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This Cross-Country Train Trip Costs Less than $1,000 and Takes Just One Week to Complete

If traveling around the United States has been on your bucket list, we've found the fastest ground travel option that will let you see it all. No need to pack up your car for a long road trip or book bus tickets on the Greyhound or Megabus. For less than $1,000 you can travel via Amtrak in a giant circle around North America all in one week. 

Here is the cheat sheet the transportation booking site Wanderu.com has put together as a guide to purchasing your train tickets. These are just average costs so they could be slightly different depending on when you're looking to travel. This train travel itinerary will let you cover a lot of ground in just 7 days. This travel option really is the simplest way to see multiple areas around the country.

The trip kicks off in Boston so if you're in the area, this pricing model does not include the costs to get there. 

Master Ticket Plan

Boston, MA to Washington, DC -- $103.79

Washington, DC to New Orleans, LA -- $157.21 

New Orleans, LA to Los Angeles, CA -- $150.08 

Los Angeles, CA to Seattle, WA -- $137.00 

Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL -- $257.18 

Chicago, IL to Cleveland, OH -- $52.43 

Cleveland, OH to Albany, NY -- $67.67 

Albany, NY to Boston, MA -- $27.68

TOTAL TRAVEL COST:$953.04

 

1. Boston, MA to Washington, DC

Your trip will start in Massachusetts and will take you through 7 different states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. There is an option to break up the trip to stop in NYC on the way to DC since the train trip is 8 hours long, but the one-way trip is more efficient.

You'll get a quick tour of the East Coast and the chance to visit our nation's capital. On this quick trip, you can definitely sneak in some visits to the many museums as well as the historic monuments. 

2. Washington, DC to New Orleans, LA

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This next trip is a long one...the direct route is over 24 hours long. You'll travel through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississipp and Louisiana. If you want to split the trip in two, you can make a pit stop in Atlanta, Georgia before you keep moving to NOLA.

Take a trip around the historic French Quarter, eat some creole, and stop by the World War II museum before hopping back on the train for your next trip.

3. New Orleans, LA to Los Angeles, CA

This leg of the trip is the longest, stretching out of 1,600 miles. So yes, it's going to take hours and hours. You'll travel through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California so if you want to break up the trip, you can stop in El Paso or San Antonio. We suggest the latter so you can make a visit to the iconic River Walk and eat some Tex Mex

Once in L.A., there's plenty to visit including multiple beaches, Hollywood Blvd., Disney Land (if you have an extra day since it's out of the way) and more.

4. Los Angeles, CA to Seattle, WA

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Your tour of the West Coast starts with travel through California, Oregon, and Washington. With a 29 hour trip on the train, you'll be ready for some serious coffee and seafood by the time you get to Seattle. Or you can break up the trip and stop in Sacramento and Portland.

5. Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL

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The next two days of the trip will take you through Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and ending in Illinois. You can break it up with stops in Shelby and Fargo.

Once in Chicago enjoy the beautiful downtown along the river and eat all the pizza and Italian food you can find. 

6. Chicago, IL to Cleveland, OH

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This quick 6-hour trip will take you from Illinois to Indiana to Ohio. You'll journey over Lake Erie and will get to see the Great Lakes despite no travel time in Michigan.

7. Cleveland, OH to Albany, NY

This 8-hour trip will take you through Pennsylvania on the way to New York. You can even stop in Niagra Falls (highly suggested). 

Make sure you visit the New York State Capital building once you reach Albany.

8. Albany, NY to Boston, MA

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The last four hours of your countrywide tour will take you through the northeast back to where you started in Boston. Finish up your trip by visiting the historic Harvard campus as well as the Freedom Trail to take in some of the historic sites.

Round trip you'll have traveled over 6,500 miles and seen 27 different states. Talk about a seriously efficient travel deal.

Now Watch: Take a Scenic Train Ride Across the U.S. for $213

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This Cross-Country Train Trip Costs Less than $1,000 and Takes Just One Week to Complete