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Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

san francisco
Level Contributor
33 posts
2 reviews
Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

Hello,

We need to get from Philadelphia to Washington DC on Sunday afternoon, June 27th. Amtrak is an option but is pricey. Is a car rental feasible? It seems that many of the offices are closed on Sundays.

If we do opt for the car I hear there is a roundabout way into DC that due to traffic on the more direct route is about the same in terms of time on the road. True? And what can we expect in regard to tolls?

And is there a rental company that anyone would recommend?

Any other ideas??

Many thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Baltimore
Level Contributor
5,775 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

"Is a car rental feasible? It seems that many of the offices are closed on Sundays."

I'd put a search request in through Kayak, and you can limit the search to locations other than the airport. I'm finding plenty of availability in Philadelphia on the date from agencies all over the city proper.

"If we do opt for the car I hear there is a roundabout way into DC that due to traffic on the more direct route is about the same in terms of time on the road. True?"

It's hard to think of a "roundabout" that will be faster than I-95 on a Sunday afternoon. 95 is pretty much a straight line that runs at 55-65 mph. US 40 and US 1 parallel I-95 for much of the routing and may be the "roundabout" route you're thinking of, but both are burdened by lower speed limits, traffic lights and congestion of their own--under "perfect" conditions. Even if you know of an accident on I-95 that may cause delay, you're most likely better off sticking it out vs. bailing out onto one of these roads.

"And what can we expect in regard to tolls?"

From Philly to DC: $4 at the Delaware/Maryland line, plus $2 through either the Ft. McHenry or Baltimore Harbor tunnel. If you're making a return trip, you'll pay those tolls plus a $5 one-way toll between Baltimore and the Delaware line.

"And is there a rental company that anyone would recommend? "

I think preferences of freqent car renters are based in the fact that they are frequent customers--in exchange for their giving frequent business to a preferred company, they get VIP treatment from the agents, perks like express check-out and check-in, affinity points. It doesn't sound like you're a frequent renter so you probably won't get any of this on your first rental. For that reason, you're probably best shopping on price and convenience of pickup/dropoff location.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,054 posts
125 reviews
2. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

Try taking Megabus. The fare in the afternoon on the date you mention is only $13 per person. Megabus gets excellent reviews and my daughter has taken it from DC to NYC and thought it was great.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,054 posts
125 reviews
3. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

Try taking Megabus. The fare in the afternoon on the date you mention is only $13 per person. Megabus gets excellent reviews and my daughter has taken it from DC to NYC and thought it was great.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
14,658 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

Seconding Megabus! It's not as comfy as traveling with Amtrak, but the buses are clean and well-maintained & the drivers are excellent. A much more positive experience than you may be thinking bus transportation provides.

http://us.megabus.com

Megabus will drop you off at the large public parking lot across from the Grand Hyatt in DC. So you could hop in one of the taxis that cruise by the Hyatt's front door or walk a couple of blocks to the Metrocenter station -- a hub for DC's Metrorail (subway) service.

P.S. My quickie search indicates you could pick up a rental car Sunday by the train station in Philadelphia, but that a 1-way rental would have to be returned in late afternoon or the evening to Reagan Airport (airport closes to DC) -- and would cost you about $125, plus the ancillary expenses of tolls, gas, & the commute time and cost from Reagan into DC.

Edited: 30 May 2010, 22:14
san francisco
Level Contributor
33 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

Wow - thank you all for the quick, comprehensive information! It looks like Megabus is the best option for us. Cheers!

6. Re: Philadelphia to DC on a Sunday

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