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Travelling to Boston, USA with 8 month old for 3 months...

(15 Posts)
PerpetualStudent Tue 27-Oct-15 20:13:31

... All advice gratefully accepted!

In February I'm going on a three month academic exchange to Boston, with my DP and DS, who'll be 8 months old at that point.

The thing is sorting somewhere to live, been looking at apartments on Craigslist, is that my best bet (my uni does deal with a travel agent, but I don't think they do the sort of thing we'll need, it's more hotels for conferences and such)

How much/what should I take with me in terms of baby stuff, and what should we buy there?

We've got travel insurance which covers health stuff, but is there anything there I should be aware of, particularly for DS?

How easy is Boston to get around, should we think about hiring a car? Aiming to visit New York and possibly a couple of other places while we're there.

We've taken DS on a plane (to Spain) already and it went really smoothly, but is there anything to keep in mind for a longhaul flight?

Lots of questions - can you tell I've not done much organising yet?!

ragged Tue 27-Oct-15 20:16:48

No idea, but I met some nice people from Tufts a few weeks ago. So best of luck smile

LIZS Tue 27-Oct-15 20:22:06

Check your travel insurance covers stays of that length especially if you may extend for a holiday. You may need a specific policy or upgrade. Also your Ds may be due vaccinations to go into daycare so would it cover the cost of matching the US schedule if needs be.

We've holidayed in Boston and didn't use a car until we ventured further afield.

Scotinoz Wed 28-Oct-15 02:26:47

Public transport, the 'T', in Boston is really good. Underground system which covers the city, and turns into street level in some areas. V reliable.

I lived there for three years and didn't own a car. Everything was walkable/handy on the T. I used Zipcar though which was brilliant - car sharing scheme, cars everywhere, and well priced.

It will be bloody cold in Feb! It's a different kind of cold to the UK though. Sun shines a lot, so it's sunny and bitterly cold rather than cold and wet.

I took the train to NYC, Philly etc. It was just a cheap as flying and went city centre to city centre. Lots of lovely places to visit.

Where to live really depends where you're working...

No idea about baby stuff though, I was there in my single days

Missanneshirley Fri 06-Nov-15 20:58:37

Friends of mine lived in Boston for a year. Their son was primary school aged at the time but they never used a car, just the occasional hire car for going to ikea etc. Public transport was great (we visited them). Travel to nyc, Washington etc v easy and don't forget to go north into the beautiful new England countryside too, and out to the beach!
I found the supermarkets and chemists cheap and well stocked (had a nappy wearing toddler with me when I visited!). It's very child centric actually I found.

Noofly Sat 07-Nov-15 22:10:56

Oh God, don't even think about hiring a car! We're called Massholes for a reason! As others have said, public transport is great in Boston. I'd only rent a car if I were travelling further afield over the weekends - e.g. up to Maine or across to the Berkshires etc. Definitely take the train to New York. So much easier than driving!

whiteagle Sat 07-Nov-15 22:27:51

Get an apartment near a T stop and you won't need a car. You might be better with a corporate serviced apartment - many have minumum 30 day stays, so a 90 day stay is not unusual. The train to NYC isn't too long. The hospital area in Boston is in the West of the city near Fenway Park so you may find that due to more transient staff that there is more choice of accomodation there.

Missanneshirley Sat 07-Nov-15 22:43:50

You said academic exchange - harvard? Cambridge is lovely and no need for a car

Canyouforgiveher Sun 08-Nov-15 00:00:32

I live in Boston.

It is hard enough to get a short term let. you could google it - or google sub let - but the ones that are tailored for short term or corporate lets are expensive.

You would be better off contacting all of the universities/colleges in the Boston area (and there are loads of them) and ask how you would advertise for a short term sub-let. Also contact the college you are going to and ask for help - see if there is some way for you to put up a notice on campus/virtually that you are looking for a sublet.

Where you live depends on what uni/college you are going to. Somerville would be a good place to get a sub let. Ditto Brighton/Allston.

I have driven in all sorts of place and don't think Boston is any harder to drive in than anywhere else to be honest. It is a big urban area and you drive accordingly. But you shouldn't need a car - the MBTA is great and there are plenty of zip cars available if you need them. Boston/Somerville/Cambridge/Allston/Brighton/Jamaica Plain is also very walkable. Hire a car/take a zipcar to places like Vermont or Maine and take the train to New York. You should be able to ski very cheaply when you are here - loads of places within an hour of the city. Kids here do sking as an after school event.

Once you get there, your partner should head to the local library and see what baby groups are available - most towns are very supportive of families.

Feb will be cold but other than an all in one snowsuit for the baby (maybe) I wouldn't buy anything until you get here - you will get stuff on sale in Target/Kmart etc no problem.

PerpetualStudent Mon 16-Nov-15 13:40:12

Thanks everyone, this is really useful stuff.
Missanne not Harvard, alas, but Emerson College - hopefully it's not out-worthy to include that, if it helps on specific accommodation advice.

As you say Canyou I'm realising short-term les are tricky to come by! Thanks for your advice, really helpful. So far I've been looking on Craigslist, is that worth carrying on with?

Missanneshirley Mon 16-Nov-15 18:20:18

I only asked as friends did a year with a job thing at harvard - Cambridge was fabulous and such a transient community that short term lets were easy enough for them to find, mostly through word of mouth. Has the college offered any help?

Canyouforgiveher Wed 18-Nov-15 12:50:26

worth continuing with craigslist but also I would search around all the colleges in Boston areas- not just Emerson. There are tons of them. Call their housing departments and ask where you would find listings of short term lets for academics visiting for x period of time. Emerson is really central - you could live in Boston, Brookline, Allston, Brighton (both of these very studenty), Jamaica Plain, Somerville, Cambridge etc.

Who is organising this for you? If it is through a department, ask them for help - do they know anyone looking to sublet.

this is a website for medical students but you may find something. You need to be creative googling - short term academic lets, short terms lets for students etc. short term lets will just get you the luxury stuff.

PerpetualStudent Mon 23-Nov-15 12:06:09

Thank you Canyou
Just got an email from my university travel agents (God bless the commercialisation of higher education!) and they have found some apartments, all a bit pricey barring one in Brookline which looks more reasonable - $2400 a month including all utilities, cable TV phone with free US/Cadana calls - does that sound a sensible price to you? I'm glad to see Brookline is one of the neighbourhoods you suggest, the blurb for this place says it has lots of nice parks and restaurants?

MonsterDeCookie Mon 23-Nov-15 12:47:02

Brookline is lovely and on the T. It's very leafy and family friendly. You're going to pay over the normal rents because it's short term but 2400 isn't that bad at all. You'll love it!

Canyouforgiveher Mon 23-Nov-15 13:57:13

Brookline is lovely - really nice. 2400 doesn't seem bad at all but depends on your overall budget. Ask does it include heat and hot water (presume it does from what you say)

You could definitely get away with no car living there. Lots of family friendly activities too.

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