Whether you’re planning a trip to see the family at the holidays or a summer getaway, travel doesn’t have to mean long security lines at the airport and several hours in an undersized seat on an overcrowded flight. There is an alternative. A train.
Why take a train?
The reasons for choosing a train for your next trip are as plentiful as the destinations they serve. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to bypass the airport for your next vacation:
Space, glorious space!
Unlike airplanes that confine you to a seat better suited to a preschooler than a grown man or woman, trains give you a spacious seat and the freedom to get up and walk around. That can be a huge benefit when traveling with children or for anyone who dreads that confined space.
The time might be about the same
There is a tendency to compare the flight time to the train’s travel time, and then choose the flight as “quicker.” But when you add in travel to the airport with the recommended 2-4 hour lead time, security lines, flight delays, cancellations and time spent sitting on the tarmac before and after a flight, you may begin to see train travel as comparable to the time it really takes these days for air travel.
This is particularly true for medium length journeys where a train from Boston to New York or Atlanta to New York might actually be faster when all factors are added in.
What’s between New York and California?
Air travel is a great way to get from point A to a far away point B in a hurry. But when it’s time to take vacation, why not find out for yourself what’s in the rest of this big country beside airports where you run to catch the next connection?
One of the best answers to the question “why take a train” is that a train lets you see where you are as you travel. You see the cities, the countryside, the mountains, the rivers and the deserts. For a generation being raised on HDTV, seeing the country first hand through a big glass observation window might transform their idea of what looks “realistic.”
You get to relax and look around
And unlike car travel, you are free to look around, read, chat or enjoy a meal in the dining car. And on longer trips, there’s no need to find a hotel and carry baggage each night…your room is just down the hall.
Delays are less likely
Despite the bad raps trains have gotten, overall they have better on-time records than the airlines. That means lower stress for you because your trip is more likely to begin when you expect.
Train travel remains the norm in Europe. Next time a vacation beckons, consider exploring the U.S. on a train, too.