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  #1  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:03 AM
taylor111947 taylor111947 is offline
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Default Auto Train

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my 2 cars to TV when I move down in May. My son and his girlfrend will be coming with me. It occurred to me to check out the Autotrain and the price was very reasonable - less than $600 for both cars and the three of us. I can't think of a downside to this. I'd appreciate any comments and/or suggestions for a better option.
  #2  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:08 AM
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kfierle kfierle is offline
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The Auto Train sure beats driving if you have a distance to go. I traveled to my place in TV by myself last summer and took the Auto Train for the first time. Since I will always be alone when traveling to TV, I will always use the train. It was much less stressful to have someone else do the driving.

If I were you, I would take the Auto Train since the price is so reasonable.
  #3  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:11 AM
Pa & Giggi Pa & Giggi is offline
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My husband and I took the autotrain in Nov when we went to Disney. We drove from MA to Virginia to board the train. We had a great dinner and sat across a wonderful couple during dinner. We chose the sleeping car and it was very close quarters but at least it was private.

When we arrived in Florida in the AM all we had to do was wait for our car to come off the train.

It certainly isn't a luxury type method of travel, but we wanted to try it out.

If you are looking to transport two cars I would suggest you go this route unless someone else has a better idea.

Gisele
  #4  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:52 AM
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skyguy79 skyguy79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor111947 View Post
I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my 2 cars to TV when I move down in May. My son and his girlfrend will be coming with me. It occurred to me to check out the Autotrain and the price was very reasonable - less than $600 for both cars and the three of us. I can't think of a downside to this. I'd appreciate any comments and/or suggestions for a better option.
My wife and I have travelled extensively via Amtrak. We've been cross country numerous times and have traveled the Auto Train 4 times.

The price you've noted is probably pretty much right on for two cars if you riding coach and not getting a room. Note though that Amtrak uses what's called a "bucket system" where early reservations pay less than later reservations. Our first trip (one car) last July in "H" room (Handicapped) and it cost $815.68 round trip. This year for the same it cost $1298.90. The difference of nearly $500+ was caused by the first trip being reserved 11 months in advance whereas this years was made about 1 month in advance.

Also, you are saving on gas, lodging food expense and about 900 miles of driving by using Auto Train. You will though have to drive from your location to Lorton VA to board the AT. For us that's about 200 miles.

So my experience, as well as my personal opinion tells me there is no better way to make the trip down. I haven't a clue how expensive it would be to transport you cars on an auto transporter and fly, but I'll bet that the costs would at least be double!

p.s. to Gisele: True it's not luxury, bet it certainly ain't a 2 hour no-tell motel either. For a luxury room in a good hotel you could be paying at least a good portion of what you pay for the AT and possible a whole lot more.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2011, 04:33 PM
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We've taken the auto train 3 times. We never had a sleeper as I feel I can stand one night of off and on sleeping. Figured we save quite a few bucks that way. On our last trip the train wasn't full so there were empty seats. My wife and I each took a couple of seats to sleep. Auto train provides thin covers and small pillows. If you go that way without the sleeper I would suggest you bring your own pillow and possible a cover for sleeping. That would have made it much more comfortable.

John
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor111947 View Post
I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my 2 cars to TV when I move down in May. My son and his girlfrend will be coming with me. It occurred to me to check out the Autotrain and the price was very reasonable - less than $600 for both cars and the three of us. I can't think of a downside to this. I'd appreciate any comments and/or suggestions for a better option.
Would you be interested in having someone drive one of your cars from the Baltimore, MD area and pay for their airfare from the Tampa airport to BWI?
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:56 PM
taylor111947 taylor111947 is offline
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Originally Posted by twalker919 View Post
Would you be interested in having someone drive one of your cars from the Baltimore, MD area and pay for their airfare from the Tampa airport to BWI?
Thanks, but I think the Autotrain is our best bet!

Counting the days!
  #8  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:00 AM
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We don't fly so we travel exclusively on Auto Train. We can stuff the car full of "illegal" size liquid containers typically confiscated at airport security. Now the car has become a "mini" mover for taking stuff down prior to the movers in our trips to prep the house.

We love the AT and in off season it is a price competitive alternative and a fun ride too....
  #9  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:19 AM
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Default Dogs

Any chance dogs can go? Maybe they have a kennel area.
  #10  
Old 04-06-2011, 07:25 AM
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skyguy79 skyguy79 is offline
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Originally Posted by ricthemic View Post
Any chance dogs can go? Maybe they have a kennel area.
The short answer is no except for service animals. You can read more about it at http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1241245658333
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:33 PM
taylor111947 taylor111947 is offline
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Originally Posted by jrheydt View Post
Auto train provides thin covers and small pillows. If you go that way without the sleeper I would suggest you bring your own pillow and possible a cover for sleeping. That would have made it much more comfortable.

John
Great suggestion - Thanks.
  #12  
Old 04-06-2011, 05:44 PM
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I looked into it too with anticipation, but since they don't take doggies, no such luck. When I was a kid I loved travel on trains. sigh! But, can't leave Romeo behind!

Good luck on your trip.
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