All the news stories are telling me how expensive air travel is going to be this summer. So, since I have already bought my cruise tickets, I decided to look into alternative transportation.
But let's make one thing clear right off the bat – I'm NOT driving to Portland… my family and I are not good car-trip people. A trip that takes 7hrs according to MapQuest takes 12 for my family because of restroom breaks and meal breaks… and my family can only be in the car about 6hrs a day so that makes this a two day trip, which adds a hotel into the mix. We are also not Motel6 people so that hotel adds at least $100, maybe more.
Another thing – we are packing too much stuff to go on the bus. Buses do not have baggage handlers, and we are not physically capable of handling our own luggage. You may think to yourself, "If you can't handle your own luggage, maybe you need to reconsider how you pack." And that maybe true, but since I'm not really pinching pennies to go on this trip, just trying to be sensible, I will pay for the privilege of having heavy bags that I need someone else to wrangle for me.
I decided to price Amtrak – and they wonder why they are having a hard time getting people to use them….
First, Amtrak does not come through Boise. They have bus service to Spokane, but I'll get to that later. My first try was to see what starting in Elko would do for me, it's about a 4hr drive to Elko, we might be able to live through that…
Amtrak – Elko, NV to Portland, OR – $423.00 – 36hr 40min??travel time (not including driving to Elko to catch said train at 3am Saturday morning).
That's a lot of money for a 36hr 40min trip.??As you see below, the plane doesn't cost that much more…
Alaska Airlines – Boise to Portland on Friday night – $473.10 – 1hr 22min travel time.
If you figure it out, I am only paying $0.04 an hour for each hour earlier that I get to Portland.??Worth the??$50, in my opinion.??If I wait until Saturday morning to fly out of Boise, my price drops considerably, and becomes much less than taking the train.
Alaska Airlines – Boise to Portland on Saturday??morning – ??$254.10 1hr 23min travel time.
So then I checked on the bus service for Amtrak from Boise to Spokane. Not good… long bus trip (which I think uses Greyhound, so I'm not sure on the baggage handler situation) and it costs more than flying…
Amtrak – Boise, ID to Portland, OR – $280.00 – 27hr travel time????
Right now, it's looking like flying is the way to go, and I haven't even priced Southwest, yet… I think I might buy those Alaska Airlines Saturday morning tickets since it looks like a sale price… I'd better get on that. 🙂
But on a side note about Amtrak – I am going to use Amtrak to get from Portland to Seattle… more for the sight seeing value – I never even priced the plane for that because the train ride is part of the vacation, at that point…