Read This If You Need To Get Away But Have No $$$

If you want to get away from it all in 2017 (fair), but aren't ready to shell out on air travel — not to mention deal with being stuffed in like a sardine, or have to listen to unruly crazies — consider taking a cross-country train. It's old-fashioned, it takes a long time, and the food in the dining car is subpar, but it's the best way to see a lot of the most beautiful scenery in the United States for super-cheap.

How cheap? Travel blogger and expert Derek Low calculated that this train route — from San Francisco to New York — could only cost $213 if you do it without stopovers. It would take four days and you'd ride the California Zephyr and the Lake Shore Limited routes. If you have time to spare, a scenic ride through the Rockies and Sierra Nevadas sure beats being stuck in a tin can in the sky.

The route also has an extended-trip offer, which is $429 for a 15-day rail pass, which would give you more time to see the cities along the way, such as Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago. If you're mostly coastal — or hardly leave your small town — this could be your ticket to the America you haven't seen.

Don't miss the Instagram hashtag #californiazephyr for travel photos and videos that will make you want to hop aboard. Some of our favorites, below.

Going on a little trip #winterbreak #farmertimeoff #amtrak #crosscountry #californiazephyr

A photo posted by quarter acre farm (@quarterafarm) on

Brought a little piece of Puebla on this trip with us. #californiazephyr 🚞

A photo posted by Christina Lee (@nowowl) on

Colorado River during the golden hour #californiazephyr 🚞

A video posted by Christina Lee (@nowowl) on


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