AAA Double Discount on Amtrak

20 Percent Discount on Amtrak
Good deal for AAA members!

Members of AAA regularly get ten percent off the price of Amtrak rail tickets.

Now, Amtrak is running a promotion for AAA members that offers a double discount of 20 percent off!

This deal is good for bookings now though September 30, 2015 for travel between September 1 and October 31, 2015.

2 Free Movie Tickets from AAA Mid-Atlantic

Get 2 Free Movie Tickets at AAA Mid-Atlantic
Get 2 Free Movie Tickets at AAA Mid-Atlantic

I was at the local AAA office today to purchase a couple of fee-free ViSA gift cards.

The Mid-Atlantic chapter of AAA typically sells fee-free VISA gift cards in May and June of each year as a courtesy to their members.

With graduations and June weddings, lots of people are purchasing gift cards.

Travel hackers may find gift cards useful if to meet the minimum spend requirement on a new credit card, or to rack up spending to earn points.

Fee Free VISA Gift Cards at AAA Mid-Atlantic
Fee Free VISA Gift Cards at AAA Mid-Atlantic

While I was a AAA, I took five minutes to take advantage of another offer.  By learning about the benefits of membership, I earned two free tickets to the movies.

I had my choice of tickets to Regal, Cinemark, AMC, or Bowtie Cinemas.

AAA also sells discounted movie tickets.  You can see the complete list of eligible theaters here.

We maintain an AAA membership for the roadside assistance.  We also take advantage of the 10 percent discount on Amtrak tickets and on hotels.

Do you remember the days when you could request a custom Trip-Tik in advance of a road trip?

Save 30% on Amtrak Companion Tickets to Baltimore and BWI

30% Off Amtrak Companion Fares
30% Off Amtrak Companion Fares

Amtrak offers lots of regional and seasonal discounts as well as regular savings for students, seniors, military, and AAA members.

But here’s a special deal you won’t find on Amtrak’s deals page!

Through a partnership with the Maryland Office of Tourism, you can get 30 percent off on companion fares on Amtrak to Baltimore, MD or Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI).

This offer is especially attractive to people who may be travelling via BWI, thanks to lower airfares on some routes.

30% Off Amtrak Companion Fares to Baltimore and BWI with Maryland Welcome! Passport

The Maryland Welcome! Passport features online coupons for attractions, accommodations, and transportation which you can access at  

The offer that caught my eye is for 30% off the best available rail fare for one companion in coach, when a second adult fare ticket is purchased at regular price.

To access the offer for the Baltimore area, go to

To access the offer for BWI area, go to:

The offer is only redeemable online; reservations must be made three days in advance and tickets cannot be purchased in person.

The offer is valid for travel within the Northeast Corridor on the Northeast Regional service to Baltimore, MD or Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and return only.

The last date to travel is December 19, 2014.

Some popular travel dates are excluded.  Upcoming blackout dates are:

  • August 29, 2014
  • September 1, 2014
  • October 10, 2014
  • November 25 – 26, 2014 November 29 – 30, 2014
  • December 1, 2014

With the purchase of two tickets, each person can save 15 percent off the regular fare.

25% Off Advance Purchase Amtrak Tickets in the Northeast Corridor

If you are the kind of traveller that plans ahead, you may find better savings on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional service with Amtrak’s advance purchase fare.

You can save 25 percent off the lowest available fares when you book 14 days in advance.

Continue reading —>

Shuffle off to Buffalo . . . 25% off Amtrak Fares

Save 25% on Amtrak Fares to Niagara Falls
Save 25% on Amtrak Fares to Niagara Falls

If a trip to Niagara Falls is on your bucket list, listen up!

Every Tuesday through Friday, Amtrak publishes its weekly SmartFares.

These fares offer discounts of 25 percent off the regular one-way fare.

This week, you can find discounts on about a dozen classic train routes including the Maple Leaf from Utica, New York to Niagara Falls.

Also available this week:  discounts on the Crescent line from Atlanta to New Orleans; the Coast Starlight from Sacramento to Los Angeles; Lincoln Service, from St. Louis to Chicago; the Cascades, from Vancouver to Seattle; and several other regional routes.

I was married in Garratt Park, Maryland, a small railroad suburb of Washington, DC.

We wanted to flag down the train after the wedding, to begin our honeymoon in style:

Niagara Falls Vintage Travel Poster

To Niag’ra in a sleeper,
There’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper,
And the train goes slow.
Ooh ooh ooh!
Off, we’re gonna shuffle,
Shuffle off to Buffalo.

Amtrak’s SmartFares

There are some important rules and limitations on these SmartFares.  

The most obvious things to watch out for are the advance purchase requirements, the inability to use the tickets for a weekend trip (no travel on Fridays or Sundays), and the fact that the fares are nonrefundable and non-changeable.

Continue reading —>

Los Angeles Union Station 75th Anniversary Celebration

Union Station 74th Anniversary CelebrationHistoric Union Station in Los Angeles is hosting a 75th birthday celebration in honor of the iconic art deco train station, which has been restored as a multi-modal transit center.

If I lived in Los Angeles, I’d head over to Union Station on May 3, 2014, for this free family event!

The celebration, sponsored by Metroin partnership with National Train Day, Amtrak and Metrolink will commemorate all things rail on Saturday, May 3, 10 am to 4 pm.

Los Angeles Union Station
Los Angeles Union Station

There will be dozens of exhibitors at the station, tours, entertainment on four stages, as well as free Metrolink rides, a guided bike tour, and discounts at museums, restaurants, and theaters in half a dozen nearby neighborhoods.

Events at Union Station

Events at the station will include:

  • Official ceremony to rededicate of the historic ticket concourse
  • Step aboard one-of-a-kind rail cars
  • Tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train
  • Self-guided architectural tours of Union Station’s architecture, embellishments and artworks
  • Watch model trains in action
  • Play in the Chuggington Kids Depot (a preschool television series)
Los Angeles Union Station
Los Angeles Union Station

Entertainment on Four Stages

There will be more than a dozen acts, from music to dance and children’s theater, performed on four stages throughout the station.  
Highlights include:

  • Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, an all-female mariachi ensemble
  • Las Cafeteras, Afro-Mexican Son Jarocho, Hip Hop, Folk and Native American sounds
  • Big Jay McNeely & The Hollywood Combo, a Rhythm & Blues band
  • The Ladd McIntosh Big Band plays Swing, Two-Beat, Latin, Funk
  • Dr. Pinch and the Pinchtones perform WWII-era swing music
  • Cava, sounds of Afro-Cuban Son, Cumbia, Ska, Salsa and Funk
  • East Wind Lion Dance Troupe performing a traditional Chinese lion dance
  • Choo Choo Bob, railroad-themed music
  • Los Angeles Muses, a cappella harmonies from groups like the Andrews Sisters
  • Vocalist Jennifer Keith leads a quintet in jazz, American roots and pop music

Free Metrolink Rides and Neighborhood Discounts

Step outside the station for fun-filled activities in all directions.  See the full listing of rides and discounts online.


Mad Dash to Tour Colleges? Amtrak’s Secret Discount Program

Amtrak Campus Tour
Amtrak Offers Discount Train Tickets

My daughter is a junior in high school and we have been bombarded with colorful brochures.

How to choose?

The best advice we have been given is to scope out several campuses this spring — a state school, a small college, a large urban campus.

Amtrak offers a buy one – get one 50% off campus visit program to high school juniors and seniors and their parents.  Children over age 13 must buy “adult” tickets on Amtrak, so this deal amounts to 25 percent off of two fares.

This seems like a good deal…but you won’t find it on Amtrak’s deal page!  

The discount tickets must be purchased between December 17, 2013 – December 16, 2014, and are valid for travel  from January 1 – December 19, 2014.  There are a large number of blackout dates, though, include around spring break and other holidays.

There are some restrictions: 

  1. Tickets must be booked a minimum of 3 days in advance; no exceptions.
  2. Students must travel with an adult, parent or guardian.
  3. Reservations must be made online.
  4. Promotion is not valid for Acela Express, Auto Train, Canadian portions of joint AMTRAK/Via Rail service to Ontario and 7000-8999 Thruway bus series.
  5. Blackout dates:  February 14, 17; April 17, 18, 21; May 23; July 3, 6; August 29; September 1; October 10; November 25, 26, 29, 30; December 1, 2014.
  6. F0llow the instructions online and the discount will be automatically applied.

Double Points on Amtrak Travel

Continue reading —>