Amtrak stations are located throughout the country and provide a lower-cost alternative to flying in many cases. Amtrak operates trains on over 20,000 miles of railroad tracks. What is interesting is that, despite having one of the most developed rail systems in the world, the U.S. lags behind most of the developed world in utilizing it toward the realization of greater efficiency and environmental stewardship. Just as it is the case with airlines, Amtrak offers changing fares on a weekly basis. The longstanding travel provider offers service to over 500 destinations throughout the United States. Even though there are so many stations, the company makes it easy to get specifics about particular locations by offering granular information through their “Stations” pages. The Amtrak website offers discounted fares on one-way travel when you book on their site between Tuesday and Friday. These fares only apply to coach seating and are not valid for upgrades. Amtrak is wholly owned by the government, and interestingly, its board is appointed by the President of the United States. The first phase of the planning process involves identifying which station and route are applicable. It is advisable that you then see if there are any deals offered at the time. Amtrak always offers a series of deals and discounts, including the aforementioned weekly specials, as well as multi-ride tickets, regional tour packages, and Amtrak vacations. The latter is a discounted package that works well for people who have a variety of destinations on their itinerary. Amtrak even offers services to assist in arranging everything from hotel accommodations and car rentals to sightseeing excursions and destination information. If the vacation you are planning revolves around visiting a number of places, this can be a cost-effective way of going about things.