Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Mid-Atlantic
Reload this Page >

Taking a bus/train to Wilmington, DE from Philadelphia

Taking a bus/train to Wilmington, DE from Philadelphia

Old May 16, 18, 3:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 922
Question Taking a bus/train to Wilmington, DE from Philadelphia

I'm thinking of visiting Philadelphia. As PA's neighbour is tax-free state DE, I would like to go shopping as well as pre-buy gadgets online posted to a hotel in DE or pick them up at storefronts in DE.

It looks like Greyhound buses and Amtrak arrive at zip code 19801. Googling that zip code, I don't see any shopping centers and/or malls nearby.
Is there a more convenient to reach city in DE by bus/train aside from Wilmington that has abundant shopping?

Would Newark be a decent option as I see Christina mall?

Last edited by hightide; May 16, 18 at 3:26 pm
hightide is offline  
Old May 16, 18, 4:09 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by hightide View Post
I'm thinking of visiting Philadelphia. As PA's neighbour is tax-free state DE, I would like to go shopping as well as pre-buy gadgets online posted to a hotel in DE or pick them up at storefronts in DE.

It looks like Greyhound buses and Amtrak arrive at zip code 19801. Googling that zip code, I don't see any shopping centers and/or malls nearby.
Is there a more convenient to reach city in DE by bus/train aside from Wilmington that has abundant shopping?

Would Newark be a decent option as I see Christina mall?
Christiana Mall is by far the largest shopping complex in Delaware. There are buses which connect the Amtrak station to the mall.
JimInOhio is offline  
Old May 18, 18, 9:10 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by hightide View Post
I'm thinking of visiting Philadelphia. As PA's neighbour is tax-free state DE, I would like to go shopping as well as pre-buy gadgets online posted to a hotel in DE or pick them up at storefronts in DE.

It looks like Greyhound buses and Amtrak arrive at zip code 19801. Googling that zip code, I don't see any shopping centers and/or malls nearby.
Is there a more convenient to reach city in DE by bus/train aside from Wilmington that has abundant shopping?

Would Newark be a decent option as I see Christina mall?
You'd have to be spending over $250 for the sales tax savings to cover the cost of getting there. Outside Philly, the tax on most goods is 6%, and no tax on clothing, and the King of Prussia Mall is one of the largest in the country. The suburbs, easily reachable by regional rail, offer plenty of big box and electronic stores.

If you go to Delaware, SEPTA regional rail is probably your best bet as Amtrak fares have recently risen, and a last minute RT PHL-WIL ticket would start at $62 and go up. Regional rail could be as little as $13 if you use an Independence Pass (check that they are valid to DE). http://www.septa.com/schedules/rail/pdf/nwk.pdf
CDTraveler is offline  
Old May 19, 18, 2:53 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,458
Word to the wise: just rent a car and be done with it. SEPTA takes a dog’s age to get to Wilmington from 30th St. Station, and even then, you’d then be stuck waiting another dog’s age for a DART bus to Christiana Mall (which is nowhere near Wilmington). And once there, if you didn’t have a car, you’d miss out on the big box stores that are located in the off-mall Fashion Center (e.g. REI, Nordstrom Rack, etc.). And of course, if you’re going to buy enough stuff to make the whole exercise worthwhile, you’re not going to want to carry it around with you all day, much less shlep it back to Philly on multiple buses and trains. A rental car would cost you what, $35?
travelmad478 is offline  
Old May 19, 18, 2:54 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 922
Thanks for the responses. Yes, I will definitely be spending over $250 as I plan to buy an iphone and a laptop.
hightide is offline  
Old May 19, 18, 2:57 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 922
Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Word to the wise: just rent a car and be done with it. SEPTA takes a dog’s age to get to Wilmington from 30th St. Station, and even then, you’d then be stuck waiting another dog’s age for a DART bus to Christiana Mall (which is nowhere near Wilmington). And once there, if you didn’t have a car, you’d miss out on the big box stores that are located in the off-mall Fashion Center (e.g. REI, Nordstrom Rack, etc.). And of course, if you’re going to buy enough stuff to make the whole exercise worthwhile, you’re not going to want to carry it around with you all day, much less shlep it back to Philly on multiple buses and trains. A rental car would cost you what, $35?
$35 would be excluding gas. I consider driving to unfamiliar places a chore, hence I would be willing to spend more money or time to not have to pay attention to the road.

For the laptop, I might just get it delivered to a hotel (I will choose a hotel that is willing to accept packages on behalf of guests).
hightide is offline  
Old May 19, 18, 3:31 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,458
The gas would cost maybe $5; there are no tolls on the route. If traveling for at least 2.5 hours each way and hauling all your purchases around all day sounds like less of a chore than driving 45 minutes straight down I-95 (Christiana Mall has its own exit off the highway), you and I have very different opinions about what a chore is!
travelmad478 is offline  
Old May 20, 18, 5:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brooklyn
Programs: Bolt Bus Rewards
Posts: 671
+1 on the driving over the train,

That said, if you still want to take the train, consider taking Amtrak or SEPTA to Newark, DE. Service is less frequent, but it is much closer to Christiana Mall than Wilmington. It's also a nice college town.

There is also a cluster of big box stores at US 202 and DE 92 near the PA - DE Border. No Apple Store the last time I checked. You could Uber / Lyft from Septa's Claymont Station or there may be a bus from Wilmington.
AMflier is offline  
Old May 22, 18, 1:06 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: EZ Pass, Starbucks Gold, Red Cross blood donor
Posts: 4,732
It might be helpful to give us an idea of what else you’re looking to buy. If it’s just an iPhone and laptop, then going to Best Buy is easy. SEPTA plus Uber. But you still have to account for Uber $$. (No idea about buses in DE).
travelmad’s advice is still the best...rent a car. With a halfway decent nav system, it’s a very easy drive.
bitburgr is offline  
Old May 22, 18, 7:54 am
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,712
On $2,000 worth of goods, you are saving $130 on the sales tax (PA other than Philadelphia). Consider that depending on how you time things and where you are physically located in Philadelphia, the public transport options to Delaware may take 3+ hours in each direction, you are talking about a day on an international trip to save what may not be much in the end.

Most hotels will accept packages for guests. Never heard of one which does not disclaim liability. Fine to have a new shirt delivered, but high-end electronics are not the kind of thing I would ever have delivered to someone I do not know and personally trust.
Often1 is offline  
Old May 22, 18, 10:14 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: EZ Pass, Starbucks Gold, Red Cross blood donor
Posts: 4,732
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
On $2,000 worth of goods, you are saving $130 on the sales tax (PA other than Philadelphia).
Minor nit to pick, but it's worse...it's only a savings if $120.
bitburgr is offline  
Old May 23, 18, 8:31 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: ORD
Posts: 353
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Most hotels will accept packages for guests.
But some will charge a "package handling fee" of $5 or $10, as I learned the hard way at the Hilton in Salt Lake City two years ago.
TribalistMeathead is offline  
Old May 23, 18, 5:19 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
On $2,000 worth of goods, you are saving $130 on the sales tax (PA other than Philadelphia). Consider that depending on how you time things and where you are physically located in Philadelphia, the public transport options to Delaware may take 3+ hours in each direction, you are talking about a day on an international trip to save what may not be much in the end.

Most hotels will accept packages for guests. Never heard of one which does not disclaim liability. Fine to have a new shirt delivered, but high-end electronics are not the kind of thing I would ever have delivered to someone I do not know and personally trust.
I don't believe Apple or Best Buy will ship an order to a state (even if it's a hotel) that has sales tax without charging the appropriate tax for that state.
JimInOhio is offline  
Old May 23, 18, 7:38 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,712
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
I don't believe Apple or Best Buy will ship an order to a state (even if it's a hotel) that has sales tax without charging the appropriate tax for that state.
Of course they do. The law requires it. That is a given.

That isn't the point. It is that only a fool would have something of significant value delivered to a hotel because one can search for a long time for one which doesn't disclaim liability for loss / damage.
Often1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: