Boston: Pre-Trip Planning and Day 1

One of the very first things I did in 2017 was travel to Boston, MA for the first time ever. And trust me, how my friends and I decided to go there was so random too (I’ll talk about it more in a bit). So I thought it would be great to blog about my whole experience since it’s technically one of my first times traveling independently (with friends, not solo).

So let’s get started! Keep in mind we were not sponsored for anything at all. I just like listing the details to help others who may plan on visiting Boston.

Fair warning this will be pretty lengthy but I’ll (try to) keep it short. 🙂

How We Decided To Go To Boston

I remember hanging out with my sister and April sometime in October 2016. We stopped by a bubble tea shop and inside we bumped into Alessa. Long story short, we spent some time talking about what we wanted to do in life, escaping realities once in a while by traveling. Then I mentioned how I wanted to visit Massachusetts at some point (saw a post about it earlier that day—was super random).

“Let’s do it. Let’s go to Massachusetts.”

We all looked at each other, “Wait, should we really?” “Yeah, let’s go! Why not?” “I mean, why can’t we?” “Let’s do it. Let’s go to Massachusetts.” And just like that we started looking at different cities we could visit. Then, it occurred to me…What better city to visit than one of the most historical places in the US?

Boston! I mean, we’ve heard about Boston, seen photos of it, learned about it in history classes, grew up watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody… why not? Boston it was!

Pre-Trip Planning

We settled to go during winter break, January 6-9 specifically, and started to look at train tickets and prices. Unfortunately, trains to Boston, contrary to what we thought, were super, super expensive.

Then I remembered that Southwest Airlines has this deal called “Wanna Get Away” prices—basically super duper cheap flight prices depending on location, date, time, and season. And guess what? I looked online and found plane tickets for $74 each!  Of course with all the extra expenses and taxes it came out to be $108 each, but for a round-trip flight to Boston we all thought it was worth it a steal!

Next on our to-do list was finding a room. We spent so much time trying to get a place to stay using Airbnb. We contacted one person but never got a reply. Being a person who loves staying in hotels, I offered to search for hotels instead—specifically one in the heart of the city for commuting convenience and safety of course. It took me a couple days to find one at a good price. For this trip, I used Trivago to help us find a room. At first I found The Omni Parker House Hotel, but after seeing some photos and reading some reviews (aka the place is known to be haunted!), I kept searching for one that better suited my our tastes.

That’s when I found a room in The Godfrey Hotel Boston. When I saw the photos I got so excited; the hotel looked very modern, spacious, and classy. But the absolute BEST part? I found us a room that would cost us, split among four people, a whooping price of $86 each for four days and three nights! This was seriously a good deal in terms of hotel ambiance, location, and price compared to the other hotels in the area. (Seriously, if you want to travel for cheap, try going during the winter time!)

We did it. We booked non-refundable plane tickets and a hotel room in Boston for January 2017. There was no going back. Throughout the next couple of weeks we started preparing for our trip little by little and nextthingyouknow it was January 6, 2017!

Boston Day 1: January 6, 2017

We stopped by McDonald’s early in the morning to grab some breakfast on the go and arrived the airport around 5:00am Friday morning. Keep in mind this was my first time flying again since I was in 6th grade! So it was about 8 years ago since I’ve been on an airplane. I was super excited but also slightly nervous because I easily get motion sickness and I remember when I was younger, I would always throw up whenever we were going to and from the Philippines.

Anyway, we finished our food while writing cute little tags with our contact info for our luggage (we all had carry-ons and no check-ins but still! It was pretty fun to write one). We passed through security and went straight to the waiting area for our flight. We were super early so we were literally the only ones there. But hey, we got to take some photos so that’s always good!

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Once we boarded I got super excited. Although my sister got the window seat, I kept my eyes glued to the window because I completely forgot what it looks like to be flying in the air thousands of feet above the ground.

Before we left, my boyfriend advised us to sit on the right side of the plane to get better views/see the sun rise. Let me tell you friends—I was not disappointed.

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When we got to Boston it was literally snowing. We knew were were in for some cold weather throughout the weekend! But who cares about a little wind and snow?!

WE WERE IN BOSTON FOR CRYING OUT-LOUD!

Welcome to Boston

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After some asking around, we used a free shuttle service provided by the airport to get to downtown Boston ($0!!!)

We decided to eat breakfast at UDG. It was nice and homey and prices for the food were not bad at all! I got a spinach and feta soufflé and a cup of coffee which costed about $5.26 all together. It was delicious—not AMAZING, but delicious. 🙂 I’d recommend this as a breakfast spot! We spent a good chunk of our time there…resting while we showed each other “what’s in our bag.” xD It was pretty fun. Also, the manager of the place was also giving out their Christmas themed candies for free (since the holiday season was over)! I got one bag of minty chocolate candy thingies.

The next stop was the beautiful Boston Common, one of the oldest public parks in America. It stopped snowing at this point but the snow lightly blanketed the whole place so it was absolutely beautiful! And although it was chilly, it wasn’t super freezing cold and it was sunny, so there was actually a lot of people out.

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The red trail shown above is located throughout Boston. If you follow it, you’ll be guided to some of the historical landmarks and places throughout the city (how nice of Bostonians, no?). We didn’t get a chance to follow it, but maybe next time when the weather is a lot nicer! Definitely need to visit again either in spring or autumn.

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OKAY. So, the squirrels in Boston are  f a t .  As in, they’re so chubby and meaty! Do people in Boston feed the wild squirrels? They’re literally the size of rabbits! Also, above is the ice skating rink that we didn’t get to try. Maybe next time?

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I was such a happy camper in Boston.

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We found this cute little snowman a stranger made!

Then we walked through downtown Boston to go to our hotel to get some rest and prepare for our dinner reservation later that night.

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Can I just say, The Godfrey Hotel is absolutely beautiful! It’s located right at the heart of downtown Boston so everything you could need is walking distance or a cheap Uber drive away. The hotel looked great in photos but even better in person. It’s so modern and spacious.

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I wouldn’t say it’s a family-oriented hotel—more for couples, friends, or business as there is no pool, gym, free breakfast, or anything like that (so it’s cheaper than hotels who do charge those extra service fees). But they do provide a large flat-screen smart tv with Netflix (you have to use your own account though)! Which we definitely used a lot. They also have beautifully lit bathrooms, a wireless Bose speaker, and high-speed free WiFi—basically everything a millennial would love. Plus they provide robes, slippers, and a couple of water bottles. It made getting ready for dinner super fun. Definitely would stay here again!

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Those Bose speakers by the way were so great!

Speaking of getting reader for our dinner…the lights in the bathroom were everything. Literally the best part of our hotel!

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We called an Uber to take us to the Prudential Center ($4 / 4 people = $1 each). I made dinner reservations for four at Top of the Hub, a restaurant on the top floor of the Prudential Center.

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If it’s your first time going to the Top of the Hub, it can be tricky to find how to get there from the entrance. We had to ask around but security/workers at the mall seem to get asked that a lot so don’t be afraid to ask!

The restaurant is absolutely beautiful. It was night time so we got a city night view of the whole city and the lights were so mesmerizing. Top of the Hub is known for its amazing views and I could see why.

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The food in the other hand, was nothing to die for. It was good but not amazing. I got this lamb chops dish which costed me about $50 plus tips. I feel as if you’re paying more for the view than you are the food. This was the most money I spent throughout the four days. So yes definitely expect high prices.

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Ubered our way back home again spending only a dollar or so each. We concluded in just the first night that Boston is an Uber-friendly city! So anyone who is thinking of traveling here—you can live without a car. Heck, Uber costs here were cheaper than train or bus fares! It’ll even be better if you have friends to split the Uber costs with.

We ended our night wearing Korean face masks and watching The Little Prince on Netflix in the most cozy and comfortable bed ever.

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We were only able to go to two places our first day but we considered the first day as just settling down and resting. The main item in our itinerary was to just check-in the hotel and go to dinner anyway. So not bad for a first day! We knew the real exploring was to start the next day, so we made sure to not stay up too late so we would have enough energy for a long day tomorrow.

On a last note, the beds were remarkable and so comfortable (did I already say that?). We all fell asleep with our face masks on. I wish I stayed up to finish the movie but the day just tired me out! Until tomorrow…or in this case, my Boston Day 2 post, which was  even busier than Day 1 so be on a lookout!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

-Chloe

 


 

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