TRAVEL: Take a train in the USA and enjoy the views
TRAVELLING to the US in the future? You might be put off by their domestic flight system and in light of the recent United Airlines kerfuffle, Rail Plus has reinforced the benefits of rail travel in the US.
Commercial director Ingrid Kocijan says it is well-known that train travel is much less stressful than air travel, with bonus factors including the luxury of space, comfortable seats with legroom and no set baggage limits adding to the stress-free experience.
"Apart from not having to endure long queues or waiting time at check-in and baggage claim, and being able to go from city centre to city centre without additional transportation costs and journey time, travellers can also take comfort in knowing that there is absolutely no chance of seat overbooking on trains,” Kocijan said.
"Peak travel times would usually see an increase in capacity via additional carriages on selected trains; otherwise passengers would be informed straight away of seat availability and alternatives when making their seat reservations.
"Also, the level of care and customer service provided on board the trains, at the service counter or on the phone is of a high standard.”
While best suited to travellers with the luxury of time, train travel is also an undeniably great way for visitors to see the vast and varied landscape of the USA during a relaxed journey, something that more Australian and New Zealand travellers are appreciating.
Rail Plus recorded a whopping 36% year-on-year increase in Australian and New Zealand travellers exploring the USA by rail in 2016, with families and groups making up a large part of the bookings.
The most popular point-to-point destinations and journeys being booked include:
New York City - Washington DC - 3 hours.
New York City - Boston - 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Seattle - Vancouver - 4 hours.
Los Angeles - Grand Canyon - 12 hours.
Universal Studios: Miami - Orlando, 7 hours and 18 minutes.
Disneyland: Los Angeles to Anaheim - 39 minutes.
"While point-to-point tickets have proven more popular among travellers who prefer to spend more time in fewer destinations during their short visits averaging two weeks, Amtrak passes remain popular among travellers planning to hop around the country on longer visits of up to 45 days.”
Travellers deciding to see the USA by train can equip themselves with some useful tips and considerations suggested by the experts at Rail Plus to help with their itineraries and bookings.