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Old 01-01-2017, 10:48 AM
Location: Boston
277 posts, read 205,486 times
Reputation: 755


Amtrak. Much nicer travel, club car, ability to walk through the train etc.

I am not a fan of travel by bus. Longest trip was from Boston to DC and I almost went out of my mind. Only had one stop, the bus was packed - not fun.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:45 AM
6,684 posts, read 3,169,567 times
Reputation: 8464
I once drove in a small cheap car from NJ to FL to CA, and slept in rest areas. My car seat would tilt all the way back till it was almost flat, for sleeping. This was a long time ago, when rest areas were safer, cars were cheaper, gas was cheaper, and people were younger. My main reason for going to FL before turning west was that it was winter and I didn't want to drive through thousands of miles of winter. Overall I liked that trip.

The longest Greyhound trip I ever took was about 850 miles. I didn't like it. The bus was too cramped. It was a very boring trip, and it was hard to sleep or anything. All the places the bus stopped seemed alike. The road seemed the same the whole trip. Nothing interesting happened, unless you consider a backache interesting.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:52 AM
6,684 posts, read 3,169,567 times
Reputation: 8464
Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
I could also buy a Rail Pass from Amtrak
A rail pass doesn't sound good. It's not really a pass. You still need tickets and reservations. The rail pass is a way to pay for the tickets. As if you bought a book of coupons for free tickets, but had to pay a lot for the book of coupons. And they expire too fast. Bad deal unless you have your trip planned carefully and you make all your reservations in advance. And never miss any trains.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:32 PM
6,040 posts, read 4,433,841 times
Reputation: 16753
Hey OP, are you the one who took a trip to Boston some time ago and did a very nice write-up about it?

I would take a mixed approach, and do some of both bus and train depending on the particular leg of the trip. Some cities are really not connected by Amtrak very well, and you will likely save time and $ going Greyhound. Sure, Amtrak is gennerally nicer, but hey...you're 21 and seem very adventurous so I wouldn't worry too much about the bus.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:50 PM
Location: Eureka CA
8,250 posts, read 11,110,384 times
Reputation: 12564
Go with Amtrak supplemented by GH for short runs. I assume youre going to get a sleeper. I wouldn't do coach cross country.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:52 PM
2,937 posts, read 1,782,602 times
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The train, it's more comfortable, you might even find one with a sleeper car. Plus they usually have power outlets and WiFi which is a nice benefit.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:06 PM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 16 days ago)
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,162 posts, read 1,892,872 times
Reputation: 3190
Just looking at the Amtrak Coast Starlight. Oneway. VAC to OKJ $115
or with layovers at each station SEA, PDX, $129
VAC to SEA (Cascades train, operated by Amtrak, 1/day or higher frequency by Boltbus or Cascades bus) $32
SEA to PDX $26 (Cascades, operated by Amtrak, 4/day)
PDX to OKJ $71, (Amtrak StarLight)

BoltBus/Cascade train is OK from VAC south to EUG. Frequent, demand pricing.

Point is that you can break up your travels without taking big point-to-point penalties.

Hotels are fairly inexpensive during the winter months.
Hostels are close to train station.
train stations are very close to city center.
Airports at VAC, SEA, PDX are accessible by lightrail about 45minutes from downtown.

I live in Oregon near PDX. Short trips can be done to Vancouver BC, Seattle, Spokane WA, SFO. The real issue is the scenic areas are traveled in the dark hours in the winter. We no longer drive from mid Valley Oregon to Seattle although is ~4hours to visit son. Train is 5.25hrs without delays (6.5 hrs this thursday, 12/29/2016) but I don't have to do white knuckle driving on I-5 thru PDX and into SEA. Cascade trains have a nice bistro/lounge car. Free Wifi, no streaming.

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Old 01-01-2017, 02:13 PM
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL
4,392 posts, read 3,558,294 times
Reputation: 3491
For sanity's sake get an actual bed on Amtrak. I did a 13 hour ride from Atl to Nola and that was rough. Throw in the overnight stops and there's no way I would've been able to sleep (mine was all during the day).

Personally, except for a few sections, I'd get a car. A lot of your Amtrak travel would be at night when you can't see much anyway.

Also the Amtrak bathrooms were abysmal. Even some gas stations are cleaner. Plus food is very mediocre and quite expensive.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:53 PM
619 posts, read 365,807 times
Reputation: 1636
Sounds like you'll have an awesome trip no matter what mode of transportation you choose.

I've taken greyhound, Amtrak and vamoose between N.Y.and DC. I did not find GH to be scary or dangerous. Most of the passengers were tourists, elderly prople, or locals like me who preferred someone else does the driving. Bathrooms were ok, sometimes gross,sometimes fine. There is no running water so you "wash" with gel. Try to get there early and choose a seat close to the front. Most buses have WiFi(not the greatest) and outlets.

Amtrak is cleaner, more comfortable, and more expensive. I personally would stock up on snacks and drinks before you board-their prices are not cheap. I've never taken the sleeper car.

If you reserve Amtrak in advance, you can usually get good deals. Sign up as a member , they sometimes have special offers. The closer you get to your date, the more it will cost.

Alspo, personally I would look into renting a car and driving, at least for part of the trip. Or combine flying and driving. Then you have more control over your itinerary and can make spur of the moment changes.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:57 PM
Location: Born in L.A. - NYC is Second Home - Rustbelt is Home Base
1,608 posts, read 741,110 times
Reputation: 1372
I'm a photog and like a gritty trip for supplying photo ops. Also on a budget, so it is Greyhound for me. If I was rich and wanted to take my time I'd use the rails.
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