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BTW, for anybody wondering about long distance train travel in the USA, it's not as good as in Europe, but that being said - if you're the type who can sleep in (large) coach seats, if you want to make several stops on your trip, and if having a very generous free baggage allowance matters to you, can be a good option.

I'm doing an entire cross country trip with 2 multi-day stops, 2 checked bags, and 2 large carry-ons, for the cost of a single cross country flight and no airport hassle.

Also, if you book early enough, the teeny sleeper rooms aren't really that much more expensive. Less than first class air travel.

@muninn

adding to this: they have discounts to tickets, usually on tuesdays

seconding booking early. if the first try is too expensive, keep trying different dates until the price drops, then build the trip logistics (including time off) around that, if possible

@stackingstones Yup! One fairly impressive part I left out of my little description: I did this entire trip for the cost of one flight, and I booked all of it less than 30 days in advance! There are certainly things which could be better about Amtrak, but they really do deliver on value.

@muninn agreed! also, bringing extra dry snacks is a good idea for cross-country trips: one time, we were stuck waiting for a train with right-of-way for six hours, and on that trip or another one, they started running out of meals. it's not perfect, like you said, but both for value and for not having to deal with airports, it's definitely worth it.

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