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Old 08-13-2017, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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It's getting to that time I need to return to FL and the thought of that drive from NJ to Cape Coral by myself is giving me hives, lol.

Been toying with two other options, one shipping my car and flying, the other is the auto train.

Can anyone offer any insight to either one being the better option?

Yes, I know both can be expensive but if I couldn't afford would not even been thinking about it.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:44 AM
 
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The Auto Train is the best option in my opinion if price isn't discouraging, and you don't have to worry about missed connections with your car while you're flying. I would suggest spending the extra $150 or so for the Roomette, and if available the extra $50 for priority unloading of your car at the end because it can take a good hour or more extra waiting for your car upon arrival. There's only 30 slots open per train for that option and it books up fast, so you may have to pick/choose your dates.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
The Auto Train is the best option in my opinion if price isn't discouraging, and you don't have to worry about missed connections with your car while you're flying. I would suggest spending the extra $150 or so for the Roomette, and if available the extra $50 for priority unloading of your car at the end because it can take a good hour or more extra waiting for your car upon arrival. There's only 30 slots open per train for that option and it books up fast, so you may have to pick/choose your dates.

Yes,the roomette and priority unloading I would take.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:45 AM
 
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The big variables are time and price. Using an auto transporter, you'll arrive home before your car will arrive. Will you be okay for 1-2 without your car? Of course, you should have the car picked up a day or two BEFORE you fly home to reduce the time issue.


With Auto Train, the issue is the duration of the train trip vs a couple of hours on a plane. What's the opportunity cost of losing over a day on the train. Also consider any discomfort of a long train trip.


Look at all the variables and choose.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
The big variables are time and price. Using an auto transporter, you'll arrive home before your car will arrive. Will you be okay for 1-2 without your car? Of course, you should have the car picked up a day or two BEFORE you fly home to reduce the time issue.


With Auto Train, the issue is the duration of the train trip vs a couple of hours on a plane. What's the opportunity cost of losing over a day on the train. Also consider any discomfort of a long train trip.


Look at all the variables and choose.
Good questions to ask myself.

If I take the auto train, will book the bedroom with private toilet and shower.
I think it might be interesting, I just went on the site and cost would be $696

I would imagine an auto carrier would be at least $500-600 plus air fare for me and cab back to my place.
I have an airline rewards card and usually book first class so I think I get 2 checked bags for free but not sure everything I have will fit in the two carry ons I have with me, plus laptop.

So at this point leaning towards the auto train, the 3 hours to VA then the 3 hours from Sanford to Cape Coral are not a big deal.

If I drove from NJ to FL it would be a 2 night stop minimum, more than likely 3 as after 7-8 hours driving by myself I'm toast.

I hate the drive through VA on 95 and if I take 81 to 40 to 75 I hate driving through Atlanta.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Florida
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For us, having Washington/Orlando the only options still left a lot of driving plus, probably not in your case(?)would have been a real hassle unless we also stayed overnight in Washington to meet the schedule.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Orlando
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Although it's been five years since I took the auto train, I'm sure my comments still hold true.

Overall it was a positive experience, and I'd probably do it again if I needed to get my car up north again. I liked the food, and I usually love train travel.

However, I'd suggest that you not expect to get a good night's sleep on the auto train, even if you do book a roomette. (Unless you're a very good sleeper in less than optimum conditions.)

The space that you get to sleep in is very small. It's more like being on a little shelf, and the ceiling above you is very close to your face. I can see claustrophobic people having a problem with this.

I had the upper bunk, and it's not easy to climb up into it, especially when the train is moving and jerking from side to side. If you're in the upper bunk, there's a net that you can close to keep you from falling out of the bunk.

The train's movement can be jerky and rough, and it kept waking me up. Also there were times when the train had to stop for a while, and that woke me up too. I'd say I got probably about two hours of solid sleep the whole night.

You can't while away the hours looking out of the window when it's pitch dark outside. I couldn't read with the jerky conditions without getting motion sickness. They do have movies, but if that's not your thing, it can get pretty boring.

Also, the auto train is, like all other Amtrak trains, subject to long unexpected delays if a freight train needs access to the track. Amtrak is second in priority to freight trains, which is why Amtrak trains are so often very late to their destination.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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Ok question I am traveling solo, was going for the bedroom, they won't be sticking another passenger in with me
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Orlando
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Is the bedroom even available on the auto train? I just looked at the Amtrak website and plugged in a few random dates and the best I saw available on the auto train is a roomette. Maybe that was just the dates I plugged in though.

I would assume that if the bedroom is available if you pay the full price of the bedroom, it would be reserved only for you. You'd need to confirm that with Amtrak, however.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,107 posts, read 24,905,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
Is the bedroom even available on the auto train? I just looked at the Amtrak website and plugged in a few random dates and the best I saw available on the auto train is a roomette. Maybe that was just the dates I plugged in though.

I would assume that if the bedroom is available if you pay the full price of the bedroom, it would be reserved only for you. You'd need to confirm that with Amtrak, however.
Yes, when you are choosing premium there is an arrow you click on which gives roomette, bedroom,family suite and business class. If I had a travelling partner would just have booked the business class seat.

I just booked the bedroom, priority off loading for Weds Sept 6th, using my AAA discount it was $685.00.
For me, not too bad, as driving alone I would have stopped 2-3 nights as after 8 hours driving by myself I'm toast. So between gas, hotels, food and my sanity it really isn't much more.

Lorton VA is 3 hours from where I am in NJ then once I get to FL, Sanford is about 3 hours to Cape Coral.

I've read some of the message boards and plan on packing a small personal fan as many stated the rooms can get stuffy.
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