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#1 caravanman

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:17 PM

When I travel, I usually bring a small laptop along, so I can post my “travel experiences” while they are still fresh, while I am “on the road”.

I didn’t do that on my recent trip, due to the laptop’s demise, so I just made notes for a later write up.

Reading back over my notes, I now find it hard to see much that would be new or fascinating for the reader, so I am going to cut short my ramblings this time.

I enjoyed my whole visit, 5 weeks, very much on a budget this time.

I visited Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Sacramento, Las Vegas, San Diego, and back again via Chicago to depart from Boston for the U.K.

All ground transport was by Amtrak train or Amtrak bus, and all stays were in H.I. Hostels, except the few nights in Las Vegas. (I find many casino hotels to be cheap mid week, as they expect to make their money from the gambling. I did invest only one 25 cent coin as a gamble, and won 50 cents back, so thought I would quit while ahead!)

I enjoyed chatting to the many folk I met along the way, both aboard the trains and at the hostels.

 

I may decide to flesh this “non report” out with some photos and details of costs at a later date, but for now, as that rabbit might say, “That’s all Folks!”

 

Ed.



#2 v v

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

It is enjoyable reading of your exploits, it's the characters and situations you come up with. Understand it's bloody hard to write a long report and becomes more difficult after the event, but maybe you'll feel like you want to finish it one day, no pressure mind...  ha ha

 

If you did a costing of a tight budget very long distance trip, that would have interest on it's own. How many miles did you travel from leaving home to returning?

 

Thanks for what you've written so far, always fun to get your views on life.



#3 City of Miami

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:29 AM

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din! 5 weeks on Amtrak and HI Hostels would break me - aamof 1 would probably do it - oh, maybe 2.....

 

I agree with vv that an analysis of the budget would be instructive. I too plan my trips very carefully with a mind to cost when I don't really have to - just a personal tic I guess.



#4 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:41 PM

...

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 23 July 2017 - 12:56 AM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#5 caravanman

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 02:15 PM

Hi folks, the trip costs...

 

I spent a total of 24 nights in the H.I. Hostels on my trip, and that cost me a grand total of $1,034, or around $43 a night.

Breakfasts were included, most were pretty good, with choice of cerials, fruit, bagels, pancakes. A few included boiled eggs.

 

My "indulgent" 4 nights in a Las Vegas hotel cost $270.

 

My senior discounted Amtrak train and bus fares came to a total of $820, plus an extra $55 for a business class seat on one train, the Boson to Chicago LSL.

 

The train milage was 8239 miles in total, on 9 trains, plus 4 Amtrak bus rides, not included in the milage total. Forgetting the business class supplement, the train milage came in at almost exactly 10 cents a mile.

 

I could probably have saved a few dollars with a railpass, but would not have been able to ride in business class, and would have had to pay extra anyway for the 13th segment. As it was all thought of, arranged and booked within 48 hours, checking availability of rail pass seats was not a convenient option.

 

I did "tailor" my stays and rides to try and produce the cheapest accomodation nights, and the low bucket fares.

 

Hope this may be of some use to others.

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, 19 July 2017 - 02:25 PM.


#6 v v

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:16 PM

Thanks Ed, very instructive

 

Planning and booking in such a short time must have been exciting, how long after booking did you leave? And when you got to the end of your ultra budget trip were you a tad tired? or ready to go again?



#7 Bob Dylan

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:24 PM

Good stuff old chap!😁

I used to travel the world with a backpack and on a Low budget, but dont know if I could do the multiple night Coach trips and Bus anymore.

The Hostels are really a great way to save money for other things while traveling!😎

And to answer Jamie's inquirery, bet you're already scheming and planning your next adventure off the Isle!😄😄😄
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#8 caravanman

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

Just a couple of quick replies...

 

I started booking on 24th May, a couple of days after my 65 birthday, and left Manchester airport on 30th May.

I do tend to do things on the spur of the moment most times. I honestly can't imagine what it must be like to book a trip even 6 months in advance!

Afterwards I was not so much tired, but somewhat feeling my age I think. I believe that my thinking is getting a little "foggy" recently, so I feel slightly less confident as a solo traveller. Mind you, I was alert enough to work out that two seperate train tickets back to Nottingham were less than one bought as a through ticket. ;)

My true disposable income is only in the region of $400 a month, so although I do hope to travel again soon, I need to tighten my belt for a month or two first.

 

Cheers,

 

Ed.



#9 seat38a

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:29 AM

Just a couple of quick replies...

 

I started booking on 24th May, a couple of days after my 65 birthday, and left Manchester airport on 30th May.

I do tend to do things on the spur of the moment most times. I honestly can't imagine what it must be like to book a trip even 6 months in advance!

Afterwards I was not so much tired, but somewhat feeling my age I think. I believe that my thinking is getting a little "foggy" recently, so I feel slightly less confident as a solo traveller. Mind you, I was alert enough to work out that two seperate train tickets back to Nottingham were less than one bought as a through ticket. ;)

My true disposable income is only in the region of $400 a month, so although I do hope to travel again soon, I need to tighten my belt for a month or two first.

 

Cheers,

 

Ed.

Have you ever considered, using your write ups and photos, putting them up on your blog and getting advertisement revenue for it? Might as well if you travel a lot. That is what the young whippersnappers are doing.



#10 caravanman

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 02:13 AM

That is an idea, certainly! I could include a few photo's of me slumped on the floor still clutching my "one too many" can of beer. I think they call it "product placement"... :D

Nah, to be honest, I am not a great fan of advertising stuff to folks. If they need it, they can mostly find it without advertising I guess.

No worries, soon be off travelling somewhere again no doubt!

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, 20 July 2017 - 02:14 AM.


#11 Woodcut60

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:11 AM

Love to read your posts and reports, Ed. Enjoyed your Indian rail report very much. (Are we the only Europeans with a lot of Amtrak miles here on AU?)


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax, NS-Montréal, QC), Corridor Montréal-Toronto, The Canadian (Toronto, ON-Vancouver, BC).

Amtrak: approx. 25,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.


#12 Bob Dylan

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:03 PM

Love to read your posts and reports, Ed. Enjoyed your Indian rail report very much. (Are we the only Europeans with a lot of Amtrak miles here on AU?)

Jamie( vv on AU) and Rosie, your fellow Brits( and Partime residents,of,France) , have extensive travel on Amtrak ( and International Rail)and have very interesting and informative Trip Reports here on AU.

There are also others,Google up their reports from the AU Archives.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#13 Woodcut60

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:01 AM

Thank you, Bob Dylan.


Edited by Woodcut60, 22 July 2017 - 02:02 AM.

Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax, NS-Montréal, QC), Corridor Montréal-Toronto, The Canadian (Toronto, ON-Vancouver, BC).

Amtrak: approx. 25,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.


#14 greatcats

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:30 PM

Hi Ed! You are always welcome in Flagstaff.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.




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