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Traveling to PAX Discussion Thread

WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
edited October 2010 in PAX Archive
Updatezorz:
Moe Fwacky wrote: »
For all of you that have been waiting for it, the PAX East Train Alliance thread is now live, like I promised.


A general transportation question to those who might have experience traveling to and from conventions with (a) good sized groups, (b) a lot of baggage, (c) a schedule, and (d) the want for the most awesome. The main question is Planes, Trains, or Automobiles?

It's quite simple for one option, the group being from Rochester rules out flying (but it DOES make a clever title :P). Which leaves the equally debatable options of hitting the road or hitting the rails. I have covered this in other discussions, but I feel that it hasn't been answered enough. Here's the pro's and con's I got:

TRAIN - 20 | 16 - DRIVING
TRAIN WINS!
(too bad I'm driving...)

TRAIN
  • AWESOME EXPERIENCE
  • Gaming time whilst traveling
  • Extended travel time for maximum PAX sociallizing time
  • More comfortable (Amtrak has BIG seats)
  • AWESOME PEOPLE
  • Extended departure time requirement
  • Less storage space, may need to transport a few desktop PC's
  • Heavier weight on itinerary (must depart at THIS time, no later)

DRIVING
  • More storage space.
  • Ability to be flexible with people and car space
  • Can depart at any time
  • Can make it in time for more pre-PAX stuff
  • Makes the PAX virgins in the cars more comfortable
  • A caravan across the state with your best of friends (I heard of something like that for Prime... CCYQ or something?*)
  • Finding the cars/drivers
  • Extended planning (minor)
  • Less comfortable
  • It's NOT the awesome train trip
  • Costly parking ($105-$140 total)

*indicates sarcasm

Any input appreciated, also general transportation comments anyone?

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Wingedillidan on
«13

Posts

  • ravemongerravemonger [E] Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Driving - takes half the time that the train does.

    ravemonger on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you're heading west for Prime, I would say take the CCST... for East I'd say take the train (in both cases, under the assumption that you have enough vacation/available time to actually do them =) ).

    The primary reason for both is the community that you can join up with! It makes for a whole different experience when you spend a few days before PAX with fellow PAXers... even moreso when you're traveling together. If you've got the time to spare, definitely give it a shot!

    VThornheart on
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  • undeadundead Registered User
    edited September 2010
    You forgot to add to the cons of driving the cost of parking here in Boston. Parking at the BCEC itself is only $10/day, but it's not overnight parking and the garages with that capability close to the BCEC are between $35 - $45/day.
    This is the most expensive part of any of the conventions I attend here; that it costs anywhere from $105 - $140 just to park the car.
    On the other hand, you leave when you want to leave, and many a con-goer would call this a priceless ability.

    undead on
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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Rochester NY isn't that far away. I'd drive, drop off what I need, then dump the car way away at newburyport or similar. Less chance of it being broken into, and parking is free/negligible. Just ride the commuter rail or bus back to boston.

    schuss on
  • PeasantDavePeasantDave Jersey ShoreRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I drove from Jersey and it was great. Just woke up and hit the road the day before PAX. I think the train would be ideal from Maryland and south though.

    PeasantDave on
  • DarthbeerDarthbeer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm in Rochester as well, and its an easy, boring drive. But I'm also lucky enough to have friends in the Boston area to stay with so they did the driving to the con last year. Parking was expensive, however totally worth it b/c we got to stay late Saturday night for the concert.
    All that said though, I'd consider taking the train if there was PAX caravan going through upstate NY just for the experience.

    Darthbeer on
  • RandomfoolRandomfool loofmodnar Rochester, NYRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've driven from Rochester to Rhode Island about 10000 times. It's an easy enough drive and Boston is even easier since it's pretty much following 90 the whole way there. You should be able to find cheaper parking outside of the city and take at train the rest of the way into Boston. That's what my friend did last year.

    The only reasons I see to go by train are:
    If you're trying to conserve cash since it seems to be slightly cheaper than driving (gas + tolls).
    Or there's a large group of people doing it like a mini-WCTT thing.

    I haven't figured out how I'm getting there yet but if a train trip is put together I may be interested.

    Randomfool on
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  • ZeroHourHeroZeroHourHero Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If youre driving up with a few people then you can split the parking costs.

    ZeroHourHero on
  • Steel FireSteel Fire Gunboat Diplomat PAI MarketingRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you're travelling with others, I wouldn't say storage space is an advantage with a car unless you have a very large car or a mini-van/van. You get four people set up in a car and the trunk space is gone real quick, especially if you have BYOC gear. Keep that in mind for your planning.

    Steel Fire on
  • feitocomfrutafeitocomfruta Denver, Colorado, USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    As far as trains vs driving, I want to echo/pimp out the PAX ETA mention from above.

    It's definitely a social thing, so bringing your friends along will add to the fun.

    feitocomfruta on
  • StaxeonStaxeon Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I'm in Buffalo and will never once consider driving there, ever moreso after seeing the traffic and taxi drivers firsthand from last year.

    Don't want to deal with possible bad weather driving. Don't want to deal with outrageous parking rates. Don't want to worry about my car getting hit/trashed/keyed/crapped on/breathed on wrong and hence affect my ability to drive to work once I'm back to real life.

    Gonna Jet Blue it there again, still have my Charlie Card for riding the T. Worked great last time, going to repeat for this year.

    Staxeon on
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  • xibalbaxibalba Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I'm thinking about taking the train this year or possibly flying. Flying would be 182 round trip from Norfolk to Boston.

    Soo hmmm $182.00 Round Trip to fly (before taxes) about 3 - 4 hr flight

    $142.00 Round Trip for Amtrak w/ option to bump up to Business Class for $47 (1 way) 1hr 10min bus ride from Norfolk to Newport News then 12hr 50min train from Newport News - Boston

    xibalba on
  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Steel Fire wrote: »
    If you're travelling with others, I wouldn't say storage space is an advantage with a car unless you have a very large car or a mini-van/van. You get four people set up in a car and the trunk space is gone real quick, especially if you have BYOC gear. Keep that in mind for your planning.

    We got about 3 SUV's at this moment and we were planning on fitting 4-5 people/car (drivers will only have minimal baggage). This should allow for enough space for 2 bags and BYOC crap and have enough left over for the swag expansions. Our current total is 10 people.. so worse case parking ($150/car) would be... $45/person.

    Wingedillidan on
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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you'll only be here Friday, Saturday, Sunday you'll be able to park for far less than $150 total.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Goose!Goose! That's me, honey Show me the way home, honeyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I plan on taking the train in. I wanna make it there like Wednesday/Early Thursday and stay till Monday, but we'll see how things work out money wise for the hotel and my time off from work and such.

    Goose! on
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  • JACQATTACKJACQATTACK Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I took the Chinatown bus in last year, though I was only traveling from NYC to Boston which is a relatively short bus. The Chinatown bus is cheap and simple, and you can usually get two seats to yourself to lay across if you don't travel at extremely popular hours. My friend is considering driving us up this year, because the BCEC isn't as convenient to hotels and restaurants as the Hynes was.

    JACQATTACK on
  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    JACQATTACK wrote: »
    I took the Chinatown bus in last year, though I was only traveling from NYC to Boston which is a relatively short bus.

    Teehee, you rode the short bus :P. That goes one for driving.

    Wingedillidan on
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  • JACQATTACKJACQATTACK Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    JACQATTACK wrote: »
    I took the Chinatown bus in last year, though I was only traveling from NYC to Boston which is a relatively short bus.

    Teehee, you rode the short bus :P. That goes one for driving.

    I meant short trip. Obviously, I wasn't paying attention :) I was going to edit it, but wanted to give someone a chance to make the funny!

    JACQATTACK on
  • ZeroHourHeroZeroHourHero Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I mean my current plan is Subway -> Philly (Chinatown Bus) -> NYC (Bolt Bus/Chinatown Bus) -> Boston

    ZeroHourHero on
  • TryfanTryfan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I drove down from Ottawa, Ontario, and it wasn't too bad. Parking was around $100, provided I didn't move my car the entire time I was down there. Parked down by the music school...and I must admit, it looked a little shady.

    I like the idea of parking way out and taking a commuter bus/train in. Especially if it frees up the $$$ for more stuff/food.

    Tryfan on
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  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I would definitely start pricing this out. For East last year I did a full breakdown of the cost in gas, wear & tear, and expensive parking, versus the cost of everyone buying a train ticket. It was just over $100 per ticket from NJ, and I imagine it would be comparable from Rochester.

    The end result was that for 2 people per car, it was a wash, and came down to personal preference. If you can get 3 in a car, or even better stuff 4 (or even more? maybe rent a big van?), you can save your group several hundreds of dollars. Yes gaming on the train is fun. If I had to choose between gaming on the train or medieval torture I would blow my budget to ride that damn train. However, in my opinion, driving in a car full of friends is still a fun time.

    So if you can stuff multiple people in a car, your decision is between tons of fun, or slightly less fun and a stack of cash.

    Gundabad on
  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gundabad wrote: »
    ...If you can get 3 in a car, or even better stuff 4 (or even more? maybe rent a big van?), you can save your group several hundreds of dollars...

    Wasn't there a car in the CCST in '09 that was able to fit like 5 people? I believe it was a sedan.

    Wingedillidan on
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  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gundabad wrote: »
    ...If you can get 3 in a car, or even better stuff 4 (or even more? maybe rent a big van?), you can save your group several hundreds of dollars...

    Wasn't there a car in the CCST in '09 that was able to fit like 5 people? I believe it was a sedan.

    Oh you can definitely find cars for 5. In fact I'd say more cars have a middle seat in the back (from here forward known at the "bitch" seat) than don't. It's just a matter of, with a normal car, can you fit the luggage and accumulated stuff of five people in your trunk space? If the answer is yes, you've got a pretty sweet deal.

    Gundabad on
  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you are going to take the train, I recommend that you take the one scheduled as part of the Train Trip. My friend and I went with an earlier train ride, only had about 5 other people going for PAX on it and was a pretty grueling trip (Baltimore to Boston ~ 8 hours or so.) We pretty much both opted to fly this year.

    What it boils down to really
    If you have a group of friends (3+) and the time you should take a road trip.
    If you are going in a small group or solo (2-) and you have the time you should take the Game Train.
    If you do not have the time for long road or train trips take a plane.

    We had to add a whole day of travel on either end of the trip when we took the train, just time off we can not afford to lose anymore.

    Limond on
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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    Barring unforeseen circumstances (such as a shiny new job) I will be taking the train again. Expect the ETA thread to surface in early October.

    The train trip is good if you have a little extra cash (or a little less depending on your location and if you're comparing to flying or driving) and a little extra time to spend traveling to PAX. An option I have presented for people who don't have time for the round trip is to take the train to PAX and to fly home.

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Driving is fairly trivial from upstate NY but man, a train full of people playing games and being awesome makes parking in Syracuse and training it over pretty tempting. Is the train from Albany to Boston back or is it still a bus? Because buses are less awesome.

    antherem on
  • MTSonic11MTSonic11 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    antherem wrote: »
    Driving is fairly trivial from upstate NY but man, a train full of people playing games and being awesome makes parking in Syracuse and training it over pretty tempting. Is the train from Albany to Boston back or is it still a bus? Because buses are less awesome.

    There are a few trains that go direct from Albany to Boston, but most want you to go through NY Penn which adds around $50-100 each way to the trip (depending on if it's an Acela leg from NY to Boston). The direct train from Albany to Boston is around $25 each way.

    Sadly, the direct train looks like it's once per day, so it's inconvenient. Both ways, either going direct or going through NY is around 6 hours long, which is amazing, since you can drive from Albany to Boston in 3 hours.

    MTSonic11 on
  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MTSonic11 wrote: »
    antherem wrote: »
    Driving is fairly trivial from upstate NY but man, a train full of people playing games and being awesome makes parking in Syracuse and training it over pretty tempting. Is the train from Albany to Boston back or is it still a bus? Because buses are less awesome.

    There are a few trains that go direct from Albany to Boston, but most want you to go through NY Penn which adds around $50-100 each way to the trip (depending on if it's an Acela leg from NY to Boston). The direct train from Albany to Boston is around $25 each way.

    Sadly, the direct train looks like it's once per day, so it's inconvenient. Both ways, either going direct or going through NY is around 6 hours long, which is amazing, since you can drive from Albany to Boston in 3 hours.

    The Lake Shore Limited, which goes straight through my town (and was used last year in the ETA), departs at 10 AM EST in Rochester, and gets in Back Bay 11 hours later. It's long, only $90 BOTH ways, and has awesome people on board to game the whole way (not sure which train will be used this year).

    Wingedillidan on
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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    It will likely be the same train, unless Amtrak tosses in another train that runs from Chicago to Boston at an earlier time of day.

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, the Lake Shore Limited is the one I was thinking of. 10 hours from Syracuse D:

    For a while last year part of the Massachusetts leg of that train was a shuttlebus transfer due to track maintenance, according to the thingy at the Albany/Rensselaer station. Which is what led to my "is that still a bus" question.

    antherem on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    I drove last year from Rochester by myself, this year I will have 1-3 friends in tow, and we will be driving again. Most likely leaving after work thursday (unless there's bad weather) and returning Monday. I see the advantages of the train, but I like being a little more in control of my situation than being on some other schedule.

    zerzhul on
  • smerksmerk Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I like trains. Call me crazy, I even like American trains. Took the ETA Train from Seattle last year, and there was only one other PAXer on it. I was traveling light for international back packing reasons, and Coldbrew was full of video equipment, so we was seriously considering mugging children for their pokemon cards by the time we got to Chicago.

    Chicago to Boston was beyond awesome, however, at least the train bit was. The bus sucked moldy rabid donkey balls. Mostly cos the seats were small and I'm not so I was in actual pain for most of the drive.

    I would like to go by train, but there needs to be a critical mass of nerds before it becomes awesome. I would like to depart from Oakland/SF if there are enough likeminded people (5 is probably the awesome threshold, although 30 would mean complete conquest of the train and we would rule from a throne of skulls... In shifts). I'll fly to Chicago if not, I guess. One more cavity search probably won't kill me <sob>.

    smerk on
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  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'd love the trains, but taking the train from Seattle is a bit counterproductive. :\

    Heleor on
  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well, I'm not flying to Chicago to catch the train to Boston, but I'll gladly provide reinforcements in Syracuse. It's hard to argue with paying 40 bucks to play games for 10 hours and not have to drive.

    ETA: Reserving the right to change my mind if I'd be the only one on the train.

    antherem on
  • Oldmangloom315Oldmangloom315 Boston, MARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'll be driving from Syracuse like last year with at least one other person in my vehicle. Though, there are enough of my friends going this year that a van might be in order.

    Oldmangloom315 on
  • smerksmerk Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Heleor wrote: »
    I'd love the trains, but taking the train from Seattle is a bit counterproductive. :\

    How is taking the train to PAX East counterproductive? With a few more people it's fun as hell, and there's a PAX at the end.

    smerk on
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  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    From what I hear, it's more/same price as flying, and takes four days instead of one. A day or two of vacation is hard enough, much less 4-8 days worth.

    Heleor on
  • Squill2k4Squill2k4 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'll be driving, with 3 other people. My brother (who will be attending PAX with me), my girlfriend and her friend (who will be sight-seeing Boston while we're PAXing it out).

    We're coming from Richmond, VA. It's about 12 hours according to Google Maps, I've driven to Cape Cod, in the past and that's taken about 12 hours. So I'm expecting our trip to last anywhere between 12-14 hours.

    Squill2k4 on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    this is sort of a side note... there seems to be a large number of people from Rochester and Syracuse that are PAX goers. Is there any sort of upstate NY meetup thread that I may have missed? Seems like with so many there would have been a few.

    zerzhul on
  • SnipethewolfSnipethewolf Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So this year was my first attending PAX, prime or east (went to prime) and it was amazing! I'm sure every ones heard the whole I felt at home thing before so I will leave it at that. With the experience I had at prime I now want to go to east and see what its all about too!


    My question is, what's the best way to travel from California to Boston, and what's the hotel to shoot for?

    Snipethewolf on
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