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Tips and Tricks for Traveling Home on the Train

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner! This means that lots of Brown students will be traveling home to spend time and celebrate with their families. For many students who live on the east coast, going home for break can mean taking and navigating the train alone. Using public transportation can be daunting, especially during the busy holiday season. Here are a few tips and tricks for traveling home on the train.   

1. Book your tickets in advance  

Spots on the train fill up fast around the holidays, so make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Once you have figured out your travel days, go to the Amtrak website (https://www.amtrak.com/home.html) and book your tickets! Make sure to book round trip tickets: this way you can avoid having to book a separate ticket for your trip back to Providence. 

2. Download the Amtrak App 

The Amtrak app is completely free and makes traveling on the train much easier. The app gives you access to an electronic version of your train ticket, so you do not have to worry about printing out a hard copy. You also have the ability to track your train to see if it is on time or running late. 

3. Make a game plan ahead of time for how you’re going to get to the train station 

There are a couple of ways to get to the train station from campus, so it is crucial to decide in advance which option will work best for you. The train station is about a seven minute drive and a twenty minute walk from campus. If you have the time and don’t mind walking with your luggage, walking to the train station could be a good option (just be sure to check the weather for the day before you decide to walk!) That being said, with the weather getting colder, you may want to consider taking a car to the train station. Uber is a common and fairly easy option. Just make sure to order your Uber well in advance of the time you need to be at the station. Most Ubers take around seven minutes to arrive on campus. Additionally, if you have a friend who has a car on campus, you could ask them to give you a ride to the station. Whatever option you choose, just make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to make your train. 

4. Take the first available seat 

Trains are typically very crowded, and tend to be even more full during the holiday season. As a result, there may not be many available seats, so even though you might like to sit in a nice isolated window seat, you cannot be too picky when it comes to finding a place to sit. You should take the first open seat you come across. You definitely do not want to be forced to stand for your entire trip just because you passed a handful of available seats, thinking you would find a better option. Grab a seat and settle in for the ride!

5. Pack your train essentials in an easily accessible bag

You will most likely have all your clothes and toiletries packed away in a duffle bag or suitcase. Your bigger bag will be stored away in one of the overhead compartments and therefore will not be easily accessible during your trip. Pack a backpack or purse with all the items you know you are going to want during your train trip and keep it at your feet so you can access it easily. Some key items to have in this bag are a phone (fully charged), a laptop (also fully charged), earphones, a water bottle, snacks, gum, chapstick, a hair tie, school work, and a good book.

Happy traveling!

Beatrice is a first-year, planning to concentrate in political science.
Caleigh is the Co-Campus Correspondent of the Brown University chapter of Her Campus. She is in the class of 2021 studying History and French. She has previously held an internship position at Latina Magazine and worked as a social media editor for the Brown Daily Herald. She currently works as a digital marketing consultant for SiO Beauty. Caleigh grew up in New York City, where in her free time she explored neighborhoods looking for the best sushi and pizza, sharing her experiences through her food Instagram @food_overdudes.