Now I'm a Western Girl at heart, but one of the reasons I call the NorthEast my new love (I still love you, Rockies!) is mass transit. You can do a lot of exploring without a car or a lot of cash.
Getting from big city to big city is the easiest. I still haven't heard a convincing reason to spend airline prices on the train (is it really that much cleaner or quieter?) and unless you have to travel more than 500 miles, by the time you get to the airport and through security, flying actually takes up more of your precious time (and dollars). So what would Leenya do?
Leenya would take the bus, of course!
Most people know about buses that transport passengers every hour on the hour from Chinatown to Chinatown (Fung Wah and Lucky Star to name a few) but when I was working at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA last spring, I had a chance to do some research. Now the Megabus travels to more cities, but when it comes to reliability, professionalism, and cleanliness, I think the Bolt Bus is the best. If you buy online, tickets are around $18.50 each way and you're guaranteed a seat. Frequent travel earns you a free trip as well.
After online checkout, you are given a street corner on which to wait but don't let that discourage you. Arrive fifteen minutes ahead of your departure time and you'll join a group of mostly Harvard students and their rolling bags. The driver of the humongous orange and black bus will call your reservation letters and you'll show what you printed up on your computer or a text that they sent to your cell phone and your photo ID. Travel time during non-peak traffic hours is approximately 4.5 hours and you have a choice of departure points in New York. And don't forget your laptop! Free WiFi and even an electrical outlet await you.
Just know that if you want to travel late night, you'll have to check out the Chinatown bus that offers more travel times per day and is easier to just walk up with $20 dollars cash and buy a ticket. Talk about flexibility...
Now I actually called a bus my home when I toured the continent as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. I remember stumbling out of a different hotel at 6:00 am every morning and falling back to sleep on my familiar velour seat until we'd reached a diner somewhere in South Carolina or Saskatchewan. I think there's still something about the winding of the wheels that lulls me to sleep.
Now you have no excuse. Adventure awaits! Hop on the bus!
(Don't have money to hire a filmmaker for your first videos of your band? What Would Leenya Do? Leenya would make her own using iMovie on her Mac! Enjoy the latest tour bus entertainment on the web: The Chalk Talk Express Bus Cam)