Ok, so here’s the post where I get on my high horse, and explain how I beat the system and everything, right? I mean, isn’t that what bloggers do? Especially in travel hacking?
Well, I’m not going to do that. And it’s not because I’m modest, or a great guy – though I also like to think I’m those things. It’s because I can’t.
I won’t be getting status on Amtrak, because my plan won’t work.
So, Wednesday I completed my first rail run. It was a pretty pleasant trip!
Don’t worry, I did not physically run on the rails. That’s dangerous – please don’t do that. Check out my rail running intro post for a detailed explanation.
Here’s the scoop.
So. Here’s my new experiment.
Somewhere between reminders to “Be careful!” and short interrogation sessions – “Why would you even want to go there, what is there to do?” – we planned our visit to Baltimore over President’s Day Weekend.
We walked around 30 miles this weekend, no joke!
We weren’t scared off. We didn’t feel scared at all, even walking through some of the trickier neighborhoods. I believe a little common sense goes a long way when travelling, and, let’s be honest, every city has its rough neighborhoods.
Despite all the warnings, we used the weekend to its fullest. Eating some great food, learning quite a bit of history, and enjoying one of the best weekend’s worth of weather I’ve ever seen during February! I mean, seriously, people acted like we were getting deployed into a war zone. I know Baltimore has had its fair share of troubles (recently and in the past) but we really enjoyed the city. It’s got character. It’s got a beautiful harbour. It’s got plenty of history and some great food. Each neighborhood has a different feel. I love cities like that. I want to walk from one end to the other, and see different people, different buildings, new food. That’s what make cites so great, you can find a little bit of everything.
I mentioned briefly a few weeks ago that I’d be taking an overnight train with the family down to Baltimore, and we made it! Honestly, I was a little apprehensive at first. I really hit the rails running, making my first Amtrak journey a nine hour overnight ride. I’m sure many of you are much more familiar with trains than I am. So as a first time rider, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the overnight train experience.
So, the latest weapons in my arsenal are two new cards from Bank of America. One personal, one business. On the personal application, I opted for the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard.
I actually plan on keeping the Amtrak card long-term. Some of the benefits we’ll discuss below will be great for my long term.
Depending on your local rail scene, this card may not provide much value for you. Since I live and travel in the Northeast corridor, I’m looking forward to adding more train trips to my itineraries! There’s something nostalgic about trains to me, and I just took my first trip by train last month! It wasn’t long, but Amtrak offered an easy way to get from Baltimore Washington Airport into Washington DC’s Union Station.