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Arriving in a city by train in middle of the night...?

Travel Forums North America Arriving in a city by train in middle of the night...?

1. Posted by aj_mckay (Budding Member, 19 posts) 12 Jul '09 09:20

aj_mckay has indicated that this thread is about USA

I'm in the middle of planning my route across the USA. I'm travelling mainly via Amtrak with some bus journeys where train is not an option.

One common problem that keeps coming up while looking into the different journeys I hope to take is that quite often the only option arrives into a city in the middle of the night (say 3am!).

Does anyone have any experience of whether this will pose a major problem? Will hostels be open for check in at that hour? Will there be alternative places to sleep until the morning? etc. etc...

An example of where this problem crops up is travelling between Houston, TX and San Antonio, TX via Amtrak - there seems to be only one train per day, which arrives into San Antonio at 3am (this info taken from Amtrak website). Greyhound or Megabus do not seem to be an option here by looking at their websites.

I'm a little bit stuck with what to do here - do I take the train and arrive into a city in the early hours or seek alternative transport...?

Any advice greatfully received!

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jul-2009, at 09:21 by aj_mckay ]

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5322 posts) 12 Jul '09 14:23

Hi AJ,

This has happened me many times on my own travels, and I've always found that just by calling the hostel/hotel in advance and notifying them of your arrival time, they will make arrangements to accommodate you. Some places, dependng on where you are, will either have 24hr reception. If not, they can either give you a code for the door, or simply leave the front door open and the key hanging on your room number.

It's never been a problem anyway. Most places dont want to turn business away in any event, so I'd say by giving them a call you should be able to make arrangements. :)

Good luck on your trip across the US. I'd love to be doing that!
Ev

3. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member, 159 posts) 12 Jul '09 22:09

Im not sure when you are planning to leave Houston, but there is 9 buses a day to San Antonio, so check again with greyhound

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jul-2009, at 22:09 by way2goeh ]

4. Posted by aj_mckay (Budding Member, 19 posts) 13 Jul '09 00:04

Quoting samsara2

Hi AJ,

This has happened me many times on my own travels, and I've always found that just by calling the hostel/hotel in advance and notifying them of your arrival time, they will make arrangements to accommodate you. Some places, dependng on where you are, will either have 24hr reception. If not, they can either give you a code for the door, or simply leave the front door open and the key hanging on your room number.

It's never been a problem anyway. Most places dont want to turn business away in any event, so I'd say by giving them a call you should be able to make arrangements. :)

Good luck on your trip across the US. I'd love to be doing that!
Ev

Hi!

Thanks for your respone. So it sounds that if I do end up arriving somewhere in the early hours it might not be a problem. That's what I was hoping to hear... thanks!!

Adam.

5. Posted by aj_mckay (Budding Member, 19 posts) 13 Jul '09 00:06

Quoting way2goeh

Im not sure when you are planning to leave Houston, but there is 9 buses a day to San Antonio, so check again with greyhound

Hi there...

I will check again, thank you for that. I'm sure that when I looked Houston wasn't even on the list of places the Greyhound stopped, but as I say, I will check again and maybe write an email off to them if I have no luck. I'll be leaving Houston around the 24th/25th September from memory.

Thanks!

6. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member, 159 posts) 13 Jul '09 13:32

Actually I meant the time. Im 100% certain that there are 9 buses a day. Its possible you spelled one of the names wrong.

7. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive, 1004 posts) 19 Jul '09 04:32

Arriving at your station destination at (say) 3am won't be a problem. As others have said, call your accommodation and they'll help you out in some way. There may be a small charge to pick you up, then why not - at 3am?? - but it's well worth the back pocket petty cash. Most of the bigger stations will have the bars open all the time and the vast majority have lovely comfy seats too - unlike here in GB. You'll be just fine.

8. Posted by rbyslipahs (Respected Member, 349 posts) 12 Aug '09 11:14

Agree with calling the hostel/hotel ahead of time, and ask them about transport to the accommodations and if they can give you the number for a cab.

I actually had a problem at an airport once where our flight was extremely delayed, and we ended up getting in at 2 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. By the time we arrived, the airport was basically closed -- no services, and cabs were hard to get at that hour. Somehow, between an entire flight of people, some of whom already had rides waiting, we all just shared cabs to wherever it was we needed to go, people with children going first. It all worked out.

If arrival times are scheduled at late hours, cab companies usually know this, and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see a couple of them waiting at the station.

9. Posted by darman (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 12 Aug '09 21:11

Some places, depending on where you are, will either have 24hr reception. If not, they can either give you a code for the door or simply leave the front door open and the key hanging on your room number.
regards
-snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]