Plenty of people dislike flying, with good reason. After dealing with TSA, attempting to squash luggage in carry-on bins to avoid fees, running to catch connections and paying upwards of $10 just to use WiFi, ground transportation doesn’t look so bad. One option many do not consider is traveling by train.
At first glance, someone used to air travel might notice that train tickets cost the same or more than plane tickets and will often take around 20 hours to get to your destination. Why bother?
If you’re looking to splurge on a long-distance trip, the premium price (along the lines of $1300 to get 2 passengers from New York City to Los Angeles) will get you a private roomette including a sink and toilet, two beds with turn-down and make-up service and your very own picture window. Plus, for the premium pricing, you have meals included – both passengers will have three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners during the 3-day journey.
For a budget traveler, you can get a coach seat for anywhere in the $100-$400 range, depending on the distance of the route. When searching for your Amtrak reservation, you’ll notice symbols on different trains so you can pick the one with amenities you require. Some offer WiFi, others feature checked baggage service, and not all have a wheelchair ramp – so be sure that you’ve chosen one that fits your needs.
One symbol you might not be familiar with is the hushed lips – this means the train has a quiet car, banning cell phone calling, devices without headphones, and extended conversations. This is one of the best advantages over noisy planes for those who always find themselves seated with chatty neighbors and noisy babies.
Play around with the tickets website – you’ll be surprised at what you can find. For travels going just a couple of states away, 2 people can travel, sleep, and eat for the same price of 2 plane tickets – and without the hassle of flying.