Where Should I Jet To This September
August 18, 2010 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Where should I fly to on my unlimited Jet Blue "All You Can Jet" pass?

I just bought the Jet Blue "All You Can Jet" pass that excludes flying on Fridays and Sundays. I work for myself and its a bit slow right now so I have some time to fly around. I can fly anywhere that Jet Blue flies as long as there are seats but not on their partner airlines (ie. I can't fly to South Africa). I can start to book Monday and must book 3 days in advance so no showing up at the airport and romantically asking "where's the next plane heading?" Travel is good from September 7 - October 6th, 2010.

I'm based in Chicago (direct flights to NYC/JFK, Boston, Long Beach) and will need to come back every once in a while but I want to make the most of this pass. My travel experience includes traveling alone to around 50 countries so I can take care of my safety, negotiate my way through cities and plan like no one else.

Places I plan to go:
Bogota, Columbia
Denver
Boston
D.C.
San Francisco

Places I'm considering:
New Orleans
Bermuda
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico
Aruba

In the past I've been to NYC, Portland, Seattle, LA (very recently) and don't really feel the need to go at the moment. Denver, D.C. and San Francisco were picked because I have friends or family I'd like to visit. I've never been to Boston so I figure I'll spend a few days poking around.

Is there anywhere that Jet Blue flies that you would recommend? I particularly need help with the Caribbean. I have been to The Bahamas for work so that's out. I'd love to go to Bermuda but am looking for places where I don't have to rent a car, can stay cheaply (hostel, with friends, couchsurfing) and a lot of the Caribbean seems to be pricey. I have couchsurfed in foreign countries myself and host couchsurfers in Chicago currently so I'm very familiar with the way it works. I love cities, walking around and getting lost, art, museums and architecture. Where should I go?
posted by Bunglegirl to Travel & Transportation (26 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I flew Jet Blue to Austin and loved it. If you haven't spent time in Texas and you like artsy, cultural, somewhat obnoxious hipstery stuff, it's the best.
posted by telegraph at 8:49 AM on August 18, 2010


I've been to Dallas (not my scene) and I have considered Austin. I know that Austin is really cool and I think its right up my alley arts/cultural-wise. I asked a friend about it last night (he lived there for many years) and he said that I would like it but if I don't have a friend there to hang out with or access to a car it might not be fun and he wouldn't recommend going. I go to concerts by myself all the time but I'm not sure I want to hang out in a bar in Austin by myself at night. Still worthwhile?
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:54 AM on August 18, 2010


To go to Bogota, for example, you will have to go through Orlando. So I would also consider spending time in a place - a day or so - that you have to go through anyways rather than just connecting through.

Otherwise, I would never really fly to Houston over many other places. But if I was just flying around anyways, I've always wanted to see the Rothko Chapel.
posted by vacapinta at 8:57 AM on August 18, 2010


Also, consider San Diego. The airport is downtown and on the waterfront. You can pretty much walk from the airport and walk around the downtown area, which has a lot to see. It is not Los Angeles.
There's also a trolley that takes you down to the Mexican border, where you can walk into Tijuana.
posted by vacapinta at 9:01 AM on August 18, 2010


Bermuda!!!
posted by jgirl at 9:01 AM on August 18, 2010


These aren't on your list - but consider Provincetown or Martha's Vineyard - they're beautiful in September and less crowded.
posted by nnk at 9:04 AM on August 18, 2010


You don't mention it, but if you are by any chance interested in American roots music, New Orleans hosts the fantastic Ponderosa Stomp on September 24th and 25th.
posted by CheeseLouise at 9:17 AM on August 18, 2010


Double check this but I thought I saw that the AYCJ deal does not include International destinations. Or maybe I misread that.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:17 AM on August 18, 2010


Burlington, VT is a nice, small city and you could hit it at peak foliage in late September. Plus, it is within a few hours of Montreal.
posted by chiefthe at 9:20 AM on August 18, 2010


Houston is a dead end, unfortunately (only direct flights to NYC).

I could pop into downtown Austin for a day when flying from Bogota/Costa Rica/PuertoRico on my way to the West Coast (San Francisco). I do intend to "stop over" in places on the way. Orlando is not of much interest to me though. I've spent countless summers in Clearwater Beach as a kid and have been to Disney a few times. Any compelling reason to stop in Orlando otherwise?

San Diego sounds nice! Its a bit of a dead end with only flights to Boston or NYC. I could take ground transport between San Diego and Long Beach to get North or East.

The East Coast is a bit of an mystery to me and I haven't spent time there aside from NYC. I'm really excited for D.C. (friends! The Smithsonian!) but do you think that I can get around on public transport in places like Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard or Vermont and Maine for that matter?

Jgirl - have you been to Bermuda? Can I do it cheaply? Its definitely on my list as a place that's a bit far that I normally wouldn't want to pay to fly to.

FlamingBore - I checked before I bought. From the FAQ:
Where can I go with my AYCJ Pass?
You can travel to any JetBlue city on any JetBlue-operated flight within the travel window. AYCJ travel excludes flights operated by our partners including Cape Air, Aer Lingus, South African Airways, Lufthansa and American Airlines. If a JetBlue flight has an open seat, it's yours! Just make sure you reserve your seat at least three days in advance, per the rules of the program.


What does the cost of my Pass cover? What does it not cover?
The cost of the AYCJ Pass covers domestic taxes and fees. The cost of the AYCJ Pass does not cover international taxes and fees and additional purchase options...


Ooooh, Vermont with a road trip to Montreal... a possibility. I've never been to either. My only Canadian experience has been Vancouver.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:23 AM on August 18, 2010


Sweet - it was probably the tax thing that my eye fell on. Enjoy! And if you need a sofa to surf in Denver let me know. If I'm around when you come through town I've got the space.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:38 AM on August 18, 2010


The Florida Keys was one of the best vacations I've had in recent memory; very laid back, and lots of awesome wildlife photo opportunities.

If you are already going to DC, you might want to check out Annapolis; lot's of neat stuff to see at the harbor.
posted by quin at 9:40 AM on August 18, 2010


Also, consider San Diego. The airport is downtown and on the waterfront. You can pretty much walk from the airport and walk around the downtown area, which has a lot to see. It is not Los Angeles.

There's a bus -- the 992 -- that will take you downtown faster than walking especially if you have luggage. I hadn't considered walking from the airport to proper downtown (it is about 3 miles). The 992 stops at the Santa Fe station for Amtrak trains heading north, or the Trolley to get around San Diego. The trolley doesn't go to the beaches, zoo, Balboa Park, etc though, for that you need to take a bus.

From a JetBlue perspective SD can be a dead end but you can take Amtrak up the coast to LA/Orange County and then a local bus/taxi to the Long Beach airport. If you're not averse to paying for a ticket on another airline, often times you can get from San Diego to San Francisco on Virgin or Southwest for about $50. Or even cheaper, there's Crucero bus lines that will go to Long Beach from San Diego with fares starting at $1.00 (like discount airfares you have to make them in advance online and aren't always available, the max would be $20 I think). Crucero has free wifi on their buses which helps you survive the hell of traffic on I5 between SD and LA.

There's a hybrid hotel/hostel right downtown called 500 West which is on Broadway right near the bus and train station. It is often under $40 a night for a private room (shared bath, but when I stayed there it was never a problem to go across the hall for a private bathroom and there were enough I never had to wait). For downtown where $200+ rooms are the norm, it is a great deal.
posted by birdherder at 9:52 AM on August 18, 2010


Pittsburgh.

Seriously.

I stopped there on a summer cross-country road trip to see a family member. I was planning on staying there for 36 hours and ended up staying a full week because I fell in love with the place. It's a remarkably beautiful city surrounded by three rivers with some of the most interesting things I've seen in America, notably The Mattress Factory, The Warhol Museum and the Phipps Conservatory.

Also, I couldn't believe how friendly people were. My first night there I googled hipster bar (yeah, yeah), went with some new people I'd just met after going to a brewery/restaurant converted from an old Catholic church, and remarked that this was one of the friendliest places I'd ever been to. At which point someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, "That's cause you're in Pittsburgh!" and proceeded to drive me and my friends around the rest of the night and show us the city and his favorite bars.

Bonuses: The city is incredibly cheap compared to LA/SF/NY. You can easily end up in a dive bar singing Journey with the whole bar drinking $1 Blue Moons. You will end up experiencing the Pittsburgh Left in its birthplace.
posted by AmitinLA at 10:30 AM on August 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bogota--definitely. Everyone I've met said to go there. Now.

I'd recommend spending some time trying to figure out what you can get the most bang for your buck-- i.e. what it would normally cost to fly, so you feel you got the most out of your pass.
posted by sandmanwv at 11:14 AM on August 18, 2010


Aruba probably isn't what you're looking for, unless you want to just sit on the beach. It's a *very* small island and not a whole lot to do.

I don't have any experience with finding cheap housing there, but it is off-season, so hotel pricing is at its lowest. You might be able to find a cheap last-minute timeshare too, but again, I can't help with that. You won't need to rent a car; the island is small and cab fares from the airport to the hotel district is $10-$15.

That said, I love Aruba and am going there in September (via JetBlue, even). But I'm just planning to spend a week on the beach at an all-inclusive resort.
posted by Tu13es at 11:35 AM on August 18, 2010


Martha's Vineyard is bikeable (and you can rent bikes), Provincetown is very walkable.

Maine via public transport: Downtown Portland is cute and walkable, and you can take ferries to some of the islands in Casco Bay. I'm sure there are city buses though I've never used them. As far as getting out of Portland, there are a few intercity buses but I don't know a lot about them - you might want to check out this page Explore Maine by Bus.

Vermont I can't help you with... I've been to Burlington briefly but it felt very small and I have no idea how one would go about getting out of the city without a car.

I've never been, but my mom and sister love Punta Cana (DR).
posted by mskyle at 11:56 AM on August 18, 2010


just tagging on to mskyle - the Vineyard is very bikeable and it has a really good bus system. There's really no need to take a tour bus, just hop on the MVTA and see the island - and/or get from here to there.
posted by nnk at 1:51 PM on August 18, 2010


Interesting. There's a Hosteling International in Martha's Vineyard and I love bikes (I bike year-round in Chicago).

I'm re-thikning the international destinations because I have to pay taxes on those. I'm definitely going to Bogota despite possibly $100 extra in taxes. I might not pile up the islands though, if its going to cost a lot more in taxes. That's votes for Dominican Republic, Aruba (I've heard its nice too), Bermuda...

Keep them coming! I am trying to figure out the best bang for my buck, international taxes etc. but I'm still working all of the details out. I haven't yet found a great PDF of Jet Blue's current timetable, which would be quite useful.
posted by Bunglegirl at 3:12 PM on August 18, 2010


I bought the pass too and read this thread with interest. I hate to tell you that Martha's Vineyard and other "operated by Cape Air" (or other contractors) routes are not included.

http://thestrategyblog.com/index.php/archives/281/how-to-book-an-awesome-travel-itinerary/">This is an interested programmatic approach posted last year.
posted by manduca at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


d'oh. sorry for the link fail. again:

Blog post on programmatic approach to pass use
posted by manduca at 11:37 AM on August 19, 2010


I understand that other carriers aren't included but didn't realize the Cape flights were a code share, thanks. Its not breaking my heart to miss the cape. In fact it might be good and help to limit some of my destinations. Great link! I wonder when the actual booking opens up. 12:01am EST 9/23?
posted by Bunglegirl at 12:09 PM on August 19, 2010


1) Buffalo + bus/train to Toronto. Couchsurf!

2) Train to Montreal, Couchsurf, bus/train/rideshare to Burlington, fly to JFK to get to...

3) Puerto Rico! Couchsurf. El Yunque. Culebra.
posted by mdonley at 4:22 PM on August 19, 2010


I've been to Bermuda 3 times and hope to go back before the end of the year.

Yes, you can do it cheaply, but it's a high price compared with other destinations. The key for me is that, since I do not have a car and thus do not have car insurance, rental cars cost me a fortune. And driving to Bethany Beach (or wherever) is not relaxing, plus once you are there the car pretty much sits there for the week. Because of this, it is more sensible for me to go to Bermuda.

I'll send you a MeMail when I get home from work.
posted by jgirl at 10:02 AM on August 20, 2010


Bunglegirl: I don't know when flights open up, but I bet you're right: 12:01am EST 9/23. I liked the Ponderosa Stomp and Burlington suggestions. It looks like Ponderosa Stomp tix are on sale now and run $50/night (or day? I'm sure sure).

My plan is to tour the best ice cream shops in the US.

Have a great time!
posted by manduca at 5:48 PM on August 20, 2010


i think you really should consider Pittsburgh as previously suggested. i was there earlier this year and it's a great city. i'm really looking forward to going back, whenever that happens.
posted by gursky at 10:06 PM on August 28, 2010


« Older Intro to Excel for Finance   |   Painting aluminum siding. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.