My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay~
When I think of travel in the US, I seldom think of trains. I check the flight schedules, map a vehicle route by car, but I never look at travel by train. Historically, the train has been a more expensive way to travel with less flexibility than a car. So I just never took the time to check out train travel - until recently. Could I plan a trip by train that would be equivalent or less costly than driving or flying?
Here is what I found. AMTRAK has rail deals every week. They are called SMART FARES and are 25% off the normal one way ticket price on select routes. The destinations change weekly, so you will have to watch closely to get a deal to your desired location. Another little quirk is that you can buy the tickets every Tuesday through Friday, for travel 1-2 weeks after. So you can't buy today and hop on...but 25% is significant, so it is well worth the searching and waiting. There are conditions, so check them out before you buy.
AMTRAK has additional 10 to 15% discounts available for AAA, Seniors, US Students, International Students, Active Military and Veterans, NARP and large groups when you book early. Children under 2 are free and 2 to 12 years old are half-price every day.
AMTRAK also offers rail passes. You can travel anywhere in the US for two weeks and 8 segments for only $449. Try booking that deal on a plane.
Frequent Traveler Points? Yes. Just like the airlines you can earn 2 miles for every dollar spent and earn miles with
hotel stays, air travel, shopping and car rentals. You can start getting FREE Amtrak travel with only 1500 points...yes, you read that right, not 15,000 like the airlines, but 1500. Am I starting to get you interested in checking out train travel on your next trip?
Then you will like this amazing deal:
From Now until May 17,2014 earn DOUBLE POINTS on Amtrak® travel, any route, anywhere.
Don't forget about National Train Day on May 10. It comes but once a year, but you can get up to 25-30% off your trip if you plan on attending a Train Day Event. You will need to book at least 14 days in advance
Now for the advantages of train travel. It's relaxing. You are not tied into a seat several miles up in the air - you can wander around, stretch your legs and visit with people. You can look out your window and actually view mountains and rivers and cities. You can take food, or eat on the train. You can even sleep on the train in special cabins. The seats are large and comfortable.
So next time you are thinking about travel in the US. Think train. You just might be surprised.
Hi Everyone! Having spent the past 20 years traveling full- time we are always looking for our next adventure and hope we can infect you with the travel bug! We travel Two by Two -as evidenced in our blog title, and hope that we can become your travel advisers or companions - with our many tips for your trip. Enjoy!
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