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Amtrak - book in advance?

Norwich, United...
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Amtrak - book in advance?

I am visiting New York in late April, before travelling onward to Philadelphia and Washington DC.

I'm planning to travel between each city by train. Do I need to book in advance or am I safe to just get tickets on the day? Is there likely to be any cost difference?

I'll be travelling New York to Philadelphia on a Saturday and Philadelphia to Washington on a Wednesday.

NYC/Israel
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1. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

Book as soon as you know when you are going to be traveling. There is not just a price difference but there is usually a HUGE price difference.

For example, if I go now to buy a ticket for today to Washington DC it cost between $158 and $199. ( depending upon time of departure) The exact same ticket for April 19 is between $49 and $149. (again, depending upon the time of departure)

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

In my experience the earlier you book, the cheaper your tickets will be.

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

Amtrak has different fare levels. For each train, fares start at the lowest level and rise as more tickets for that train are sold. In addition, each fare level is discounted if you buy your tickets at least two weeks in advance.

With that fare structure, it's best to buy as early as you can.

Norwich, United...
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4. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

Thanks, I'll go ahead and book today then.

It was just that I'm not 100% sure what time I'll be ready to depart from New York.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

Yes, do book early. From Washington DC to NYC it was $147 for 4 travelers when I booked. Now the same trip is $435.00.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

After you buy your tickets, you can change them for a different train if your plans change. There is no penalty for changing the tickets, but you will have to pay the fare difference if there is one at the time of the switch.

DC
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7. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

You should be pretty close to 100% sure about which specific train (departure time) you want because that is the ONLY train your ticket is good for. You can change for no fee, but you'll have to pay the fare at the time that you make the change, which is the fare you're trying to avoid by booking early.

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

Sit down and plan a time and then just be ready! You will make your flight--because you have no choice and you will make your train--for the same reason! BTW do NOT spend extra money for Acela--it isn't worth it for the less than an hour you save.

9. Re: Amtrak - book in advance?

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