It won't save you time, but traveling by train is a great alternative to air traveler for many people. Free wifi, leg room, great views (especially on certain fall routes), and the ability to get up to walk around are serious perks that can make for a unique and wonderful vacation.
If that sounds like a good time, then Amtrak's flash sale might be what you're looking for. The company is currently running a four-day flash sale that shaves40% off ticket prices. Book by July 12 for travel between August 1 and January 31, 2020 to find one-way tickets as low as $17. Destinations available in the sale include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, among other cities.
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The discounted fares are for coach seats only, and you won't be able to upgrade to business class. There are certainly some blackout dates to contend with, but with such a wide swath of dates available, there are plenty of options. Unfortunately, you won't find the discount available on Northeast Corridor treks between New York and Washington, DC.
In addition to what can be seen in the sample fares above, you can get from St. Louis to Chicago for $19, Los Angeles to Sacramento for $44, or New York to Boston for $55. Plus, if you need to a little time to get caught up on your favorite shows, it's a great time to stream the new season of Stranger Things.