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Traveling the Boston/New York City/Washington D.C. Route

brooklyn bridge new york manhattan bike biker traffic East Coasters know that the oft-traveled Boston/New York/Washington D.C. route can be a pricey one whether you take a car, plane, train or bus. Travelers who opt to drive between the cities in an effort to save money may now be rethinking that option considering fluctuating gas prices and the maddening traffic jams that are common along the way. In addition, heated competition among JetBlue, Delta and US Airways has made flying a much more affordable option. Here we outline five ways to travel to the cities, including the cost, travel time, and pros and cons of each.

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Who: Delta Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue offer shuttle service between the three cities.

Cities Served: Boston, New York and Washington D.C.

Cost: On the Delta shuttle from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Boston's Logan Airport, the lowest roundtrip fare we found was $365.40, including taxes, with advance purchase. US Airways offered the exact same fare for similar dates. JetBlue proved to be a much cheaper option; on the dates we checked, JetBlue offered flights out of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport starting at $141.40 roundtrip with taxes.

The shuttle service from LaGuardia to Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan National Airport was $361.40 roundtrip on Delta's shuttle. Flights for the same itinerary started at $339.90 roundtrip on US Airways. Cheaper options were available from JFK to Dulles International Airport; JetBlue flights started at $164.40 roundtrip with taxes, and Delta's non-shuttle started at $219.40 roundtrip with taxes. Delta also flies from JFK to Reagan National from $219.40, including taxes and fees.

Delta has no designated Washington/Boston shuttle, but offers fares from Baltimore/Washington International Airport to Logan (with a stop) from $205.80 roundtrip with taxes. US Airways does offer a shuttle from Reagan, which came in at $219.40 roundtrip with taxes on the dates we selected. JetBlue flies from Dulles to Logan from $159.40 with taxes.

Please note that fares vary dramatically based on availability and on the date and time of your flight.

Tips for Finding Cheap Airfare

Travel Time: Depending on your route, a nonstop flight can last anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, not including travel time to and from the airport or check-in.

  • Many departures. All three airlines have departures all day long, but you may pay more for prime time. Less expensive fares can sometimes be found early in the morning or late in the evening. Click here for the Delta shuttle timetable. Click here for the US Airways shuttle timetable.
  • You'll earn a minimum of 500 miles for each leg of the trip on Delta or US Airways.
  • No traffic (except getting to and from the airport).
  • If you're traveling on one of the shuttle services, dedicated ticket counters at the airports make check-in a breeze.

  • US Airways and Delta shuttles operate from New York's LaGuardia Airport, the least convenient of the city's three airports if you are planning to go to Manhattan via public transportation. However, it is the closest airport, and the least expensive to travel to and from if you plan to take a taxi or car service.
  • Finding the best fare can be time-consuming with so many possible airport combinations, particularly if you're flying between New York and D.C. -- each served by three airports.

    New York Travel Deals
    Boston Travel Deals

    amtrak acela express trainWho: Amtrak offers both Acela Express and regional service between the three cities plus Philadelphia.

    Cities Served: There are a number of weekday Acela Express round-trips between Washington D.C. and New York, as well as several weekday round-trips between Boston, New York and Washington. Weekend service runs approximately once every hour between New York and Washington D.C. and less frequently from Boston.

    Cost: The lowest fare found on Acela Express was $198 roundtrip from New York to Boston, and $98 roundtrip on the slower regional service. From Washington D.C. to Boston, we found $314 roundtrip on Acela and $140 roundtrip on the regional train. Between Washington D.C. and New York, we found $278 roundtrip on Acela and $98 roundtrip on the regional train.

    Travel Time: For Acela Express service, plan on about three hours between Washington D.C. and New York, about seven hours between Washington D.C. and Boston, and about three and a half hours between New York and Boston. For regional trains, add an additional 30 - 60 minutes, depending on your route. Click here for the Acela Express and Northeast Regional timetable.

  • On Acela Express, "Quiet Cars" make for a comfortable and peaceful ride, and conference tables and power outlets allow passengers who wish to work to do so easily. An onboard bistro offers several food and beverage options.
  • The train stations in each city are easily accessible from other points in the city.
  • For travelers concerned with the environmental impact of their travel, trains are the most eco-friendly option.

  • Regional trains are much less luxurious than the Acela Express, and they stop more frequently.
  • With the abundance of flight options, taking the train may prove both more expensive and more time-consuming than flying.

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