Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ways to Save Money on Train Rides

Riding on a train can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. There are plenty of ways you can get the train ride you want for a great price. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or comfort either. Before you start shopping around identify what you expect to get from the train ride. This will help you plan what you want to have as part of your ticket price.

If you are taking a ride on AmTrak you need to consider how long of a ride you plan to be on. If it will be for several days then you need to look into purchasing a sleep car. Some people are content to just sleep in their seat in order to save money. However, this can quickly become uncomfortable and you have to remember that other people around you will be awake.

Only purchase the size of a sleeping accommodations that you will need. Some of them hold two people while others hold up to four adults. Consider sharing the cost of a sleep car with a friend or acquaintance that will be traveling as well. Keep in mind that many of your meals come with the cost of the sleep car so you won’t be spending too much on meals. You may find it is to your advantage to pay for a quality place to rest.

The seat you select on many train rides is going to affect your price. There are business class, first class, and coach options. If you really want comfort than you will be better off with one of the more expensive options. Yet coach really is comfortable as well and you can get a better rate on an upgrade when you arrive than if you purchase it in advance. Some train rides charge more if you want to have a window seat as well.

Take along your own drinks and snacks if you want to save money on Amtrak or any other type of train ride. You will find it quickly adds up when you start buying sodas and chips from them. Many train rides offer you the chance to buy alcohol, but you can expect to pay a high price for it. You will save plenty if you refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages on the trip. Sorry, they generally won’t allow you to bring your own beer!

Look for discounts offered online and in magazines as you will be surprised by what you find. Recently AmTrak offered $100 towards food and drinks, including alcohol for specific travel arrangements. Sometimes they offer free rides for children under a certain age or you buy one ticket for full price and get the next one for half price.

Many of the recreational train rides offer discounts if you take the earlier trains of the day. This will mean you also beat the crowds for the busier departures of the day. Weekday tickets are often less expensive than those for the weekend so try to be flexible with the date of your travel plans. Avoid train rides around the holidays and during peak tourist seasons as you will pay more for your tickets.

Some train rides will come with discounts if you are a frequent rider. This information can be looked into at the time when you plan to buy the tickets. Sometimes there are discounts if you belong to particular clubs or you are in the military. You may be able to get a family discount if you buy several tickets at one time.

There are many great ways you can save money on train rides so look into it before you pay full price. It is silly for you to get the same experience as someone riding on the train next you for a lower price but that is how it works. Contact the railway directly and ask about such offers available. The internet is also a great resource for finding ways to quickly save money on the cost of the train ride you wish to experience.

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