If you’re not quite ready to get on a plane, perhaps you’re up for an adventure by train.
Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass, which allows 10 ride segments in 30 days, is on sale through June 22 for $299. That’s $200 off the regular price of $499 and just a smidge under $30 per ride.
Where does Amtrak go? Pretty much everywhere. The rail service says it serves more than 500 destinations.
Sound tempting? Here’s a bit of how it works.
Purchase a pass by June 22 and start your travel adventure within 120 days. The pass allows you to ride 10 Coach class segments within a 30 day period, starting with the first trip you take. Upgrades to Business Class and private rooms are not permitted.
Passholders book their own itineraries and receive an electronic ticket for each segment to show to the conductor. Modifications to your itinerary are permitted as long as they are made before the scheduled departure of a segment.
What’s a segment? If you board and disembark a scheduled train, Amtrak counts that as a segment. Need to make a connection? That’s another segment.
Some other USA Rail Pass rules to keep in mind
The USA Rail Pass isn’t good on those speedy northeast Acela trains, nor on the popular Auto Train that transports people and their cars 900 miles from Washington D.C. to just outside of Orlando, FL. You can use it on the Maple Leaf Route, but not for the Canadian stations.
The pass is good for Saver and Value Fares, not for Flexible Fare tickets. And you can only take two roundtrips (four one-way segments) between the same two stations.
If you’ve got time and the desire to see a lot of the country this summer, then $299 for 10 rides can get you pretty darn far.
Skip the things. Grab travel deals on Black Friday/ Cyber Monday instead.
Here are some travel-related deals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesday to get you started on deal-shopping this season.
More deals to come!
Deals on getting from here to there
Look for Amtrak’s “Track Friday Sale,” to go live at
November 29. Last year’s deal offered 30% off nationwide train travel well into
the new year.
Many airlines will be offering discounts and flash deals.
To catch them, make sure to follow a few favorite airlines on Twitter and other social media sites and join their frequent flyer programs so you get email announcements sent to insiders.
Until December 2, Air France is offering current and new Flying Blue loyalty program members triple miles on most US to Paris flights purchased for travel December 7 to March 31, 2020.
Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus will offer $100 off on round trip economy fares and $200 off on round trip business class flights from the US and Canada to Europe booked between Tuesday 11/26 and Tuesday 12/3 for travel between January 1 and March 8, 2020.
Turkish Airlines is having a Black Friday “Friday Flyday” sale with discounts to various cities around the world.
Hopper, many other airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand,
Singapore Airlines and TAP Portugal will likely launch sale offers on Cyber
Monday or Travel Tuesday.
From 5 a.m. November 29 through midnight on Monday
December 2, travelers flying out of Toronto or Vancouver, B.C. can get 25% off
a 2 or 3-hour lounge stay and 35% off 2 and 3-hour lounge stays in their
airport lounges in Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Place to stay
It seems that just about every hotel and resort is courting
travelers with a Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesdays deals this year.
Savvy shoppers will be able to snag great lodging deals but pay
attention to the fine print on the offers. Some deals are non-refundable, have blackout
dates and narrow stay windows or other restrictions.
As with airlines, you can often get the best deals if you are a member of a property or chain’s free-to-join frequent-stay program. And, keep in mind that discounts often don’t apply to local and state taxes and resort and amenities fees, which can be quite steep at some properties.
For its ‘Black Friday Meets The Mile
High’ deal at The Curtis in
Denver, the hotel is linking its holiday booking deal to Denver’s elevation of
5280 feet. The hotel is offering discounted rates of $52.80/night for dates in
December and January booked from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (11/29 –
Virgin Hotels in Chicago, San
Francisco and Dallas are celebrating Cyber Month. Discounts of up to 30% off
best rates will be available December 2, 2019 through January 2, 2020 for stays
between December 2, 2019 and June 1, 2020. As a bonus, each hotel will choose a
winner each day to be upgraded to a penthouse suite.
MGM Resorts properties in
Las Vegas, including Bellagio, Aria and MGM Grand, have lined up Cyber Week
deals up to 35% off regular rates, plus 5% more for M Life Rewards members,
from November 25 through December 4, 2019. Look for many more offers Sin City
offers on visitlasvegas.com.
Pacifica Hotels, which owns boutique properties on the
Pacific Coast, will offer 40% off room rates during its Cyber Monday Sale. The
hotel’s Passport Program participants get early access to the sale on Friday,
November 29th. Sale covers stays from December 2, 2019 through March
If you book on the HotelTonight mobile app, use the code HTDEAL25 between Monday December 2 and Tuesday December 3 (Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesday) to get 25% off one hotel stay.
And double-up on discounts at Hotwire’s mobile app with promo codes
that can be used on top of discounted hotel bookings made between November 27
and November 29. Use code HWBF for $10 off $100 hotel bookings; HWBF40 for $40
off $300 hotel bookings and HWBF70 for $70 off $500 hotel bookings. On Cyber
Monday (Dec 2), use promo code HWHOTDEALS for an extra 11% off $100 Hotwire Hot
Packages and tours
Cruise lines and tour companies will be also be floating
special offers during this holiday shopping weekend.
Travelers looking to experience bucket list cruises destinations such as Antarctica, Alaska and Norway can take advantage of Hurtigruten’s deals of up to 50% off select 2020 and 2021 itineraries. Sale dates are November 27 through December 4, 2019, and include expedition voyages aboard the line’s MS Roald Amundsen, the first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship in the world.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Holiday Sale offers discounts of $1,000 to $3,900 on a wide variety of adventures to destinations such as Vietnam, India, Peru and Kenya. Their sale runs from 8 a.m. C.S.T. December 2 through 4 p.m. December 6, 2019.
Deals on attractions
While you’re grabbing airfare and lodging deals, be on the
lookout for discounts on attractions and amusement parks in cities you plan to
Now through December 8, 2019, use promo code “GIFT” to get an
additional 10% off the deals and discounts to more than 50 theme parks,
attractions, activities and dinner shows at Visit Orlando.
From Saturday, November 30 through Monday, December 2, use promo
code CYBERMONDAY to save up to 15% on Go City passes, which offer
discounted admission packages at popular attractions in more than 20 cities.
And in advance of the July 4, 2020 opening of LEGOLAND New York Resort, the price of the park’s highest tier annual pass, the Gold Pass, will be on sale for $99.99 instead of $209.99 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
The pass can’t be activated until the LEGOLAND New York park opens but waiting will be worth it. The pass not only offers year-long admission to this new LEGOLAND resort, but admission to more than 30 other Merlin Entertainment attractions around the country, including LEGOLAND resorts in California and Florida, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Aquariums.
(My story about Travel Deals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Travel Tuesday first appeared on CNBC in a slightly different form).