Menu CATEGORIES

Connect with us

CATEGORIES Menu
All Articles

Get Outta Here

Thanksgiving means getting out of the city while literally a bajillion other people are trying to do the same thing! It’s not as bad as the zombie apocalypse, but still. It’s gonna suck. Fortunately, old man Bwog has been flying the friendly skies/riding the rails/cruising down the open road to get outta here for many a holiday season. Find out how to skip town like a pro, below. And don’t forget to charge your gadgets.

Unfortunately, this airline doesn't offer online check-in.

Planes

  • Before you leave, check if your airline offers online check-in. This service allows you to check in to your flight before you even arrive at the airport. Most major airlines, including  UnitedContinentalJetblue, US AirwaysSouthwestDeltaAmerican AirlinesAir Canada, and British Airways offer this useful service.
  • Early morning flight? Bring your own snack, because Au Bon Pain won’t be open yet.
  • To get to the LGA by bus, you can take the M60 for only $2.25—but expect lots of humans and travel time, so bring a book and leave at least an hour-and-a-half before your flight time. Bonus: there are luggage racks!
  • You can swiftly reach JFK by taking the E to AirTrain, a monorail that drops you off right at your terminal. Be sure your MetroCard has $7.25, though, cause AirTrain is $5. Supply and demand, you know how it is.
  • If you want to travel by cab but don’t want to take too big a hit to your wallet, use ESC’s service Carsplit. You share a cab with other Columbians headed to LGA, JFK, or EWR who need to arrive at the same time. And maybe you’ll make a friend!
  • If you’re flying out of Newark, shun the GWB, and take NJ Transit from Penn Station to Newark AirTrain.
  • To avoid being that pesky person who takes forever at security, wear comfy moccasins or other shoes you can slip right on and off.

Is this a train...for ants?

Trains

  • Buy your tickets online! If not, you’ll spend more time waiting in line to get tickets at Grand Central or Penn than you will on the actual train.
  • If you’re taking AmTrak, bring your printout barcode, and scan it at the automatic kiosks, instead of waiting in the ticket line. But really, don’t take AmTrak; you might miss Thanksgiving dinner. Actually.
  • If you live in the Philadelphia ‘burbs, take the NJ Transit to Trenton instead of the Amtrak to Philly. It’s cheaper, and Trenton and 30th Street are equidistant from many Philly suburbs.
  • By the same token (remember when?), Metro-North, which leaves from Grand Central, not Penn Station, is much cheaper than AmTrak for getting to suburbs in Westchester and Connecticut.
  • If you’re riding in one of the fancy new NJ Transit double-deckers, head to the bottom level. Most people seem to prefer the top level and you’re better off trying to find a seat below.
  • If you’re going to Long Island on the LIRR, it will be more hectic than usual. Check train times in advance at mta.info and leave either before or after the usual rush. You will actually get a seat this way, and avoid peak prices.

It helps if you can read traditional Chinese characters.

Automobiles and Buses

  • If you’re heading to Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, or any part of the icy north, don’t be conned by your GPS into taking I80/I380/I81 out of New York: it’s a guaranteed way to be stuck in hell. Take I87 North, then take NYS Route 17—it splits, one way going to Albany, the other going to Binghamton, where it meets up with 81 again. It’ll shave a cool 45 minutes off your trip, and Route 17 is really scenic. Trust us!
  • If you’re going down (or up) I-95, make sure to beat the rush by leaving right after lunch. If you haven’t left by 2 pm, be prepared for a long ride home.
  • Check metrocommute for up-to-date traffic alerts in the area.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of private transportation, megabus and BoltBus are pretty cool for the East Coast. Greyhound is also a thing for long distances. if all tickets are sold out, try Craigslist
  • If you (for some bizarre reason) want to take a cab to Port Authority, ask the cabbie to take the West Side Highway / 9A to 34th street. Saves lots of time otherwise spent waiting at red lights on Broadway. If you’re leaving via Port Authority bus terminal, needless to say get there early because the lines are insane, but also bring sedatives for the ride, because who knows how bad the person next to you is going to smell.
  • If you must go through Port Authority, avoid traveling at night. The bus terminal stranger inhabitants come out at this time. Additionally, though lines may be shorter, the extra time between buses negates any gains this might yield.
  • If you want to go super-dirt-cheap, ride the Chinatown Bus. No guarantees on the seats though, so arrive early and be prepared to push.
Planes, trains, and automobiles a Chinatown bus sign from Wikimedia

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.

 

10 Comments

  • the 1% says:

    @the 1% What about helicopters? I’m going to the Hamptons and need to know how to get to the closest helipad.

    1. come on, man... says:

      @come on, man... aw… don’t get this post taken down too! i need travel tips to get home :(

  • YES! says:

    @YES! EDWARD SHARPE.
    home IS wherever i’m with you.

    also, port authority is not THAT bad at night. just go sit at your terminal with an ipod on and pretend you know nothing about anything, ever.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Yeah, I used to have to take night Port Authority buses and it’s not awful. The terminals are kinda crummy, but hey, at least they play classical music to calm the riff raff.

      Also, the M60 sucks. It stops at every single stop to let 20 people on and off, and it’s always packed. If you’re lucky you’ll get a baggage rack, but they don’t all have them. If you have $10 I’d suggest taking the train down to Grand Central and taking the NY Airport Service bus (http://www.nyairportservice.com/). It’s quick, pretty comfortable, and makes no stops.

      1. It's not the worst says:

        @It's not the worst For $2.25, you can’t really complain. If you give yourself enough time, bring a book, or can find yourself a seat, it’s totally worth it.

  • Waxima Perez says:

    @Waxima Perez If flying out of Newark, taking PATH and the #62 NJT bus is $15 cheaper than taking the NJT train and the Newark AirTrain. And it only takes like 10 minutes more.

    1) Take PATH to Newark Penn Station for $2
    2) Take the 62 from Newark Penn Station directly to the terminal for $1.50

    OR

    1) Take the NJT train from New York Penn Station for $13.50
    2) Take the AirTrain for $5.50

    (It’s only worth it if you REALLY like trains.)

  • Agreement says:

    @Agreement Route 17 (NY 17, *not* NJ 17) is the prettiest highway ever. If you’re into scenic routes, Seven Lakes Drive though Harriman State Park is pretty sweet too.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous thanks, friend!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous If you take the NJT to Newark airport, your ticket price includes the AirTrain ticket you moron

  • Judge says:

    @Judge The JFK AirTrain is not a monorail

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Popular This Week

    Sorry. No data so far.

    Recent Comments

    Ah, yes. Cornell University. Ah, yes yes. Such wonderful trees. You have done it again, BOGW. (read more)
    How To Relive Columbia Arbor Day At Home
    May 27, 2020
    Thanks for writing this! Definitely enjoyed the easy reading part and loved the art! (read more)
    Bwog Book Club: W.I.T.C.H. (The Graphic Novel Series)
    May 23, 2020
    TRULY GREAT TIPS BWOG 🦁❤️🦁❤️🎈 (read more)
    Open Letter To Our Professors: Zoom Do’s And Don’ts
    May 22, 2020
    I thought she was a great CC prof. (read more)
    Happy Grad Students: Part One in a One Part Series
    May 20, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel