What is the cheapest way to get to Boston, MA from Cleveland, OH to see a concert?
December 13, 2009 3:34 PM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest way to get to Boston, MA from Cleveland, OH to see a concert?

An awesome Japanese singer named Utada will be performing at the Paradise Club in Boston, MA next year. The concert will be Friday, February 5th 2010 at 7pm. So far the plan is to get there Thursday, stay the night at a friend’s place, go to the concert Friday and then leave the same night.

I looked into plane tickets and there at present there about $350 roundtrip per person. It would be really unfortunate to have to pay $350 in airfare when the tickets to the concerts were less than $50.

Any other ideas guys?

P.S. Driving is a less preferred suggestion, as that would mean skipping more than 2 days of college classes.

Thanks in advance!
posted by seanmhobson1988 to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total)
Hopefully other forms of ground travel are acceptable if driving is out (I don't know what else there would be other than ground travel and flying- private helicopter?)

You should check the Weekly Deals section of the Amtrak website when it gets closer to the date. They have deals on the Lake Shore Limited all the time and it is far less than 350/person round trip even without a discount. Plus you can sleep on the train, so you leave later and miss less class).
posted by Ashley801 at 3:39 PM on December 13, 2009

Greyhound Bus, round trip is about $120.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:42 PM on December 13, 2009

I'm getting $210 (inclusive of taxes and fees) on US Airways connecting through Philadelphia, getting there late Thursday night and leaving before dawn Saturday morning.
posted by SpringAquifer at 3:58 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also: $161 from Buffalo and $149 from Pittsburgh on JetBlue. I can't really tell from the question whether you're going by yourself, but that could mean substantial savings for just a few hours of driving and $10+ in parking fees at the airport.
posted by SpringAquifer at 4:08 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Amtrak is $140 round-trip for your dates but 15 hours+ each way.

Fly. Cleveland to Boston on Continental.com is about $300 nonstop (important in the winter!) leaving Thursday and coming back Saturday (could you crash with the friend one more night?). It's 4 hours total travel time.

Last year I went to a concert in Lyon, France (tickets €25) for about $300 worth of travel from the town in Poland where I was living at the time. Night buses, Air France, and the TGV were all involved. And I only stayed a night! It was totally worth it: my favorite performance ever, met cool people on the train, had great food, took a million photos. If I couldn't have flown, I wouldn't have gone.
posted by mdonley at 4:24 PM on December 13, 2009

I just made that exact drive, but backwards. It's 11 hours, and costs approx $150 in gas (small SUV) and tolls round trip, FYI. If you take 90, you will pay approximately $30 in tolls. If you take 80, the tolls will be exponentially less, as 80 is not a toll road, but 90 is.
posted by FlyByDay at 5:01 PM on December 13, 2009

Greyhound could get pretty uncomfortable if you're tall or big. Years ago I did a couple of long trips by bus, Seattle to Ithaca once, and Ithaca to Missoula another time. Both trips were great, met some really interesting people.

If you choose to go by bus buy your ticket well in advance online as it will be much cheaper and bring lots of food and drink.
posted by mareli at 5:10 PM on December 13, 2009

Make sure you check fares from Canton/Akron (CAK) as well, especially Airtran. Looks like you can pay $175 round trip for a Feb 4 departure and Feb 6 return.
posted by Perplexity at 5:18 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

if there are multiple people driving is definitely the cheapest option, and the time savings from flying aren't that great when you consider transport to/from airports (the ground transportation in Cleveland really sucks) layovers, and waiting in security. However, driving will take you through either Erie/Buffalo, or the Poconos, both of which have frequent icy nasty snowstorms in the winter. As someone who has made that drive many times, don't try it without snow tires and confidence about driving in the snow. you'll need both.
posted by genmonster at 5:24 PM on December 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all for the replies so far. Here are my responses.

1. There are 2 people going. Me and a friend. I HAVE to leave from Cleveland, but my friend could fly from Pitt or Philly. So SpringAquifer your suggestion is good. What website did you use?

2. I really hate greyhound lol but if me and a friend don't go together, i'll probably look more into this, as saving $150 is worth the inconvenience of a bus.

3. Didn't think of Amtrak. great suggestion. Always wanted to ride a train.

4. Perplexity, thanks for the Airtran suggestion. going to look into that and get back with you all.

Thanks everyone for the replies. Im going to look further into this and let you know what I decide.
posted by seanmhobson1988 at 5:51 PM on December 13, 2009

Check Akron/Canton, which - depending on where you are in Cleveland - might be closer than Hopkins. Also check flights into Providence (you can take the bus or the T in to Boston, it's only an hour.)

Amtrak is nice, inasmuch as you can walk around and there is no TSA, but you will be spending several more hours getting to and from Boston than you would driving, even. I speak from experience with precisely that route. (Also, Amtrak tends to come to/leave Cleveland at stupid o'clock in the morning.)
posted by ubersturm at 6:26 PM on December 13, 2009

I use kayak.com for preliminary research on airline fares; the site will allow you to click through the results to book. You can probably find those same fares at the respective airlines' websites, too: US Airways, JetBlue, and AirTran.

Just don't forget that both Greyhound and Amtrak are scheduled to take more than 15 hours. Each way. Even though normal driving time is 11 hours. And you'd still miss class. So you'll have to decide if it's worth paying $70 more for that US Airways flight going from Cleveland to Philadelphia to Boston.

If you end up choosing not to fly, then I'd take Amtrak. As of right now, a round trip on Greyhound is actually going to run you 80 cents more than a round trip on Amtrak. And Amtrak is far more comfortable than Greyhound. But of course, keep in mind that Amtrak is regularly delayed, often by quite a bit, in many parts of the country (though I'm not familiar with operations in your neck of the woods). Though on the other hand, icy weather in early February can just as easily snare up bus and air traffic, too.
posted by SpringAquifer at 6:28 PM on December 13, 2009

There are various buses that go between NYC and Boston (my preference is Boltbus) for about $10-20 one way, depending on time and day. It takes a little over four hours (+ time in NY getting to/from the airport). But if you can find cheap enough flights to NY it might be worth your while.
posted by 6550 at 9:03 PM on December 13, 2009

If time is an issue, taking the train isn't your answer. It takes several more hours via train than it does to drive (owing to stops and speed, it will be at least 16 hours each way), so make sure that you take that into consideration. It sounds romantic and fun, but I've done it and found it deadly. Your mileage (no pun intended!) may vary. The train can also spend some time going backwards, and there will be no explanation for why.
posted by FlyByDay at 9:05 PM on December 13, 2009

Another point about Amtrak: Although it is much better than the bus, it is often very delayed on the Buffalo to Albany stretch. The passenger trains on the Mohawk River section of railroad must give way to the slower, miles-long freight traffic. This often causes delays of up to a few hours. But, if you're leaving a day early it might not matter to you.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:08 AM on December 14, 2009

Just wanted to second the AirTran. We looked at all the options recently (including driving) and that made the most sense. Just be aware you will need to rent a car if you fly into Canton.
posted by UMDirector at 3:06 PM on December 14, 2009

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