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 2013 MLB TRIP, Advice needed
Rabscallion
Posted: Apr 20 2012, 05:50 AM


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[QUOTE=Mex_17,Apr 18 2012, 02:37 PM]
[/QUOTE]
Do you usually travel by yourself, Rob?

I'm thinking of taking a trip over and visiting six ballparks on the East Coast next Summer. The thing is, I'll most likely be travelling alone and am a little aprehensive about safety etc. in some of the cities.

In your experience, how expensive is accommodation and where do you find the best deals? I have a friend in Philly so I'm sure I'll have a place to crash there, but everywhere else I'll have to book a hotel. I'll be on placement next year and plan on saving as much as I can, but the less I can spend the better. Also, how often do you stay in each city if you're doing a multi-city trip? [/QUOTE]



Hi Mex,

No I go with 'er indoors but have been to a couple of games on my own. I found Boston and New York to be fine - just stay on the main streets of course. The areas around the ballparks always seem fine to me - lots of people too. If you don't hang around after the game I'd be quite confident.

I'd have no problem going on my own though - i've always ended up chatting to the people around me - they are often fascinated as to why a Brit is into Baseball.

Accommodation wise, as far as NYC goes we stayed on Staten Island to keep the cost down - some pretty cheap B&B's there. You get the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan - pretty easy and it goes past the Statue of Liberty each day.
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StewartB
Posted: Apr 20 2012, 07:13 PM


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QUOTE (AlexTheBrave)
There is always public transport available to get to games and I always felt safe, as mentioned in a previous reply you just apply the same sense you would in a British city at night.


This.

I always travel alone and have never had any trouble in the cities or at the stadia. I have only ever made one concession which was to not wear my Giants cap to a game in Philadelphia (I was seeing the Mets @ Phillies) There almost certainly wouldn't have been any problem.


AlexTheBrave, re P.T. : not been to see the Texas Rangers play, then? rolleyes.gif I looked into it and decided the only way to do the Rangers was to stay at a hotel within walking distance of the stadium.
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MikeTroutMVP
Posted: Sep 15 2012, 03:56 PM


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I did a road-trip on my own this year, although the slightly odd itinerary was influences by having some friends to visit in various places.

I flew in and out of Boston, and in between flew to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch the Rangers (great ballpark, insanely hot weather) then flew back to Boston to see the Red Sox (worth coughing up for expensive tickets behind home plate, for the experience) then flew to Chicago where I missed the Sox but visited Wrigley Field, and then got the train up to Milwaukee to see the Brewers which was another great ballpark. Quite a few of the bars in the city do free shuttle busses there and back so it makes a night at the ballgame a really great experience - even if the ballpark is in the middle of nowhere.

All that booked totally separately was prob a lot more expensive than doing packages, but I had a lot to pack in!

As some other posters have mentioned, using NYC or Baltimore as a base to see the Yankees / Mets / O's / Nationals / Phillies would be a great plan - getting tickets direct from the clubs shouldn't be a problem and you can sign up for alerts on mlb.com as to when each team's single game tickets are available. Failing that there's always StubHub although it's easy to pay over the odds for average seats.

I'm about to download 2013's schedule to try to figure out next year's trip. Could be West Coast, could be South - who knows?!

Good luck & happy planning
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StewartB
Posted: Sep 15 2012, 06:10 PM


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QUOTE (MikeTroutMVP @ Sep 15 2012, 04:56 PM)
I did a road-trip on my own this year, although the slightly odd itinerary was influences by having some friends to visit in various places.

I flew in and out of Boston, and in between flew to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch the Rangers (great ballpark, insanely hot weather) then flew back to Boston to see the Red Sox (worth coughing up for expensive tickets behind home plate, for the experience) then flew to Chicago where I missed the Sox but visited Wrigley Field, and then got the train up to Milwaukee to see the Brewers which was another great ballpark. Quite a few of the bars in the city do free shuttle busses there and back so it makes a night at the ballgame a really great experience - even if the ballpark is in the middle of nowhere.

All that booked totally separately was prob a lot more expensive than doing packages, but I had a lot to pack in!

As some other posters have mentioned, using NYC or Baltimore as a base to see the Yankees / Mets / O's / Nationals / Phillies would be a great plan - getting tickets direct from the clubs shouldn't be a problem and you can sign up for alerts on mlb.com as to when each team's single game tickets are available. Failing that there's always StubHub although it's easy to pay over the odds for average seats.

I'm about to download 2013's schedule to try to figure out next year's trip. Could be West Coast, could be South - who knows?!

Good luck & happy planning

That's only slightly odd - I usually try to travel in a east-west fashion and then west-east so that my transatlantic flights are to/from Washington, New York or Boston, with minimal doubling-back. This year I arrived at Washington and I'm leaving from New York.

What's more spooky is some of the places you've been and how you got there ... I also visited the Rangers (saw the series against the Indians this week) and a couple of weeks ago, I took the train from Chicago up to Milwaukee, too!

I was worried about the potential heat in Arlington, but fortunately it was only 91F whilst I was there and the free trolley bus service, as mentioned elsewhere, made it OK to ge to the ballpark.

Packages? I doubt I could easily get a package to do anything more than a simple one, or maybe two, stop holiday.
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acletiger
Posted: Sep 16 2012, 09:04 PM


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I am already studying the schedule for next year as i have got the go ahead from wifey for a road trip next year, so trying to decide if it's back to the Bay area or somewhere different.
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StewartB
Posted: Sep 17 2012, 05:06 AM


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QUOTE (acletiger @ Sep 16 2012, 10:04 PM)
I am already studying the schedule for next year as i have got the go ahead from wifey for a road trip next year, so trying to decide if it's back to the Bay area or somewhere different.

It has to be done really, if you want to see fun baseball in a great ballpark. And you could even pop across the Bay Bridge to see your team biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif tongue.gif laugh.gif
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acletiger
Posted: Sep 17 2012, 05:02 PM


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Going back to the bay does appeal and if i time it right with both A's and Giants at home i usualy get to see between 5 & 7 games depending on flight times. Where ever i go will be a destination with direct flights from UK, as we had a nightmare transitting Houston airport outbound last month, mega slow immigration and TSE security made me put my passport in one of those plastic trays with my shoes and lost it going through the scanner, took 10 minutes to find it and got to the gate with two mins to spare before it shut only to be told they had given our seats to standby passengers, but United still sent our bags on the flight. Got to San Diego 3 hours late and then had to walk to different terminal to find bags. Luckily we had direct flights home!!!!
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StewartB
Posted: Sep 17 2012, 05:27 PM


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I don't like connecting flights on the international legs. I always stay over a night in the first destination city if at all possible, even if it's just an airport hotel. Not least because I dislike two long flights in a row.

I have to say that I've been disappointed with airport security in the USA this year - it's been even more cumbersome than usual, as they insist that you empty your pockets as well because their new scanners presumably can't deal with it cash (notes!) in your pocket. I managed to forget I had cash in my back pocket at Dulles, and then they accused me of still having a belt on in Dallas (I didn't), plus the Premier Access queue was being serviced by the same guy as the plebs' queue one from each alternately. I've been patted down at three airports now. I thought the new machines were meant to improve security and remove these restrictions, not add new ones!

The trick is, as the signs say, to take laptops (if you have any) out of your bag to be scanned separately, and then empty your pockets into your bag and do the bag up - they don't need it open to go through the machines. If they want to look inside, a real person will do that and you'll be there to watch so problems of losing things don't occur. Generally, I've found the TSA staff to be professional and respectful, as usual - friendly isn't their job description.

OTOH, the online boarding passes (a barcode on your phone) have worked well. I was sceptical of these, but they work (provided you have enough battery power left on your phone!)
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acletiger
Posted: Sep 17 2012, 05:47 PM


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Stewart. I think youre spot on re searches etc and have always thought TSA staff were good at their job, but those on duty at Houston that day were not the best. They also lost another passport in the ten minutes i was waiting for mine to be recovered.
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MLBsteve
Posted: Sep 17 2012, 08:34 PM


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It's funny you should mention the security at Houston airport. When I went earlier this year I flew with KLM from Manchester to Amsterdam to Houston (it was cheaper this way), when I got to passport control at Houston the bloke looked at my name, got straight on the phone and another bloke came and took me into a room where I was questioned for about 10 mins on why I was in the U.S, lucky for me I had all my baseball tickets with me so I just explained that I was on a baseball trip. After a few more questions my passport was stamped and I was on my way. I can only presume it was down to the fact I flew in from Amsterdam.
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acletiger
Posted: Sep 18 2012, 10:11 AM


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Steve. You must look Dodgy!!! I should have researched Houston airport before i planned my flights as the review sites slate the place for slow Immigration and poor TSA staff. As i have previously said next years trip will be direct flights to and from the states. I think Houston is ok if you are not looking to connect to another flight within 2 hours of landing.
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gunslinger73
Posted: Sep 21 2012, 01:57 PM


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My 2p's worth

Saftey - never felt anything but safe around ballparks - though worst area I've been to was US Celluar Field - lots of people about so no real worries.

Cost - If staying in NYC - look at hotels in Long Island City - great transport links and v close to Citifield and not too far from Yankee Stadium either.

If 1st time in NYC would also recommend staying in Manhattan BUT if really trying to keep costs down look at LIC vs a private room in a hostel downtown - may not be too pricey - but nothing in NYC (accommodation-wise) will be cheap!!

If really worried about travelling alone there are options to join with Tour Groups BUT these will cost you a fortune compared to booking it all separately and doing some research yourself.

Personally; I'd see if any mates are up for a sight-seeing trip to the States; invite them to first game of baseball as a tourist thing to do and let the magic of the game work on em - you never know; worked for me and my best mate. biggrin.gif

Now if only I could get the missus interested
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Basset
Posted: Sep 21 2012, 02:21 PM


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Road trip planning is good fun.

Personally I actually like airports so internal flights don't worry me at all and can be a lot cheaper than flights in the Uk / Europe BUT internal baggage restrictions can be expensive especially if you've gone transatlantic with a healthy allowance. US , United and Delta all charge $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second checked bag in economy.

Gone to a few games on my own and usually end up talking to someone nearby anyway.

Just realised I've only ever flown domestically into IAH (Houston). Flown out internationally and don't remember any issues (apart from the usual Laptops / belts / shoes off)

If you do include houston. check the routes out as it was a lot cheaper for us to fly out of HOU (Houston Hobby) rather than the International George Bush Airport.

Yankee Stadium is in the middle of the bronx so you need to keep your wits about you..
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StewartB
Posted: Sep 22 2012, 06:58 PM


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There's a trick to avoiding baggage fees: travel in first class biggrin.gif

Seriously. With United, you can upgrade individual flights in a multi-city itinerary either with miles or with cash or a mixture of both, and it's not necessarily cripplingly expensive. Compare the upgrade price with the baggage fees. When looking at the prices, it is easy to forget the baggage fees. In my trip, I 'saved' around $300 in fees

Furthermore, by having a BusinessFirst international leg in my itinerary, I had 2 free bags for all the domestic economy flights as well (and access to the lounges at Heathrow and Newark) This only works if you build a single itinerary containing all your flights.

One downside with United *domestic* first class is that it doesn't get you access to the airport lounges sad.gif - that's for business and higher international flights only.

Yankee Stadium may well be in The Bronx (it's only just in it) but provided you stay in the general vicinity of the stadium, there is no problem there at all, especially with all the crowds of people there. The subway station is right outside the stadium if you wish to depart the area immediately after the game. Top tip: the MTA has quite a lot of subway trains. You do not need to get on the first one that arrives that's going your way - you'll not have to wait long and you can travel back in comfort just by letting the packed ones go.
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Basset
Posted: Sep 24 2012, 01:03 PM


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QUOTE (StewartB @ Sep 22 2012, 06:58 PM)
There's a trick to avoiding baggage fees: travel in first class biggrin.gif

Seriously. With United, you can upgrade individual flights in a multi-city itinerary either with miles or with cash or a mixture of both, and it's not necessarily cripplingly expensive. Compare the upgrade price with the baggage fees. When looking at the prices, it is easy to forget the baggage fees. In my trip, I 'saved' around $300 in fees

Furthermore, by having a BusinessFirst international leg in my itinerary, I had 2 free bags for all the domestic economy flights as well (and access to the lounges at Heathrow and Newark) This only works if you build a single itinerary containing all your flights.

One downside with United *domestic* first class is that it doesn't get you access to the airport lounges sad.gif - that's for business and higher international flights only.

Yankee Stadium may well be in The Bronx (it's only just in it) but provided you stay in the general vicinity of the stadium, there is no problem there at all, especially with all the crowds of people there. The subway station is right outside the stadium if you wish to depart the area immediately after the game. Top tip: the MTA has quite a lot of subway trains. You do not need to get on the first one that arrives that's going your way - you'll not have to wait long and you can travel back in comfort just by letting the packed ones go.

Only managed Club on the last trip wink.gif

Killed the OH. 3 case + carry on allowance on the transatlantic flight but as I'd had to book the domestic flights seperately.. she was limited to the 1 checked case.

She went a bit mental at the shops in Atlanta to make up for it. Routing was MAN-LHR-PHL , PHL-LAS (drive to PHX) PHX-IAH HOU-ATL. ATL-LHR-MAN.


The OH has a phobia about open staircases. We walked out of a night game at Yankee stadium and she then decided she couldn't face the stairs up to the platform to the subway.

10 at night. OH and 2 year old. Not chuffed.

Came up with plan to go down to one of the underground lines and go into Manhattan and back out to the hotel.
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