Note: This post was updated on January 29, 2015 to reflect current Amtrak deals.
There are lots of reasons to take the train: amazing views, no security lines, no need for GPS, and you can even stretch your legs or get a snack. But a big pitfall is that tickets can be pricey. That's why we're happy to see these Amtrak deals, which are available right now:It's never too early to introduce kiddos to the thrill of train travel. With Amtrak, up to two children ages 2-12 are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the lowest available adult rail fare on most trains with each paying adult. Little ones under the age of 2 get to ride for free (one per each paying adult).
Now through January 31, Amtrak Vacations is running a $300 per couple discount ($150 off each person) off several dozen of its Independent Rail Journeys for departure dates between now and March 31, 2016.
The nine-day Jazz, Blues, and Rock 'N Roll goes from Chicago through Memphis to New Orleans, and includes all accommodation and three meals. After two days of exploring Chicago, head down south with a part-audio and part-self-guided tour of Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, a city tour in NOLA, and a paddlewheel boat cruise in the city the next day. From $1,449 per person.
Or, if you fancy an outdoor adventure in the great Southwest, the 10-day Grand Canyon Discovery Tour includes two nights in Chicago before stays in Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, and Flagstaff (as well as one night on the train on the way to Santa Fe). Besides the three meals, you'll be treated to a walking tour in Santa Fe, a rim tour at the Grand Canyon, and a guided jeep tour of Sedona, with plenty of time to explore on your own in between. From $1,799 per person.
To snag one of the Amtrak Vacations deals, book by phone at 1-800-268-7252.