Buying train tickets often makes for good budget travel, but it might not fit the picture of a traditional family vacation. For that kind of trip, most think of a mini-van and a multi-city itinerary. But if you want to tour major cities, why deal with expensive fuel and parking costs? Take a look at a trip that started with cheap flights to Boston and then relied on public transportation (usually trains) and Amtrak's heavily traveled corridor on the U.S. east coast. These money saving tips could change your mind about a traditional family vacation.
The plan: fly to Boston, take trains to New York and Washington, D.C., and then fly home. The family mini-van stays in the garage. Such a trip is possible, but is it practical for a budget traveler?
Here we add up the costs of train tickets vs. a car rental. Aside from the financial numbers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of stepping aboard the train and leaving the car rental for another trip?
Many people would rather not drive to attractions in a big city such as New York, so they make plans to park the car. But what will such parking cost in places where real estate for any use comes at a premium price. Add up the parking costs and find out.
In many cities, visitors can buy day or multi-day passes for mass transit. With the savings involved, you actually make an economical form of transportation even more affordable. It's good news when gas prices are soaring.