A Vacation on a Train: Amtrak USA Rail Pass

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I have a tendency to not vacation well. I usually travel too far in too short a time. And I come home more exhausted than when I left. I certainly enjoy myself and end up with some excellent memories. But sometimes I just need to relax.

Another problem I have related to vacationing is waiting too long to take one. I am at that point right now. Fortunately, I have a wonderful wife who is encouraging me to head out on a much needed holiday. So, that’s exactly what I am going to do. I’m taking a train trip.

I have wanted to take a long trip on a train for quite some time now. The idea of relaxed travel is so appealing. I can read a book. Or I can take a nap. Or I can just let the scenery roll by outside the window. All while I continue on to my destination effortlessly.

I recently discovered Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass program. It offers travelers the chance to save some money on their train rides. Instead of buying a single round trip fare, the USA Rail Pass is valid for unlimited travel within a region during a set time frame. You can choose to explore the East, the West or the entire United States on a 15 day or 30 day pass. The prices vary by region and also by season. But they are very attractive when compared to a standard fare.  For example, I priced a round trip from Chicago, IL to Portland, OR. For the dates I want, with my AAA discount, the fare is $660.00. But a 15 day West Region Rail Pass is only $369.00 for the same time frame. That’s almost a $300.00 savings!

The plan: make a loop around the Western half of the United States. But it is not to be.

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5 responses to “A Vacation on a Train: Amtrak USA Rail Pass

  1. I’ve been investigating this myself. Last year I took a cruise, this year… I’m skipping traveling in the hopes of paying off the last of my debt. But, next year… I’d like to do this with my daughter — just sit back, relax and see the country side. I like the idea of a 30 day rail pass with a sleeping car.

    If you act on this, let me know. I think that taking this trip and writing along the way would be one heck of an adventure!

  2. Hi, Angela.

    I did act on it. And I’ve been meaning to write about my experiences. I’ll let you know all about it.

    In short, I may never fly anywhere again !

  3. Awesome! Can’t wait!

    Wish there was a way to follow this topic specifically :)

    I’ll subscribe to your RSS and wait to see the story.

  4. I was looking at this the other day, as I’ve spent 2 of the past 3 weeks on trains. It still would’ve been cheaper probably than buying all of my tickets, but they’ve changed how it works so you get basically X number of rides within a certain window.

    The whole point of me wanting to buy it was so that I could just hop off of the train in a place I found interesting, hop back on the next day.

  5. Am trying to figger the logistics of a complete circuit around the whole USA country.
    I can dream anything!