[courtesy of ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine]
Top Tips for Traveling by Train
This ever increasing air travel frustrations and higher fuel price, train travel may be the alternative travelers are looking for. Trains offer a relaxed vacation environment and add the romance of traveling by train.
• Riding the Rails• World’s Best Trains• Great US Train Getaways• RTM’s Train Travel Sections
The editors of IgoUgo, one of the most popular online travel communities in the world, believe train travel may be the way to go for summer vacations. Tapping into its community of savvy travelers, IgoUgo’s editors have pulled together tips, advice and itineraries for travelers looking for something other than the traditional fly-in summer vacation.
“Flight delays, schedule changes, cancelled flights, bankruptcies and mishandled baggage are pushing flyers’ frustration to an all-time high.” Said IgoUgo.com Content Manager, Michelle Doucette. “The summer of ’08 just might be ‘the summer of the train.’ Not only does train travel provide a totally different experience, statistics show it is often better for the environment than flying.”
Train travel offers an alternative to the hassles of airline travel. The U.S. airline industry received the worst score ever recorded in the most recent Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study. In the same study, consumer complaints were up 60 percent over last year. Americans may be increasingly more open to the idea of train travel. In 2007, Amtrak reported more than 25.8 million passengers, representing the fifth straight year of record ridership. More than 70,000 people ride on an Amtrak train each day. IgoUgo believes in many cases, Amtrak is a convenient alternative — with intercity passenger rail services to more than 500 destinations in 46 states.
For those looking to take a more eco-friendly vacation, train travel may be the more energy efficient alternative. The US Department of Energy found that Amtrak — on an energy-consumed-per-passenger-mile basis — is 18 percent more energy efficient than commercial airlines. IgoUgo editors suggest that while not every train trip is more energy-friendly than flying, it can be an added consideration when planning for a family vacation
To venture into the world of train travel, remember these helpful tips for planning, booking and taking a train travel vacation.