Best Days To Save On Amtrak Tickets

what is the cheapest day to travel amtrack

There are a few factors that determine the cheapest days to travel on Amtrak. Firstly, it is important to book in advance, as fares tend to increase as the travel date approaches. Amtrak releases tickets for sale about 10 months before the departure date, and booking within 6-8 months is usually recommended to secure lower prices. Additionally, certain days of the week, such as Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and weekends, often have lower fares due to less travel demand. However, there is no consistent pattern, and prices depend on various factors, including the number of bookings and the algorithm's predictions.

To find the cheapest days to travel, it is advisable to use tools like Amsnag, which allow for fare comparisons over an extended period. It is also worth checking for discounts and promotions offered by Amtrak, especially for specific regions and passenger categories like seniors, students, and military personnel. Overall, being flexible with travel dates and proactive in searching for deals can significantly impact the cost of Amtrak travel.

Characteristics Values
Cheapest day to travel No specific day
Factors affecting ticket price Day of the week, time of the day, demand, season, type of ticket, type of train, type of seat, number of passengers, time of booking
Booking in advance Tickets can be booked up to 11 months in advance
Peak travel periods Holidays, weekends, summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas
Discounts For senior citizens, U.S. military, AAA members, Veterans' Advantage members, ISIC members, Student Advantage members, National Association of Rail Passengers members, high school juniors and seniors travelling with an adult


No consistent patterns

There are no consistent patterns for the cheapest days to travel on Amtrak. The price of a ticket depends on which days have the cheap seats or rooms booked first. However, there are some general trends that can help you find cheaper fares. For example, trains running over a weekend might fill up faster, but the difference is marginal. On the other hand, trains fill up noticeably faster during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer.

Additionally, the day of the week can sometimes make a difference, with Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays being popular travel days. As a result, these days may have higher prices as they tend to sell out the cheaper fares faster. In contrast, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (unless it's a federal holiday), and weekends are typically less busy and may offer lower prices.

It's worth noting that the time of day can also impact pricing. Trains with business travellers tend to have higher prices for departures in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening, as these are popular commuting times.

Overall, if you want to find the cheapest fares, it's recommended to be flexible with your travel dates and book well in advance.


Book two one-way tickets

When it comes to booking Amtrak tickets, there are a few strategies you can employ to get the best fares. Firstly, it is recommended to make your reservations early as fares tend to be higher during holidays and peak travel periods. Fares can also vary based on the day of travel and the time of day. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance, which gives you a good opportunity to secure lower prices.

Now, let's discuss the strategy of booking two one-way tickets instead of a round trip. This approach can offer you more flexibility and potentially lower prices. By treating your outbound and inbound journeys as separate trips, you can take advantage of any price differences that may exist for each direction. This strategy is particularly useful if you have some flexibility with your travel dates.

For example, let's say you want to travel from City A to City B and then back to City A. Instead of booking a round trip, you book two separate one-way tickets. This way, you can choose the cheapest outbound journey on one ticket and the cheapest inbound journey on another. This strategy is especially beneficial if there is no significant difference in price between one-way and round-trip tickets.

Additionally, booking one-way tickets gives you more flexibility if you need to cancel or change one part of your trip without affecting the other. This can be advantageous if your plans are uncertain or subject to change.

To find the best fares for your one-way trips, it is recommended to use tools like the website, which was suggested by an Amtrak user. This website saves you time by checking fares for each day, so you don't have to manually compare prices for different dates.

Remember, when booking your one-way tickets, consider factors such as the day of travel, time of day, and how early you are making your reservation. By combining these strategies, you can optimise your travel costs and have a more enjoyable journey.


Fares are higher during holidays

When it comes to travelling on Amtrak, it's important to be mindful of the fact that fares tend to be higher during holidays and peak travel periods. This is a result of increased passenger counts during these times, as more people take advantage of the holidays to travel. In some cases, Amtrak may operate additional frequencies and capacity to accommodate the higher demand.

For example, during the Thanksgiving holiday, Amtrak experiences a significant surge in ridership, with many trains selling out or having limited availability. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest day, as people return home from their holiday travels. To manage this increased demand, Amtrak has implemented various strategies, such as leasing additional trainsets and adjusting schedules to get extra turns out of existing equipment.

Another factor that contributes to higher fares during holidays is the limited availability of certain equipment and the sidelining of other equipment for cost-cutting purposes. This can result in a capacity crunch, making it challenging to accommodate the increased number of passengers.

Additionally, there may be staff shortages during holidays, particularly if employees are unvaccinated and unable to work. This further adds to the challenges of managing higher passenger counts during these times.

Overall, it's important to be aware that fares on Amtrak are generally higher during holidays, and it may be more difficult to secure tickets for your desired travel dates. It is recommended to make reservations early and be flexible with your travel plans to get the best fares.


Fares vary by day and time

Fares on Amtrak vary by day and time. The price of a ticket depends on the day of the week and the time of day. For example, tickets for trains that tend to have greater ridership, such as those departing on Fridays and Sundays, will be more expensive as they sell out the cheapest fares faster. Similarly, trains that are popular for business travel, such as those arriving before 10 or 11 am and departing around 5 or 6 pm, will also have higher prices.

To get the best fares, it is recommended to book your trip in advance, as fares are generally higher during holidays and peak travel periods. Reservations can be made up to 11 months before your travel date.

It is also worth noting that there are different types of fares with different refund and cancellation policies. For instance, Flex fares are fully refundable and changeable without any fees, while Value fares are not changeable and incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the ticket value.

Additionally, there are various discounts available for certain groups, such as seniors, students, and military members. These discounts can be applied by clicking the right box on Amtrak's purchase page.

In summary, to find the cheapest day to travel on Amtrak, consider booking in advance, choosing off-peak days and times, and taking advantage of any applicable discounts.


Book 3-11 months in advance

Booking 3-11 Months in Advance

Booking your Amtrak tickets 3-11 months in advance is a great way to secure the best possible fare. While there's no guarantee that prices will be lower, this strategy can increase your chances of finding a good deal. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Amtrak releases tickets for sale about 10 months before the departure date. The earlier you book within this window, the higher your chances of snagging a low fare. Keep in mind that the lowest fares are often snapped up quickly, so don't wait too long to make your reservation.

Monitor Fares Regularly

Even if you've booked your tickets early, it's worth checking fares regularly, especially closer to your travel date. Amtrak yield managers may adjust their inventory and reallocate tickets to lower buckets between 4 and 7 months before departure. This means that even if you booked early, you might still be able to take advantage of a lower fare by changing your reservation.

Be Flexible with Travel Dates

When booking 3-11 months in advance, try to keep your travel plans flexible. Fares can vary significantly from one day to another, and you might find that shifting your travel dates by just a day or two can result in significant savings. This is especially true during peak travel periods, such as holidays and summer months.

Compare Different Trains and Routes

Not all trains and routes are created equal when it comes to pricing. For example, the California Zephyr is considered more scenic than the Empire Builder, and the Northeast Regional trains often have lower fares. Additionally, trains with higher business travel tend to have higher prices during peak business travel times. So, if you can, consider travelling during off-peak hours or on less popular trains to find better deals.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Promotions

Amtrak offers various discounts and promotions that can be combined with early booking. Keep an eye out for their Weekly Specials, which offer deeply discounted fares of up to 80% off on select trains. Additionally, if you're a senior citizen, a member of the military, or a part of certain membership programs, you may be eligible for additional discounts.

Consider Sleeper Accommodations

If you're booking a long-distance trip, consider the benefits of sleeper accommodations. While they come at an additional cost, sleeper cars offer more privacy, comfort, and amenities. Booking a sleeper car early can sometimes result in significant savings, especially if you're flexible with your room type and travel dates.

Remember, booking 3-11 months in advance gives you a head start on securing the best possible fare. However, it requires a time investment and flexibility to monitor fares and adjust your travel plans if needed. With a bit of strategy and luck, you can make significant savings on your Amtrak journey.

Frequently asked questions

There is no single cheapest day to travel on Amtrak. The price of tickets depends on the number of bookings and the day of the week. Tickets are usually more expensive during holidays and peak travel periods, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer.

You can use a website like to compare fares for different days and find the cheapest option for your journey.

Yes, you can save money by booking your trip in advance, as fares tend to increase as the train fills up. You can also look for discounts and promotions, such as those offered for seniors, students, and military personnel.

Generally, mid-week and weekend travel tends to be cheaper, as these are off-peak days. Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays are often more expensive, as they are popular travel days.

Yes, you can try to be flexible with your travel dates and compare prices for different days. You can also consider booking a seat instead of a sleeper car, which can be significantly cheaper.

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