Late on a summer weeknight, traffic is at a bumper-to-bumper crawl along southbound I-95 near the Connecticut/New York state line. The red sea of brake lights is clearly visible from the comfort of our train seats.
We're nearing the end of the first leg on a 10-day vacation that takes us from Boston to New York to Washington, DC. The initial plan was to fly to Logan International, rent a car, and complete the three-city tour before dropping off the rental at Reagan National and catching our return flight home.
But as gasoline prices edged ever upward, a question emerged: Why not reject the standard family car trip and replace it with inter-city trains and public transportation?
The convenience of leaving downtown Boston and arriving at Penn Station in Manhattan was underlined with that brake light view outside the window.
The reason this strategy has any chance of working is a central concentration of attractions in each city. But did this less-than-traditional family vacation save money?