6 Reasons to Take the Train from Albany-Rennesalaer to NYC
It’s affordable: One of the most common reasons people don’t travel more is because it’s expensive. Let's face it, once you’ve paid for gas, a plane ticket, parking, the dog/house sitter, souvenirs, additional excursions and so-on…you’ve spent a tiny fortune. Not to mention, a trip to New York City isn’t exactly a cabin in the woods. Think Disney for adults. From Uber costs to the next Instagram-worthy foodie plate, NYC can easily and quickly add up. This is why penny pinching where you can is a must for those of us living a moderate American lifestyle. Through Amtrak you can easily find a one-way ticket from Albany to the city for less than $50, which is cheaper than putting gas in your own car and making the drive yourself (depending on where you live). Plus, you’ll be saving your car a lot of mileage and time spent in traffic. Unlike when you fly, bringing a bag on board is completely free as long as it fits the size requirements and there’s no additional charge for WiFi.
It’s the quickest ground option: Buses are known to be the cheapest option but the lower the price, the longer the wait. Just know if you choose the bus route to the Big Apple, it can take up to 12 hours due to frequent stops. Trains are faster and cleaner as well as provide more legroom, a bathroom and enough space for your luggage overhead vs. crammed at your feet. Parking your car is a quick walk away from the station and once you’ve arrived at your gate, boarding is both organized and efficient. Before you know it, you’ve arrived at Penn Station right in the middle of Manhattan (train ride is approximately two and half hours). For those of you who have never been to Penn Station, it’s one of the larger terminals in the city, offering food and drinks, shopping, and it’s a major hub for the Metro. The convenient transition from train to Metro is one of the most ideal aspects of travelling via Amtrak, making it extremely easy to navigate to your next destination without having to leave the train station quite yet for your next adventure.
Bonus: When taking the train, you also don’t have to worry about the strenuous TSA process. Simply enjoy the luxury of keeping your shoes on and your personal belongings, personal.
Mobile office hours: Manage your social media, make phone calls, rearrange your schedule, reply to all fifty emails… the to-do list goes on. Unlike when traveling via plane, you can skip the airplane mode, connect to free Wi-Fi and charge all of your electronics right from your seat the moment you sit down. Using the train as your office is actually one of my favorite perks. Not only am I able to finish up a project or meet that final deadline before disconnecting from work, the experience alone never ceases to inspire me. Insert image: girl stares longingly out of the window at the Hudson River listening to soundtrack of Modern Love while writing short stories about girls riding on trains listening to Modern Love.
Parking is affordable: parking your car in the city is pretty expensive as is gas and the cost to receive your car from the tow yard. Tow yard?! Yep. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had my car towed in the city because, “No standing” means no standing, right? Wrong. It actually means, do not park your car in that spot no matter what unless you intend on getting a side job as soon as you return home to pay for this unexpected parking violation. I learned my lesson the hard way, park and take the train. I was able to find parking for five days at a $7 per day rate. That’s only $35 for almost an entire week! Not a cheap ass like me? There’s also covered parking for $12 a day. This is extremely ideal during the winter months.
photo by @gretathunberg
Greta Thunberg is doing it: what’s more inspiring than our most-loved teenage activist, Greta? She’s refusing plane travel, sailing the world and leading climate strikes, meanwhile always taking the most Earth-conscious route available. This is your opportunity to minimize your Carbon Footprint and do something positive for the planet. Amtrak boasts that in 2019 traveling via train was “47 percent more efficient than traveling by car and 33 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel”. So if you can’t make time to strike in the streets of your hometown, taking the train is certainly a way to offset your Carbon Footprint. Want to know more about the impact you have on the environment? Check out this Carbon Footprint Calculator provided by the EPA.
Enjoy the scenery year-round: the route along the Hudson River as you pass the Catskills, the bridges of nearby towns and the distant skyline of the city as you approach will most likely be some of the top reasons why you’ll take the train again in the future. The views from the train tracks are spectacular! The greatest part is that you aren’t driving so you actually get to enjoy the beautiful scenery you never knew existed beyond the hustle and bustle of NYC. Snap a pic or two for your Insta and enjoy the countryside of New York. Don’t believe me? Guess you’ll have to see for yourself!