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Tips For Philadelphia Area Travel This Holiday Season

Whether traveling by train, plane or automobile for homemade pumpkin pie, keep in mind a few tips that will help you navigate the Philadelphia area this holiday season. From public transportation to the best place to grab a bite at the airport, this is how to get through the holidays without the added "joys" of stressful traveling.
1234 Market St. 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 580-7800

1. SEPTA offers unlimited Individual and Family Independence Passes good for an entire day of unlimited travel on all SEPTA services, all for one low fare.

SEPTA, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, is the Philadelphia area's transit system. SEPTA serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties with its buses, trolleys, trackless trolleys, subways and regional commuter rail. It provides service to the city and suburbs as well as to Philadelphia International Airport. Forget the holiday traffic, enjoy the ride, and see the sights as you and your family make the train a favorite holiday tradition.

Related: SEPTA Named Best Large Transit System in North America

2955 Market St.
30th Street Station
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 349-1160

2. If you are traveling to New York, D.C. or Baltimore from Philadelphia, Amtrak offers hourly downtown to downtown service from the 30th Street Station during peak morning and afternoon rush hours via the Acela Express.

To get to Amtrak from the Philadelphia International Airport, take public transportation to 30th Street Station. From other points in the Philadelphia area, simply follow SEPTA routes to 30th Street.

Related: Amtrak Commuters Will See Upgrades Thanks To Federal Transportation Windfall

Philadelphia International Airpor
8000 Essington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19153
(215) 937-6937

3. Use the Cell Phone Waiting Lot to wait, with your vehicle, until your party is ready to be picked up.

If you plan to pick up someone from Philadelphia International Airport over the holidays, don't fight the crowds in the terminals or parking garages. The Cell Phone Waiting Lot is perfect for having your guests just call when they've arrived and picked up their luggage.

4. Avoid parking fees and take the train or bus to and from the airport.

SEPTA's Airport Line Regional Rail train provides service to Philadelphia International Airport every 30 minutes from about 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Chickie's and Pete's
Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal E
8000 Essington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19153
(215) 492-0569

5. While you wait for your flight, don't settle for the same old airport food. It's a holiday, so indulge a little.

Try a Philly pretzel, sample a cheesesteak sandwich, and don't miss the crab fries at one of Philadelphia's hometown favorite restaurants, Chickie's and Pete's. This holiday season -- especially if you're stuck in the airport -- embrace all things Philly and catch a game or two while you wait for your flight.

City of Philadelphia

Streets Department
720 Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 686-5560

6. When the weather outside is frightful, driving conditions can quickly become hazardous.

The Philadelphia Streets Department suggests you keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks plowing the roadway. You shouldn't pass a snowplow or spreader, treat them just as you would treat emergency response vehicles. When it is snowing, remember not to park along the street or on the corner so that the snowplows can get by -- plows can't clear streets when cars are in their way.

Related: Mayor Nutter Says "Give Me 36"

Philadelphia Parking Authority
3101 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(888) 591-3636

7. Philadelphia Parking Authority enforces metered parking on holidays if they are also regular retail shopping days. You will get a "free pass" on the meters in the city of Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day or New Years Day.

Metered parking is free every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas as long as it's after 11 a.m., and you'll find that most parking garages offer weekend or early bird specials. Don't forget that if you live in a residential permit parking zone and have family or friends who will be bringing their cars to visit, you will need to obtain temporary or day permits.

Christy Ayala holds a Masters of Science in Recreation Administration and has managed programs for the YMCA, YWCA, and recreation facilities in St. Louis, Chicago, Honolulu, and Philadelphia areas. Her work can be found on
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