Well well well….after much discussion, my wife and I decided to bite the bullet and buy train tickets to Chicago for Christmas. After looking for weeks and weeks for reasonably priced airfare for the dates we wanted, we started talking about taking the train and turning our trip into an adventure. With some debates about the 40 hours on the train each way, we bought the tickets yesterday and there is no going back now! Figuring that we would be having children soon, we decided this would be a pretty cool adventure for the two of us to take by ourselves. Sure, it cost a little more than the expensive plane tickets would have, but we get our own bedroom on the train! Our food and drinks is included in the price, we get the newspaper delivered each morning to our room along with bottled water and coffee, and we even get turn down service after dinner. I have never even had turn down service at a hotel – never mind on a train. Add in the fact that we will be contributing way less pollution into the environment by traveling by rail instead of flying, and we are really excited about this experience.
Our route takes us from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, through the plains and into Chicago. The best part? Because of the different times that the trains leave going each direction, we will be awake for different scenery each way, so we won’t miss anything.
So really, what is this post doing on a personal finance blog? Because sometimes spending money is all about the experience. We decided that since it was going to cost us a fortune to fly to Chicago, we might as well spend that money on something we have both wanted to do for a long time – a pseudo-cross country journey by rail. Since we won’t be a 2 member family for much longer, we wanted to take full advantage of this fact in order to do something we really wanted to accomplish. Sure, we could still travel by rail later in life, but why not now? We have the money and we were going to spend it anyway on flying. But this way we get to have a pretty cool experience along the way, rather than dealing with the headache that is the airport during the holidays. Thanks to the fact that I work from home on my own schedule and my wife gets several weeks off at Christmas (she is a teacher), we have the luxury of taking our time getting to our family during this season. In January I will post again about this journey for those of you interested in trying out our rail system. I am hoping we have a great time and that we want to do it again sometime!