My parents were thinking of taking the train to Disney next year (they live in southern Maine), thinking it would save them money vs. flying. I was checking prices & it seems not to be a savings at all! Especially if you get a sleeper car, but even in just coach. Am I doing something wrong or does the train really cost as much as a flight?
I think it costs as much or more than a flight. My in-laws take the train from Wichita to Albuquerque to visit us 2-3 times a year. They prefer it, but say that they don't save any money at all.
And then you have to pay for a cab to Disney, which isn't really close to either location. Amtrak is expensive. We used it in July to go to DC and the trains were 6 to 8 hours late each direction for some reason
No savings and yes, more if you get a sleeping berth. And if you don't get a berth, it can be miserable. My parents had us take the auto train one year to Florida. I was only 13 or 14 and was miserable. Could not sleep in the chairs at all. But then again, being 13 or 14 can make you just plain miserable I suppose!
But it is not a cost saver. A lot of folks like it though and find it more relaxing than the hustle of airports Let us know what happens, ok?
The earlier you book, the better the fares you can get, depending on time of year. Especially with the Auto Train, if you're going southbound near the beginning of winter or northbound during the beginning of summer, you'll find much higher fares because the snowbirds drive the prices up.
I'm a big fan of the Auto Train, but it isn't for everyone. (It is particularly convenient for me because I lived near the north terminus for years and now I'm living near the south terminus.) If you're curious about my take on it, this just got published today.
Nice timing @mascardofamily!
It seems like it is too much money, and it will take way longer than a plane would.
I used to take a train from York PA to NYC, then get on the LIRR for my final leg. Just York to NYC was about 5 hours, add another 1.5 hours to get home on the LIRR. It was boring, long, and uncomfortable, but it was how I would have to get to and from home for college on breaks.
I also tend to feel it is not very scenic, as business used to be built up as close to the tracks as they could. There will be some scenic parts, but not enough.
Not to mention in recent years I think there have been more train wrecks than plane crashes, but I could be wrong.
Just to give you nightmares about plane travel, here's the live update about plane incidents around the world:
My family took Amtrak from DC to Orlando in April. Price for train in coach round trip was $616, and cheapest flight was $1500. Amtrak prices only go up so you have to book those early. Would do it again but would take sleeper car for return trip. Even with the cost of car service it was still under $750.00. Depending on time of year, where you are coming from and when you get your tickets, it can be a much cheaper option. For us it was part of the fun. We had a good time. Sorry to see so many negative posts.
That was a great blog @mascardofamily! Well done and informative!
They are definitely going to fly. They really wouldn't want just coach for that long a trip, & the sleeper is so much more expensive than flying. They have no issue with flying at all. They just figured since they had no reason to rush they would save some money and take the train.