Deciding Where to Travel
Amtrak and regional rail services frequently offer trip specials to specific destinations. If you don't have a destination in mind, checking the Amtrak site for deals can be a good way to decide where to go. If you already have a destination planned, checking sites like Hopstop and Amtrak trip planner as well as regional rail options can help you find the most affordable route.
Regional rail offers you the opportunity to take local trains through smaller communities. Some regional rail lines, especially in the Northeast, offer seasonal specials during the spring and fall to view autumn foliage or spring wildflowers. Amtrak offers a variety of train routes, some of which offer special package rates for multi-city or guided tours.
Train travel is comfortable and many trains provide meal or snack cars where you can eat. Bringing along a blanket or two just in case the air conditioning is cold for you or the heat doesn't work. If you plan to sleep on the train a travel neck pillow can come in handy. Many trains also provide electrical outlets for your use, although not many have Wi-Fi.
Get A Good Fare
Getting there should be half the fun on a train trip. Amtrak offers multi-city rail tours that allow you to stay overnight in different cities along your route, with hotels provided in the package price. Another way to do a multi-city tour is to go from city to city using regional rails which can be cheaper than Amtrak.
Some railways offer good deals on guided tours that include train travel and a tour of a national park or big city. These can be a good way of exploring a location without having to figure out transportation. Usually these trips cost more, but feature many nice amenities like wine tastings, cruises and meals. Many of these tours will be offered online, but it is worth asking a travel agent about special deals as well. Frequently travel agents have access to information and discounts that are not available to the public.