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Laura aka Up4Travel
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Amtrak vs Greyhound

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  • Amtrak vs Greyhound

    I will be taking a trip in October to Florida to visit relatives. I am an older woman traveling alone on a limited budget. I would like to return to Minnesota via Washington DC and New York City but will not have the time or money to spend a great deal of time in either place. I have made plans so far to spend the weekend in Washington DC to take advantage of the weekend rates and going to New York on Sunday. My big question is do I want to go by Amtrak or Greyhound. It definitely seems as if Amtrak would be more comfortable even in coach which I would have to use but Greyhound would give me more flexibility as even though there are lots of trains between Washington and New York there is only one a day to Minneapolis that would allow me to get any sightseeing done and still not require me to stay overnight in New York.

  • #2
    Re: Amtrak vs Greyhound

    Washington to New York is probably worth taking the train, just because it is so quick and convienent and comfortable. It'll be much quicker than the bus.

    As for the other trips, the bus is probably better due to the more frequent schedules and general slow travel via Amtrak outside of the east coast corridor.

    That's just my general impression, though.

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    • #3
      Re: Amtrak vs Greyhound

      You mention a "certain age" and I would of course not ask you to reveal it but all kinds of companies consider folks a "senior" at whatever age I guess it will be most commercially viable for them and their customers. My point: you clearly have checked for weekend rates; have you checked for Senior rates, or, even disbabled rates? If you looked at me, you'd never know it because I look to be in my mid thirties but just hit 40, but I qualify for disabled rates (generally half off during non-peak travel times) and so I only mention it for reasons of trying to help you get all available discounts.

      Are you a member of AARP? Any other organizations that might offer travel discounts like AAA? Leave no stone unturned!

      Also re: the trip back to Minneapolis; if there is only one a day, couldn't you take a bus to someplace like Chicago and then change there for a bus north to Minneapolis or would that be too much money? I only think of this because I imagine there being more regional trips available from there than from here.

      I personally know it's difficult when traveling on a budget but when I have to save, I just dig into everything and try to find the breaks wherever I can. For example, I'm a CPA so by being a member of some professional organizations, we get some fringe benefits, some of them are travel related such as discounts on car rentals and hotels. I have taken advantage of the car rental and really did well. I even get a discount on my car insurance!

      So, think about it and see if there isn't some other way you can reduce costs or if there's anything else we can do to help you. Keep in mind also that there are SOOOO many discount airlines around now that it actually costs my Dad less to fly to see my sister in Tampa than it does for him to drive from Philly area to see me here in Brooklyn! He gets $49 or $59 (one way) fares on Air Tran or US Air to Tampa but with tolls and gas coming up here, same for me going down there (but for him it's worse, he's got a bigger car to fuel) it's about $50. There are so many now: Midwest Air, Southwest Air, Jet Blue, Air Tran, and even some of the bigger airlines have cheap specials on certain routes, especially on the weekends; Delta usually does this during football season so die-hard fans can follow their teams - your city has a football team! They can them "Fan Fares" and other airlines may do the same things so check it out.

      A travel "I don't get men" aside: SKIP IF YOU DON'T KNOW A FANATICAL SPORT FAN WHO WOULD GO TO EVERY STADIUM IF ONLY
      My neighbor was just talking about it (traveling to stadiums) the other day with me and another GUY about what a GREAT spontaneous trip it would be to just get up and go to a stadium to see a game and I was like HUH? THAT IS NOT A GREAT SPONTANEOUS TRIP! AN ISLAND IS A GREAT SPONTANEOUS TRIP!!!!! PARIS!!!!!! I like sports a lot, I really do; I told them to watch the movie "Fever Pitch" and their like, "Oh I don't like the actor" and I said, it's about the message of the movie. i.e. living one's life around sports (unless you're getting paid to play, of course!!!)

      I get loyalty and all but it's cute like at my nephew's age, 15. He lost his impressive collection of baseball memorabilia (focused heavily on NY Mets but he was also into a series of collecting miniatures reproductions of all the Major League Stadiums) when my sister's house tragically burned down this summer. He'd been building his collection for a long time. Anyway, that's when you do that; as a young boy. And yes, thank goodness, everyone was fine and we're all trying to help him get his collection going again. But like a lot of people, I imagine a point will come when he'll store it and save it as his life progresses, or, maybe he'll start going to all the stadiums!!! lol

      So back to your traveling situation - don't overlook - unless you HATE flying, the amazing bargains that can be had in discount airlines! Check out our Bargain Box on IndependentTraveler.com's home page; click on it and look for Air Travel bargains and see what's listed; you might just be surprised and and have extra spending $ by saving money on your travels! That's what we're all about here - helping you get there the best way possible and possibly save some money in the process!
      Colleen Costello
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