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The Best Ways To Get Back Home For Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving break is (thankfully) almost here, and while you rush to hand in assignments before the week off, you’re probably also wondering how you’re going to get home next weekend.

If you don’t have a car on campus, don’t know someone who does, or are from faraway, your options for finding a way home can seem limited if you don’t know what’s available.

Here are your best traveling options for when classes end next Friday and State College clears out quicker than Maryland’s student section.

Megabus

As someone who didn’t have a car at school until her junior year, I almost always relied on Megabus as my way home.

Megabus offers plenty of routes to get you back to your family if you live relatively close-by. Routes to New York, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh are offered regularly, and if you’re early enough, you might be able to get lower prices, but the standard, one-way ticket ranges from $30 to $50. Pick-up and drop-off are at the North Atherton Walmart.

Fullington Trailways

Fullington is a lot more convenient and closer to campus. While Megabus is a V-Bus ride or $10 Uber away, Fullington leaves from the State College Bus Station, which is across from the Westgate building.

Roundtrip tickets are around $80 dollars for students, but the buses are often much less crowded than Megabus, and have closer destinations. Most weekends, you can utilize a daily bus tickets, but for breaks, Fullington offers Express Bus Tickets, with destinations that will bring you closer to home.

As a Long Island native who’s taken a Megabus to New York City, I know how it feels when you’re on the bus for what seems like forever because the bus makes multiple stops along the way. The Fullington Express Bus, however, has a route that took me directly to the Walt Whitman Mall on Long Island about twenty minutes from where I live.

Greyhound

Greyhound is probably what most students are familiar with when they think of buses. I’ve personally never taken one be, but if you’re trying to get to anywhere that’s far by wheels, Greyhound is probably your best bet when leaving from State College.

Like Megabus, Greyhounds can travel all the way across the country and get you anywhere. The only downside is that they are also somewhat expensive, especially on holiday weekends. These buses leave from the State College Bus Station just off of campus.

Amtrak

I know what you’re thinking. “There’s no train station here. What are you talking about?”

Amtrak actually offers a way for you to take the train home from State College through a bus from the North Atherton Bus Station. You’ll take the bus to the local Harrisburg Amtrak Station that’s about an hour away, before getting on a train that takes you to your destination.

Although Amtraks are around the same price as Greyhounds depending on where you’re going, they do offer a lot more amenities than other buses, like comfier seats, working outlets, and nicer bathrooms. It’s also a lot quieter than a bus full of chatty students considering a lot of ~other~ people are riding as part of their daily commutes.

University Park Airport

For everyone who doesn’t live “just outside of Philly,”, there is indeed an airport just a short drive from the university.

Although the airport is small, it has a lot of flights that lead to bigger airports that can get you home, whether domestic or international. You’ll probably need to pay a bit more for this, but it’s the fastest way home and the easiest for people who live significantly far from Pennsylvania.

Ride-Sharing

This one is a last-second option for people who don’t want or are unable to drop $30+ on bus or plane ticket. If you’re looking for a ride home, just post in one of the thousands of Penn State Facebook groups that exist. Plenty of people ask for rides and offer to pay for gas or food so they can get home, and plenty of people definitely offer to do just that.

Some good places to look are class groups, the Penn State (PSU) Rideshare Group, and PSU Rideshare.

Similarly, another option is to use Penn State’s Zimride network. Zimride is a private ride-sharing platform, meaning you need to belong to the same network as someone to ride with them. You can log in with a Penn State email to post a ride or find someone going in the direction you are, as opposed to Uber or Lyft where the app matches you with a random driver.

While there two are the best financial options, you will be riding with a total stranger more than likely, so make sure that’s something you’re comfortable with.

You could also just travel with friends if they’re traveling in the same area, and pay for gas or snacks that way. Either way, you’ll be traveling with Penn State students, and that’s what really matters at the end of the day.

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About the Author

Alexandra Ramos

Alexandra Ramos is a senior majoring in digital-print journalism with a minor in English. She's been writing for a long time now and has loved every second of it, and Penn State, as well as her love for her school, has been a huge factor in her life. Catch her probably eating a slice of pizza and probably writing herself into oblivion before senioritis catches up with her.

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