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View Full Version : I need help planning a budget non-Disney road trip


punkin
05-22-2008, 02:29 PM
My kids don't want to do Disney in the summer, my younger wants to see Niagara Falls and my older one wants to start looking at colleges. We live right outside of Washington, DC. Here's my very rough plan for two weeks, but I need suggestions of things to do on the way and cheap places to stay.

Drive to Niagara Falls (7 hours). Stop by U Penn on the way up and tour (this will turn the 7 hours into an overnight); Tour Niagara Falls area. Go to Toronto. Tour Toronto. Drive to Montreal (6 hours). Tour Montreal. Drive to Sarasota Springs. Tour area, including RPI (for DD), Cooperstown (for DH and younger DD). Drive back (maybe stop in NYC for a day or two and take in a show).

So, how long should I devote for each stop? What attractions do you recommend? I have about 2 weeks and $3K to spend (including gas). Is it doable? I am just starting to plan so everything is very flexible.

HayGan
05-22-2008, 02:45 PM
Given the strenght of the Canadian dollar in relation to the US dollar, I would think that $3k will be very tough given the amount of time you want to spend in Canada. I would strongly consider just doing your US tour with some additional stops mixed in.

To give you some indication about prices in Canada, we went to Niagara Falls last year. We spent one night at the Embassy Suites in a package deal (gave us one meal, free parking, free shuttle) and for 2 days/1 night that little trip ended up costing us about $950. Nothing extravegant either. 1 small meal at Rainforest Cafe, 1 trip for 3 adults, 1 kid on Maid of the Mist, breakfast at Denny's and about $50 spent on Clifton Hill.

punkin
05-22-2008, 04:19 PM
Given the strenght of the Canadian dollar in relation to the US dollar, I would think that $3k will be very tough given the amount of time you want to spend in Canada. I would strongly consider just doing your US tour with some additional stops mixed in.

To give you some indication about prices in Canada, we went to Niagara Falls last year. We spent one night at the Embassy Suites in a package deal (gave us one meal, free parking, free shuttle) and for 2 days/1 night that little trip ended up costing us about $950. Nothing extravegant either. 1 small meal at Rainforest Cafe, 1 trip for 3 adults, 1 kid on Maid of the Mist, breakfast at Denny's and about $50 spent on Clifton Hill.

WOW. I was not expecting it to be that expensive. OK, we can conceivably cut out Montreal altogether. I guess I'll have to do a little research on how much this is going to cost me. I figured $3K is about what we spend on a Disney trip so that's what I was planning.

I f anyone has any ideas of itineraries around Niagara falls for a week or so, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

workinmarmy
05-22-2008, 04:48 PM
I am in love with Priceline for hotels. I put in the price & all of the hotels have been very nice. When I do check in a couple times I have asked b4 i give them my name how much to stay the night & it is always considerably higher. Then I tell them just making sure I got a good deal :banana:
Very Nice & Pleased!!!

punkin
05-22-2008, 05:10 PM
I am in love with Priceline for hotels. I put in the price & all of the hotels have been very nice. When I do check in a couple times I have asked b4 i give them my name how much to stay the night & it is always considerably higher. Then I tell them just making sure I got a good deal :banana:
Very Nice & Pleased!!!

I generally priceline hotels as well and have gotten some amazing deals. I am more worried about the attraction and food prices in Canada. However, the dollar seems to be in parity right now so while Canada is not a bargain anymore, it shouldn't be too bad.

jdes88
05-22-2008, 05:31 PM
The canadian dollar is pretty much equal to the US dollar right now. Take it from somebody wjho lives 45 mins away from the border. Don't forget raised seal birth certificates (original only) and a Drivers Liscense. Otherwise you need a passport. Toronto is not too badly priced----Saratoga springs is HIGH---stay in Lake George!:cutie:

winniethepoohsmom
05-22-2008, 07:24 PM
It's been a long time since we've been to Niagara Falls, but we stayed on the NY side in Buffalo. It was a short drive we ate breakfast at the hotel, lunch in Niagara and back to Buffalo for dinner. I agree Saratoga Springs is expensive. Linda :)

punkin
05-22-2008, 08:13 PM
OK, Saratoga Springs is out. What is good and cheap around Lake George?

Teresa Pitman
05-22-2008, 09:45 PM
There are usually plenty of good deals in hotels around Niagara Falls and Toronto, and probably near Montreal too although I'm not as familiar with that area. Try Priceline or talk to a travel agent.

In terms of attractions: Niagara Falls itself is pretty good, and then you can drive along the river to Niagara-on-the-Lake which is a lovely town with interesting shops. They do historical tours in a carriage pulled by horses.

Toronto has a lot of stuff to do and see. You can go up the CN Tower, visit the Science Centre (which is excellent), see the Toronto Zoo, go to the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Royal Ontario Museum, Centre Island, Ontario Place, and lots more. If you like amusement parks, Canada's Wonderland (very heavy on roller coasters) is just north of the city.

Teresa (who lives about an hour and a half north west of Toronto)

NHWX
05-22-2008, 11:12 PM
We went last year on one of those ridiculously hot weekends. That was a nice break!

We stayed at the Hilton Niagara Falls with a fallsview room. That's nice - they light the falls at nighttime. Your younger one might enjoy the pool with slide too. (We used Hilton points so the stay was free.) The breakfast buffet was pretty good too. We took the behind the falls walking tour. It was fun, but you could cut it out if it costs too much. On our second day, we toured the wine country area, seeing the flower clock and buying snacks at the various farmstands.

One point to consider - be sure you have enough gas before you get in line to cross back over the border if you're doing it at Niagara Falls. I thought for sure we were going to get stalled on the bridge! It took about an hour and 20 minutes to just cross the bridge, and we didn't even go over the one closest to the falls!

NHWX

punkin
05-23-2008, 07:03 AM
Thanks for the ideas.

punkin
05-23-2008, 12:35 PM
Just bumping for any other ideas.

sbaldasare
05-23-2008, 12:53 PM
We did a Niagra Falls / Toronto trip several years ago. In Toronto we went to Casa Loma, the CN Tower and the Toronto Zoo and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. The trip to Niagra-on-the-Lake was definitely a nice little get away from all the activity in Niagra Falls. There are vineyards along the way that you can stop at and sample the wine.