I keep seeing the story pop up all over. There was that kid who took the train from California to New York for $213. What a deal! No, not really.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m enchanted by the train! The views! The dining cars! There’s no sleep like on a train….just in one of the sleeping cars.
Yes, you can take the train cross country for $213. You can even read the latest article I was tagged in to read about it from Esquire HERE.
What you can’t do for $213 is get on and off the train. Well, you can, you just have to buy different tickets for each portion of the trip then coordinate. It’s a hassle and trains aren’t like planes, they don’t run all the time. Like for instance, this weekend I’m hopping on the Sunset Limited. It only runs on Saturday, Monday, and Thursday. When I get off at a station, I’ll have to entertain myself until I head back to the station two days later.
You can get a Rail Pass that allows you to get on and off at various stops. A 15 day Rail Pass that allows you 8 different rides (getting on and off again) is over $400.
Remember that great sleep in sleeping cars? That’s not included. For $213 you get to go cross country in your seat for 3 days. It’s not the dream vacation of seeing the country they make it out to be.
The point is if you’re wanting the experience then you’ll need to pay more and plan a little more. If you want to get across the country on the cheap, fly.
We’re going to have to gloss over typos with this one for now, it’s a post from the phone and those always are struggle. Wifi in the desert just isn’t so much!