Your bags are packed. The dinner reservations have been booked. You've got your copy of 50 Shades Of Grey loaded up on the Kindle. All that's left is actually getting to the Hamptons. Here now, six ways you can do just that (in order of worst to best).
LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD (warning, PDF)
Cost: $18.25 (off peak) - $25 (peak), one way
Pain Rating: High
The Skinny: If you've never had the displeasure of riding the LIRR during the season (or anytime, really), consider yourself lucky. It really doesn't get much worse than being crammed in one of their cars for 2.5 - 3 hours as you make your way east. Oh, and during the really busy days, you might not even be able to get a seat. At least they run more trains during this time of year.
Cost: $30 (one way) or $53 (round trip)
Pain Rating: High
The Skinny: We've ranked this above the LIRR, but just barely. It goes by many names?The Shitney, The Rolling Box Of Hatred, What The Hell Is A Jitney??but, at its essence, it's just a bus?and an uncomfortable one at that. We do like the no cell phones policy and their muffins, though. Also, you're guaranteed a seat if you've made a reservation ahead of time. Don't forget about those gift bags this summer.
Cost: Gas and snacks
Pain Rating: Moderate
The Skinny: If you're headed out east for the weekend, you're going to get stuck in traffic (especially on Fridays). There's just no way around it. If you drive, though, at least you can pump the music, enjoy a little more leg room and put the top down. Protip: Leave as early in the day possible.
HAMPTON LUXURY LINER
Cost: $45 (one way) or $90 (round trip)
Pain Rating: Moderate to Low
The Skinny: This bus is pricier than the Jitney, sure, but it does offer more leg room, personal power outlets in the leather seats, a snack bar, a refrigerator and a "library" (see: a collection of Hamptons magazines). If you can spare the extra scratch and were planning on bussing it to the South Fork anyway, do yourself a favor and get thee to a Luxury Liner.
Cost: $45 (one way) or $80 (round trip)
Pain Rating: Moderate To Low
The Skinny: While this is in the same class as the Luxury Liner, we're ranking Hampton Jitney's Ambassador Class a little higher for a few reasons. First: There are fewer seats, so the ride is a little more comfortable. Second: For $5, you can actually pick your seat. Third: FREE WINE! Granted, they're not serving Opus One, but it'll help make your extended stay in traffic a little more tolerable.
Cost: $495 and up
Pain Rating: Low
The Skinny: Those with deep enough pockets can avoid the traffic altogether. Services like Fly The Whale (Jimmy Buffet's old plane) and André Balazs' StndAIR have popped up recently offering ticketed 45-minute flights. Don't feel like sharing a plane with the other well-heeled summerers? You can always charter a plane or helicopter. The trip takes about 40 minutes in total.