridge, CaliforniaWouldn’t you love to visit California ? Everything you hear about and see either on TV, newspapers or magazines is all true !California is a huge US state and it literally has something for everyone.

California has great cities, fantastic beaches, beautiful scenery and even vineyards.We have put together some fantastic value tours of California. The prices include flights, hotels and car hire. These tours take in the best of what California has to offer.

Whether it’s San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Yosemite, the wine regions or Highway 1, we have put together various tours so your trip is fully planned out for you. All you have to do is drive and enjoy the trip ! All the hotels and routes are planned for you.

California Fly-Drives start at £579 per person and a nine day “Essential California” tour starts at only £1069 per person. All the prices include flights, hotels and car hire.

If you want to know more click the link below or call us FREE on 0800 433 2300 for more details.

Click here ….  Holidays to California

Ghost Towns, Death Valley & Area 51 !

 Death Valley Highway, Nevada, USALas Vegas in the US state of Nevada is the entertainment capital of the world, but Nevada has much more to offer. Rachel who works for a PR company representing Nevada Silver Trails, which includes Death Valley, ghost towns and the famous Area 51 very kindly sent us this great article about all that the area has to offer.

Next time you are thinking about a holiday to Las Vegas make sure that you make time to visit the other amazing attractions in Nevada.

The Heart of the Wild West – Nevada Silver Trails

Nevada Silver Trails territory,38,000 square miles of mostly public land in the south-central third of Nevada, captures the essence of the Silver State with awe-inspiring landscapes, abandoned ghost towns, incredible natural attractions and expansive recreation areas. In towns across the territory, where the only law used to be a six-shooter and fortunes could be made or lost in the span of a day, sit the reminders of the past evoking the spirit of adventure.

ADVENTURE:• Located 23 miles east of Gabbs via state Route 844, Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park is home to nearly 40 preserved ichthyosaur fossils as well as the turn-of-the-century mining town of Berlin. An interpretive trail winds through Berlin and leads to the Fossil House where the fossils of the giant marine reptiles that swam in a warm ocean 225 million years ago, are located.

The 1,540-acre park has a visitors center, camping and hiking.• Amargosa Big Dunes, approximately, five minutes from Amargosa Valley, brings 5 square miles and 500 vertical feet of sand to sandboarders and ATV adventure seekers. Crescent Sand Dunes, located several miles north of Tonopah and visible from U.S. 95, cover 3,000 acres at an elevation of 5,032 feet and are frequented by off-highway vehicles. Overnight camping is available.• Nevada Silver Trails is the eastern gateway to Death Valley National Park, the hottest, driest, lowest place in America.

A desert, it is filled with sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons, plants and animals unique to the harshest deserts and three million acres of stone wilderness.• STATE ROUTE 375: Also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway, state Route 375 is a 98-mile stretch of road anchored by the town of Rachel. 

In proximity to the famed “Area 51,” the highway is a favorite of UFO seekers and fans of alien lore.  A major attraction is the Little A’Le’Inn, a restaurant and inn that celebrates the extraterrestrial spirit of the town. The route also travels past multiple abandoned mines and ghost towns as well as petroglyph sites.

ATTRACTIONS:• The Tonopah Historic Mining Park is 110-acres inviting self exploration, an ATV guided tour and an “Underground Adventure,” with extensive exhibits and mining artifacts, three head frames and hoisting houses complete with original equipment and more.• Dedicated to the preservation and history of Nevada, Tonopah’s Central Nevada Museum offers a glimpse into the many facets of the state’s spirited past and houses an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs and exhibits as well as a library highlighting Native Americans, wildlife, mining, railroads, military artifacts, fossils and more. An outdoor area features additional exhibits.  Admission is free.

RELAXATION: • The desert landscape of the territory is dotted throughout with warm and hot springs with temperatures ranging from 80 to 110 degrees or more.  Notable soaks include Ash Springs in Pahranagat Valley, Diana’s Punchbowl near Belmont, Bailey’s Hot Springs outside of Beatty, and Hot Creek located in the Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area.

AND GHOST TOWNS:• At the heart of the Silver State, on the edge of the Humboldt-Toyiabe Forest, Belmont was born in 1865 and produced $15 million of silver and lead ore before its demise nearly 20 years later. One of the town’s treasures is slowly being restored by the Nevada Division of State Parks as a testament to the time – a two-story brick courthouse built in 1874 as the Nye County Seat. The town also has four mill ruins including the Combination Mill built in the 1860s, with a standing 100′ brick stack.• Located just 30 miles south of Tonopah along Highway 95, Goldfield once boasted a population of 30,000. Although some still make Goldfield their home, many of the town’s buildings are abandoned and can be viewed on a walking tour that passes the majestic Goldfield Hotel, the Esmeralda County Courthouse and the Santa Fe Saloon, the oldest running saloon in the state built in 1905. Founded in 1902, the town was responsible for producing more than $86 million in gold between 1903 and 1940.• Gold Point, south of Goldfield and 15 miles off U.S. 95, is rich with history and adventure thanks to the restoration efforts of Herb Robbins.

 Nearly 30 years ago Robbins began buying and restoring the town’s original buildings. Now, as the self appointed town sheriff, Robbins offers tours of the town and mines complete with stories and historical facts. Overnight accommodations include Robbins’ Bed and Breakfast cabins.• Located just north of Beatty, Rhyolite is one of the most photographed ghost towns in the West.  The town’s remaining structures include the Bottle House and railroad depot, with additional artifacts on display at the Gold Well Open Air Museum.  Open year-round, admission to the museum is by donation.Learn more about Nevada Silver Trails events, recreation, lodging, museums and attractions online at www.nevadasilvertrails.com or by calling 877-848-5800.

For a fantastic choice of flights, hotels and holidays to the USA call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300.

Where to Eat, Stay and Visit in New York

The credit crunch is having an effect on the cost of shopping trips to New York. But with prices plummeting for flights, hotels and goods in the shops, the slump of sterling against the US dollar is not having as much of a negative affect as you may imagine.

This time last year you could get a healthy $2 to the pound but despite sterling slumping to its lowest level against the dollar for seven years you can still get a bargain if you know where to look !

As occupancy rates in New York hotels decline the price of hotel rooms are about 3% less than this time last year, but if you are prepared to haggle then asking the hotel for a discount will usually reap the reward of big savings.  Our advice is to ask for a discount even if they are not advertising discounts. You will be surprised how responsive the hotels will be.

Where to Stay

Hotels are still being built in New York despite the credit crunch. The Meatpacking District is the latest trendy area to be attracting new hotel developments. The Standard, an 18 storey, 337 room hotel has just opened and there are special rates available at the moment until the hotel is fully open in the Spring.In addition, the Smyth Tribeca hotel has just opened with rates starting at less than $150 a room per night. If you are really budget conscious the newly renovated Jane Hotel is hard to beat at $99 per room per night. The rooms are said to be small but cosy.

Where to eat

There are several ways you can eat in New York without it being hard on the pocket. Madison Avenue is renowned for its street vendors, so you you can do as the locals do and take a stroll with a big hot dog or pizza slice from one of the hundreds of street vendors. The Burger Joint is a tucked away restaurant in the Parker Meridien Hotel. For $6 you get a quality burger. If you want an Italian meal in New York try Becco on Restaurant Row, near Times Square. They have a $22 fixed price menu with unlimited servings of the daily pasta dishes.new-york and the Statue of Liberty

Where to visit

A visit to Central Park is a must. You can hire a bike or take one of the 10 free walking tours available. The zoo in Central Park is good value at $8 for adults and $3 for children.Here is a tip on how to get a view of the Statue of Liberty free of charge without having to queue for the boat trip. Take the Staten Island Ferry, as it provides fantastic views of the New York skyline.

On Friday evenings the Guggenheim Museum only requires a donation to enter and the Museum of Modern Arts offers free entry between 4pm and 8pm ! Finally if you don’t want to queue for the Empire State Building the top floor of the Rockerfeller Centre affords spectacular views across the city for only $12.

If you have any hot tips for how to have a budget holiday in New York then let us know. Use the comments box for your recommendations.

If you want a price on a holiday, hotel or flight to New York call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300.

USA Visa Waiver Scheme

The rules have changed for British passport holders visiting the United States. Until recently, when visiting the USA, a Visa Waiver green form was completed whilst you were on your flight.Now, you will need to complete an online USA Visa Waiver application form and get it authorized online before you are allowed to travel. If you do not do this you may be refused boarding of your flight to the USA.Click here to apply online for the USA Visa Waiver