Anyone ever take an Amtrak train?
My fiance and I will be going to Hawaii next year for our honeymoon and in some cases, it may be cheaper to take a train to LAX and fly directly to the islands. I would only do this going to LA and not on the way back to San Antonio. The rates are pretty cheap. I know it'd be a long ride, but neither of us have ever been on a train so I thought it'd be a cool experience. Any thoughts?
I've done the train between new york and boston. Its ok. Never really done it outside of that corridor, which is one of the busier ones. And certainly not as long as for what that trip would be.
I think the train is a great way to go if you have time. Great way to see the country. If you are planning to take the train to go to LAX you might want to give yourself a day in LA then take the flight the next day. I don't know where the train station is in relation to the airport. You would also want to check the airfare roundtrip San Antonio to Honolulu and back rather than LAX to Honolulu and then back to San Antonio. It might be better to do the roundtrip than the open jaw. Yes, I do work for an airline. As a matter of fact, you might want to call American and see about the air and hotel package.
I travel a lot, and when I plan on travelling I always consider this:
How much is the time that I will spend travelling worth to me?
I put priority on the destination, not the journey. Only when I'm doing a car road trip where I specifically want to see many destinations do I actually value the journey. Otherwise, I want to minimize travel time, and maximize time at destination.
It usually works out that the "dollars-per-hour" travelled makes flying more worthwhile to me. Its usually worth an extra several hundred dollars to me to have that extra day at my destination. My rule of thumb is that I will pay $40 dollars for every extra hour I save off of travel time.
I would suggest that a good rule of thumb for most people is take 125% of your hourly wage or salary, and let that be the value of your time saved on travelling.
If you are the type of person who truly enjoys the journey, then by all means, take your time and enjoy a rail trip. I'm not that person, and I'm willing to pay more money to travel faster. And the most efficient travel in terms of price for speed is almost always by airline.
The longer the distance, the more efficient air travel becomes. A 45 minute flight plus 60 minutes of airport time for a trip from San Antonio to Houston is probably less efficient than a 4 hour drive. But a $300 3.5 hour flight plus 2 hours of airport time for a trip from San Antonio to LA is far more efficient than a $100 20 hour drive, or a $200 28 hour Amtrak trip.
My advice: It's your honeymoon, with the person you love. Don't spend time travelling, spend time on your honeymoon. Airfare purchased far enough in advance isn't that much more costly than railway, and the extra time you will have in Hawaii is MORE than worth it. Time is more valuable than money.
If you've got the time then take the train. There's something about this big ol' country of ours, I love it and I love seeing it, and you just don't get that in an airplane. Whether by car or train, I love the experience of seeing new things, and there's so much value in just making the trip. Easy riding my friend, enjoy it.
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