If you plan to stay in hotels during your trip, rent a car, travel by airplane for part of your trip or take tours in your destination cities, then you should also get a quote from Amtrak Vacations at 1-800-321-8684. The railfare from Amtrak Vacations will just about always be the same or lower than what you are quoted from Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL. However, Amtrak Vacations can often get you a lower overall price by combining your railfare with hotels, car rentals, tour packages, or even airfare in the Air-Rail Vacations Packages.
If your travel plans include more than just a ride on the train, then you should talk to a company with an expertise in all aspects of your travel plans. 1-800-USA-RAIL can give you information about buying a train ticket, but they are neither equipped nor trained to help you with your hotel, air-segments, car rental, or other touring plans. Amtrak Vacations at 1-800-321-8684 does have the training and the ability to book all aspects of your vacation, including providing you with your Amtrak rail tickets and accommodations!
The railfare quoted by Amtrak Vacations at 1-800-321-8684 will be the same or lower than what you are quoted from Amtrak Reservations at 1-800-USA-RAIL. Also, by using Amtrak Vacations, you will usually obtain a lower overall price for your entire vacation than if you tried to book each aspect of your travel (hotels, car rentals, tour packages, air-fare, etc.) yourself. The combined prices in the Amtrak Vacations Air-Rail Vacations Packages are hard to beat!.
Amtrak Vacations has a more liberal payment policy than 1-800-USA-RAIL and can also offer you the Trip Protection Option that provides more flexible rules for cancelling or changing your reservations without penalties.
To take advantage of the offerings of Amtrak Vacations, you can either call 1-800-321-8684, or you can contact a travel agent and mention that you are interested in a package from Amtrak Vacations. I'd recommend that you call a travel agency that is very experienced with rail travel and has a working relationship with Amtrak Vacations. Click Here for a list of such travel agencies recommended by TrainWeb.