Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Working on the Travel Plans

I got the green light to attempt to plan some of our travel for 2016.
Hubs had his time off in May approved so it looks like another trip to Louisiana is in the offering...maybe.

Instead of driving there I wanted to look at other "options" for travel.  Hubs does all the driving on this trip and I think it's unfair that he drives almost the whole time we are on the road and then at our destination.
Plus we are always up for a new experience/adventure.

So I considered taking Amtrak as the "Crescent" Train runs from NYC to New Orleans daily.  We'd get on in Philly and leave the train at Meridian MS.  Of course we'd have to take the bus to Philly and from Meridian to Shreveport(Amtrak has a connector bus that goes from Meridian MS to Dallas TX.).
I am a bit reticent about train travel as both of my experiences have not been very happy.

Here is what is involved to get there via train---

Take a bus to Philly  $150
Take the train to Meridian MS  $583
Take another bus from Meridian to Shreveport LA  $76
Rent a car for 8 days while in Shreveport  $228.04
8 Nights of hotel stays  $850.51
Take a bus to Meridian  $76
Take the train to Philly  $583
Take a bus to Wilkes-Barre  $150

And this doesn't include meals(other than 8 breakfasts at the hotel in Shreveport).
Now if we tack on an excursion to New Orleans for 2 nights......

Bus to NO and back to Shreveport  $152
2 Nights in Downtown hotel New Orleans  $400 approx.
2 Taxi Rides(from Union Station to hotel and back)$25 + tip

$572 + $2696.55=$3268.55 Total plus meals

Going this route also means we can't stop and see people along the way or back, we can't bring anything with us or bring anything home that won't fit into our suitcases.

So then I looked at flying down............

Round Trip Flight for 2(2 Layovers going, 1 Layover coming back)  $1800
Car Rental while in Shreveport  $228.04
8 Hotel Nights  $850.51

Add in an excursion to New Orleans($572)and we have a total of $3450.55 plus meals

So going by train is slightly cheaper than flying by about $200.
But both are still quite high compared to driving.

But by train you get there in about 30 hours. and 7-8 hours by plane.


Decisions, decisions..........

Is anybody out there reading who lives between Wilkes-Barre PA and Shreveport LA who would like a visit from me?
The trip is still very much up in the air(due to some other issues)but I am continuing to ponder it.

How do you prefer to travel for pleasure?
Road trips and stopping for the unexpected experience?
Flying quickly and spending your time at a destination?
Have you ever taken a long train trip?



  1. I'll be in New Orleans in July for three days for work.Wow-your air fare is over the top expensive. I think the driving sounds more appealing and I like the idea, if you have the time, of building in destinations on route. Of course in driving your own vehicle, gas and wear and there has to be figured. I think $ .56 a mile is the rate right now to estimate that cost.

  2. I definitely prefer flying on any trip over 3 hrs driving time. Planning a trip is half the fun - enjoy it!

  3. I think that I would drive and save the money. But if that really isn't an option, I would fly. I am curious though about what route you chose. Hell, anything to do with vaca is a great thing.

  4. Just a FYI I love train travel as a single fairly new retiree. What I. Have been doing several around the U.S. Solo trips on a Amtrak pass. You can get a Amtrakj pass for 469.00 which lets you go anywhere for 15 days with 8 on/ off legs in the trip. If your trip would be within the 15 days it would be a little cheape. plus they at times have bus connections under the Amtrak line that works in some of those legs and I think they do since the hurricane Amtrak connection was shut down. And also maybe daughter can pick you up if you get close?

  5. If you head through Birmingham I would love to meet you in person. If you take Amtrak I can only wave at the station cause they only stop here about 10 minutes.
    The Crescent in a pretty decent train and is usually full. I actually rode it on a very short trip yesterday as part of an outing with special needs adults. They had a private car for us so I can't tell you anything about the passenger load in the other cars but from the windows it appeared to be fairly full.

  6. I think you are better off flying or driving. The important issue for train is how much time/flexibility do you have? If you have to be somewhere by a certain time (most important going home) - what will you do if Amtrak is delayed? It is often delayed as it shares tracks with commercial rail. I actually have taken to Crescent to Atlanta from DC. Took a coulee hours extra and wasn't that comfortable at all. Any way to share the driving with hubs? Honestly air travel is kinda of hellish but short - train is worse. I would drive.

    Also, look at flying into New Orleans and not Shreveport since you want to go to New Orleans anyway. In the summer it looks like you could get a nonstop from Philadelphia to New Orleans for $515 per person. A much better alternative than 1 or 2 stops/transfers.

  7. We are driving to Florida in May for that very reason. It is cost prohibitive to fly, take a train or any other mode except car. Of course, four of us will be in the car. We do have two hotel stays, one on the way down and one on the way back, so it won't be a cheap trip. Your numbers made me feel slightly better when I was looking at approximately $3,968 for hotels, beach condo for a week and gas. The rest will be food, which we will be taking a bunch with us.

  8. In looking at a map, it looks like Iowa is smack dab between those two places...

  9. I like to fly and get to where I'm going as quickly as possible, though, I do enjoy the train also. My brother did the cross Canada train and loved it.


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