Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Boston Fly Drive: Mums on the Run!



A lot of you will remember that Cherry Sue & I were literally Mums on the Run when WOW air flew us to Boston in October. While Sue left her two sons to fend for themselves (they’re grown men!) I left my 5 little ones with my husband while we ran away for a much needed break. You might think that travel to the US is expensive but with the arrival of airlines like WOW air, that’s all changed. Flights start at just €159.99, making a stateside escape well within your grasp. Stick with us over the next couple of weeks and I’ll share how you too can have a bargain road trip in Massachusetts.


Flight:


Flying WOW air meant that we’d have a stopover in Iceland, it was a short stopover of just one hour, but you can choose to extend your layover on either leg of your journey to explore Iceland at no extra cost. 

Sue had loads of room for her gullet (fnar)

I have to say it was one of the most relaxed, no faff flights we’ve ever taken, every member of staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. When booking be mindful as neither carry on, nor check in bags are included in basic priced seats. I really liked that when you check in your bags at Dublin airport they are automatically transferred to your connecting flight in Iceland, so you don’t need to claim them until you arrive in Boston. Meaning you don’t have to go through security again in Keflavik. We got off the flight had a look in the (admittedly extortionately priced) airport shops, got a coffee and it was time to board our flight to Boston.

Having been to the states at least 20 times, flying direct, I found that I didn’t suffer any jet lag by taking a connecting flight as it breaks up the journey nicely. There may be no in flight entertainment but we got on just fine with our tablets as we had downloaded some movies from Netflix. There were charging points in our seats as standard too, so we didn’t run out of battery. For more information or to book go to wowair.ie 


We flew out of Terminal 1 in Dublin airport, which meant we didn’t pass US immigration until we landed in Boston, when we went there were queue times of up to 2 hours at Dublin airport. We cleared customs and immigration in less than 5 minutes at Logan airport! (helped by one of the friendliest Bawwston Cawwps we've encountered) 

If you’re flying to America with an Irish passport you’ll need an ESTA, it costs $14/€11.42pp. Make sure you apply on the official website as there are many charging much more. Ours were granted within 24 hours.


Something magical happened on our flight home, we got to fly through the Northern Lights! Unfortunately we were sitting on the wrong side of the plane but the staff surprised us all by inviting everyone sitting on our side of the aircraft to take turns at coming up to the front to watch the Aurora dancing across the night sky from the emergency exit at the front of the plane. It’s been on my bucket list to see the Northern Lights but I never could have imagined I’d fly through them! (Sue here: I still tear up telling people how incredible that sight was)


Car Hire:

No matter where you are in the world car hire can be a tricky business! I have a few rules that I stick to when hiring a car that haven't seen me wrong yet. The first thing is a lot of research, to ensure you are getting the best price. I always opt for a full to full policy, eliminating the heavily surcharged fuel price and the refuelling fee. Unlimited millage is also a must so you don’t get any nasty surprises when you return the car.

I always make sure to inspect the car when I pick it up and take pictures of every angle before I leave the forecourt. I opt for the basic insurance plus CDW; I don’t get all the bells and whistles insurance as it can double sometimes triple the cost of hiring a car so they’ll put a hold on my credit card for a specified amount ($250). 

Plenty of boot space for shawwwwping

We hired our car through the Autoeurope website, our car hire company was Europcar which is serviced by Advantage in Logan airport. We paid €176.45 for a Hyundai Sonata or similar for 9 days rental, we got a Toyota Rav 4. They did however add a fee of $59.94/€48.89 for the use of an EZ Toll tag as you must have a tag on your car in Boston there is no other way to pay tolls.

In Logan airport they have a central hub for hire cars; a bus picks you up at the door of the airport for the free 5 minute drive. We were thrilled when we got there as the Advantage desk had a queue of 3 people but all others had at least 50 people waiting in line. 

Life is highhhwaaaay, all thanks to CoPilot Free GPS

Stone Travel Tip: 

We saved a fortune on hiring a GPS by using the FREE CoPilot GPS app and downloading the North America map; I input our destinations when we had WiFi so it still worked offline. Granted she caught us out with late exits a couple of times but within a few hours, and with a few choice words exchanged, we got used to each other.

Where to Stay: 


As we had a hire car, and we were doing a road trip we didn’t need to stay in central Boston. We rented an Airbnb in Lexington and paid €903.89 for a private apartment just off Massachusetts Avenue. The location was great for us as it was near the interstate and a 5 minute drive from Lexington town that had Dunkin’ Donuts (Bostonians ADORE Dunkin Donuts), Starbucks and supermarkets perfect for fresh bagels and pumpkin spice coffee by the bucket load every morning. 

Luckily, there were as many rest stops as there were Dunkin' Donuts!

When we were sightseeing in Boston we could have jumped on the bus that stopped outside our Airbnb to bring us to the subway known as the T in Boston but we decided to drive to the Alewife station 15 minutes away. It cost $7/€5.71 to park for the day and $2.75/€2.24pp each way on the T. 


Our Itinerary: 


Day 1: Boston Trolley Tour and City Lights Cruise

Day 2: Road Trip to Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard

Day 3: Fall Foliage Road Trip to the Berkshires

Day 4: New York

Day 5: Cape Ann Whale Watching

Day 6: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Fall Foliage Luncheon Cruise & Ghost Trolley Tour.

Day 7: Friday 13th in Salem!

Day 8: Manchester by the sea

Our MOTR US Itinerary - Packed tighter than the Nekkid Cowboy's whities!


If any of our itinerary tickles your fancy drop back next week as I’ll go into detail of how we got on and how much we spent so you can see what budget you’ll need to do the same trip. 


Mums on the Run: 



As you might have guessed, Sue and I are big believers in taking time out from hectic family life and firmly believe it makes us better Mums, better Sisters & better people. Happy Mammy, happy family. There's ZERO guilt or shame in that, it's just a fact. 

With that in mind, a couple of months ago we set up our Mums on the Run (with or without the little ones) Facebook group. It has rapidly grown to a wonderful welcoming community of over 6 thousand warm and engaging women and a few good men that help each other out with recommendations for days out, holidays and places to eat. We're dedicated to one thing only, getting you as an doras. 

If you haven’t already joined, do please come on over and share your experiences, or if there’s information you need all you have to do is ask!


(You don't have to be a Mum but you do have to be sound) 

Did you follow along on Snaps and Stories? Were you one of the many legends to send us hints & tips? 



*** Disclaimer:

As advised above we received 
2 complimentary return 
flights to Boston. 

As usual all thoughts are my own, 
I was not asked to write this review. 

As ever neither free services nor 
payment would ever sway my opinion.***


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