Philly is well within reach of the college, even without taking a flight. Check below for all your options.
How: American Airlines operates around five flights a day between Albany and Philadelphia International Airport. (Not sure how to get to Albany Airport? Check the Albany tab for some tips.) The airport is about a 15-30 minute drive from the city center depending on traffic, or about 20 minutes on the $5-10 SEPTA train.
Travel Time: ~1:10 for the flight itself, but keep in mind all of the extra time (getting to the airport early, possible delays, getting to your final destination after disembarking)
Cost: ~$250-500 round-trip
Environmental Impact: This is the worst option from an environmental standpoint, likely by a sizable amount. Short flights especially are very energy-intensive per mile traveled, and other good options exist to get to Philadelphia that are almost as quick.
How: Take a train to from Albany-Rensselaer to New York City, then transfer to another train down to Philadelphia 30th St. Station. (Not sure how to get to Albany-Rensselaer Train Station? Check the Albany page for some tips.) Amtrak runs two different trains between Philadelphia and New York: the slightly faster but way more expensive Acela, and the much more reasonable Northeast Regional (and other similar trains). Also, don't be afraid to mix-and-match trains and buses if you find an option you prefer—you'll have to transfer anyway in NYC.
Travel Time: ~4-5 hours between Albany and Philadelphia
Cost: ~$75 one-way (~$150+ if you take the Acela)
Environmental Impact: Very clean. Trains tend to be the most energy-efficient method of transportation per mile traveled.
How: Check out the New York City page for transportation options between Williamstown and New York City; options abound from there to get between New York and Philadelphia, including Megabus, Greyhound, Peter Pan, Bolt, and more. There is one daily Greyhound between Philadelphia and Albany that doesn't involve a transfer, but it tends to be neither quicker nor cheaper than other options. Also, don't be afraid to mix-and-match trains and buses if you find something you prefer—you'll likely have to transfer anyway in NYC.
Travel Time: ~2 hours between Philadelphia and NYC
Cost: ~$5-20 between Philadelphia and NYC
Environmental Impact: Not quite as good as the trains, but certainly better than flying.
Travel Time: ~4:30
Environmental Impact: Because of the distance, the specifics matter a lot here. A small hybrid with four people? Almost as good as the Amtrak. A Hummer with just the driver? Maybe worse than flying.
Need to get around the city once you’re there? Check out this guide for all the best options.