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How to Get From Nashua to NYC in 5 Hours for $27

Is it strange that one of the reasons I love living in Nashua is how easy it is to get out of it?

The 6 years I lived in NY and traveled back and forth to NH opened my eyes to how conveniently connected Nashua is to other places. In fact, its one of the things I rave about to other people when I describe where I live. If you get stir crazy during winter and are looking for a quick weekend getaway, check out these tips for the fastest, cheapest and most comfortable way to get from Nashua to the Big Apple.

START: Boston Express at Exit 8 (or Tyngsboro). Clean and reliable, the Boston Express leaves frequently and always on time. It’s a comfortable ride down to Boston, and I find the drivers do a great job in ensuring that riders are respectful about not using their phones or having loud conversation. WiFi available.

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Boston Express at Exit 8. Plenty of parking. Make sure you have an ID to show when purchasing tickets. (I think that’s a weird rule…)

Price: $12 one way to South Station. $22 round trip. Reduced fares for students, seniors, military and children.

Time: 1 hour

Websitehttp://www.bostonexpressbus.com/

Inside the Boston Express.

Inside the Boston Express.

STOP #1: South Station  – A simple and seamless transition to the NYC bus. Boston Express will drop you off at South Station’s bus terminal, and you only have to walk across the room to get to your next bus to New York. That’s it! No changing buildings or long walks. All of the buses are located in one small gate in the terminal.

Plan your trip right (not during rush hour or a snow storm) and hopefully you arrive just 20-30 minutes before your NYC bus leaves.

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Boston South Station (you don’t actually have to leave the gate – I just like the view.)

There are a few buses that go from Boston to NY. I’ve taken them all, so here’s a breakdown of the good and bad. If you’re on a tight budget these should give you some options. Be sure to check out each website for $$$.

  • Gold: Bolt Bus – the best! Bolt has comfortable, newer buses (although not as nice as the Boston Express buses). Wifi enabled, the staff is responsive, easy to deal with, and drops you off at two convenient midtown locations. They also have boarding groups which makes getting on less of a hassle, you can show your ticket on your phone, and the seats have a touch more legroom…*according to them. https://www.boltbus.com/
  • Silver: Megabus – this is a double-decker with lots of seats available, so you have a great chance at getting a seat at a good price. I find this bus kinda smelly sometimes, especially on the bottom floor because of the bathroom, but it can be fun if you find yourself in the front row on the top deck with an open view.  http://us.megabus.com/Default.aspx
  • Bronze: Lucky Star – this is one of the Chinatown buses. It’s purpose is to get you to NY’s Chinatown quickly and cheaply. No special amenities, no friendly helpful staff. If you have an E-ticket you have to physically go to the counter to check in, unlike with Bolt Bus. This is a bare bones operation, but sometimes that’s all you need.  http://www.luckystarbus.com/
  • Honorable mention: Peter Pan – the drawbacks to Peter Pan for me are 1. it drops you off at Port Authority, which is sometimes a sketchy place. 2. the buses tend to be dated. 3. it draws a weird crowd sometimes, if I’m being honest. They do actually go from Nashua to NYC as well, but you’ll have to endure other stops along the way. Good if you’re in a pinch! http://peterpanbus.com/
The long line to board the Megabus.

The long line to board the Megabus.

Inside the Bolt Bus.

Inside the Bolt Bus.

All of these buses make a quick pit stop half way through the ride, usually a Burger King location in Connecticut, so you’ll have a chance to use the bathroom, stretch your legs and get a quick bite to eat. Other tips? If you arrive at South Station way earlier, or even way later than you scheduled time, talk to an employee about getting on a standby list for the next bus ride. There are always people who don’t show up or miss their ride, so you’ll eventually get to where you need to go.

Price: $15 (make sure to book ahead for the best deals! Prices can fluctuate, especially during the holidays)

Time: 4 hours (usually… traffic can be a factor depending on the day/time you leave.)

STOP #2: New York City! You’ve made it! Hopefully you slept on the bus or caught up on some emails or Netflix. Have a great time in the city spending some of the money you saved on traveling. Buy lots of NY bagels, visit MOMA or the Met, catch a show on Broadway and soak in the lights before you come back to peaceful ol’ Nashua.

Happy traveling and please check in and let us know your trip went!

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Other options:

  1. Car: The drive from Nashua to New York is very easy. If you have ever driven in Boston then driving in NY will seem like a piece of cake. It may be a bigger, bustling city, but it’s a smartly laid out grid and so easy to navigate that you won’t have any problems. Gas will be around half a tank, and tolls add up to around $10ish (depending which route you go). But the real expense comes in parking. If you have, or don’t mind paying, for parking during your stay than a drive is a simple way to go.
  2. Train: You can also take the Boston Express bus to South Station and hop on the Accela from there. It will take 3.5 hours, bypassing traffic and arguably providing a more comfortable ride than the bus. Tickets usually start at $115 one way. In the words of my best friend Alyssa, it’s a shame that the government doesn’t do more to subsidize train traveling.
  3. Planes: It’s a short flight, only an hour, but not worth the time when you factor in getting to the airport early. But still, if that’s your thing, you can certainly find tickets for around $149 round trip. But remember, there are no airports in Manhattan, and it’s a haul to get there from Queens.

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