Tired of the hassle of airports? Inspecting each item you pack in FAA regulated bags, walking through lines of security with your shoes off, only to wait even more in the terminal before boarding a stuffy plane with tiny seats isn’t something you look forward to when you think of a vacation. In addition, bad experiences on board can set the mood for the rest of the trip, and let’s not even think about what you’ll do if your baggage gets misplaced.
Have you ever considered traveling by rail? Traveling by coach on a train yields more legroom, bigger seats and the same fold-down tray you’d get in a plane. Upgrade to business class and you get AC outlets and foot rests at each seat. With Amtrak, some cars offer a Quiet Car, where passengers can only make noises at or below a whisper. Instead of looking out your window and looking at white or blue nothingness, enjoy the sights of the countryside by traveling on a train. Not to mention, you can bring your own food and beverages on a train, including your own stash of suds and spirits. Kiss those $4 cocktails in air-coach goodbye.
As far as price is concerned, traveling by train is relatively cheaper. With new lower fares and weekend getaway fares, Amtrak makes traveling by rail affordable. Amtrak also offers 15, 30 and 45-day rail passes, and 7 days of travel in a 21-day period in California for $159. Booking a flight from Norfolk to Atlanta one-way is $277, but the same trip via rail is $169.
On the downside, traveling by train takes a little while longer than by plane. (The Norfolk to Atlanta trip takes 16.5 hours via rail!) Train traveling is a nicer way to make long distances and vacations. Searching for direct routes is the most common option, but if you have a lot of time for R&R, take some time and hop on the iron horse. You’ll travel more comfortably, and have a new traveling experience under your belt.