Very close call between train and plane, with I’d say a slight edge on the train. I fly more often than I take Amtrak, but I don’t get to do either anywhere near as often as I’d like. I’m doing really well if I fly once per year.
I’m odd to a lot of folks because I seem to be the only person I know who genuinely enjoys every aspect of the flying experience, including connecting flights! The opportunity to see new airports I’ve never been to is fun. I’ll never tire of hearing the engines light up, and the feeling of takeoff, and the views over the wing.
Train travel is amazing for similar reasons…just the onboard experience is really cool. Seeing everything out the window is really neat, even through the country or at night. Eating in the café car and spending time in the lounge is wonderful, and I sleep like a baby in the sleeper bunk.
@catthegreat The USA. Sometimes we travel coach, but for overnight journeys even a roomette, while tiny, enhances the experience significantly. Meals are included, a conscientious steward cares for your cabin… https://www.amtrak.com/roomettes
It makes all the difference. Arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go, as opposed to being worn out from a long drive.
I had an early love affair with plane travel, when at the tender age of 7, I took my first flight from Burbank, CA to Portland, OR to visit my grandparents. Not only was I an unaccompanied minor at a time when that wasn’t all that big of a deal – Around the same time as the D.B. Cooper incident. I also was upgraded to first class as the flight was overbooked.
However, my father worked for a railroad logistics company and he had as lifelong love of trains which he passed on to me and my siblings. Everything from visiting Travel Town regularly in L.A. to joyriding on BART in the Bay Area shortly after it opened for revenue service to taking a train across the Sonoran desert to Puerto Penasco, Mexico long before it became a tourist destination.
To this day, if I’m visiting a city with a robust public transit network like New York, Chicago, or Vancouver B.C., I absolutely will ride the rails (and the bus when absolutely necessary) and not even give a thought to renting a car or getting an Uber.
That said, like others have pointed out, post 9/11 air travel stinks. I generally take about 2-3 round-trips a year now and have TSA PreCheck to make it slightly more bearable. I still love take-offs and most landings, but I’ve not been able to repeat my first experience of getting upgraded to the front of the plane and seats have become smaller, less comfortable, and most airlines are nickel and diming us to death. Add in the more frequent overnight layovers somewhere when delays cause a missed connecting flight, it just isn’t all that much fun any more.
Likewise, outside of the Northeast corridor, traveling over 150 miles or so by train in the US simply isn’t practical. Having to share the rights-of-way with freight trains, and seemingly more frequent delays due to weather, accidents, or what-have-you means you don’t have much certainty of arriving on time, and even if you do, it’s still a time consuming and costly way to travel – particularly if you’d like the luxury of having a bed and a shower on a multi-day trip.
I would like to get a Eurail pass some day and travel from Portugal to Italy to Scandinavia and elsewhere on high speed rail, as well as on bullet and maglev trains in east Asian countries.
@ciabelle It’s been bit since I’ve been, but I still hear that Eurail highly recommended, gets you anywhere anytime and a great group of fellow travelers - business-types, day-trippers, music groupies, religious pilgrims, insurrectionists, tourists from anywhere headed everywhere, entire train cars full of football fans traveling to a match, refugees, theatrical groups, etc. And free snacks on most runs.
I have recently been toying with getting one of the eahora e-scooter/motorcycles.
Can’t quite pull the trigger yet. I am holding out for a unit with ~100 mile range and top speed of >55. I live in a small town and if I go anywhere outside the city limits I will be a traffic hazard at 45mph. Also kind of want it to be < $4-5 K…
Sure is tempting as a commuter for 5 miles back and forth to the hospital, gym, grocery store, W-mart etc. though.