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Travel East To West & Back On A Cross Country Train

Traveling in America can be expensive so what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs $213. Not on a plane but on a train!

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     Wanderlust takes us far away to foreign lands and different cultures but many haven’t even seen their home country. America is a huge parcel of land that it’s shocking how common it is for us to have never explored our own preverbal backyards.

We recommend getting out there to see what makes America so grand. Its people, land, and its majesty. Traveling across America can be expensive. Therefore, what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs just north of $200? Not on a plane but on a train! See our land and all it has to offer for only $200+!

Travel blogger Derek Low figured out the route and shared it with the world. He mapped out a path from San Francisco to New Your City on two trains.

His route takes you through 11 states, across 3,397 miles and so many unforgettable sights. Amtrak has some great deals so if this isn’t your desired destination, you should plan your own train adventure and see this beautiful country for yourself.

 

Details

     It’s a simple two-train path that can easily be recreated for a return trip. Amtrak offers these incredible 15-day rail passes that allow the rider to essentially take up to 8 separate rides.  The 15-day deal is more expensive ($429) than the straight route but it allows you more exploration time and freedom.

If you purchase Amtrak’s 15-day deal you can stop at cities along the route and explore at your own pace, as long as you finish the trip in 15 days. What a great way to see new cities without breaking the bank.

     Blogger Derek Low stopped at Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago on his way to New York. Can you imagine how expensive it would be if you tried to fly to all these different cities? Plus all the added stress that flying brings, geez, why does anyone fly. Oh, yea because it’s so fast.

If time isn’t an issue, traveling by trains are much less stressful and visually more appealing. Airports can be a real sore and most major city train stations are relics of our architectural past. Train stations hark back to a time when train travel was exciting and people treated it as such an inspiring event. Let’s make that magical feeling happen again and see just how special our country is. 

The Route

     From San Francisco, buy a ticket on the California Zephyr Line for as cheap as $130. This line takes you all the way to Chicago, through Salt Lake City, Denver, and Omaha. At times, this train travels alongside the historic route 66, the famed road from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The next route takes you from Chicago to New York City along the Lake Shore Limited for as cheap as $83. That’s a grand total of $213 for a cross-country trip, pretty sweet indeed.

For more adventures the train runs all the way to Boston, so your options are pretty limitless.

 

 


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Destinations

Visiting The Very Best American Factory Tours

Factories are the backbone of America. More than likely, this beautiful country wouldn’t exist without them… And some of those factories have amazing tours!

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     There are thousands of American brands that we all know and love. You own and use all their great products but you rarely think about how or where they’re assembled. Visiting factories is a literal ton of fun and an activity many tourists never consider. Visiting a factory is a fantastic way to spend the day, enjoying some of your favorite items being crafted.

America was built through incredible factories which built amazing products. However, most people don’t realize that these factories are home to tantalizing tours as well. Here are some of our favorites:

GIBSON GUITARS

Memphis Tennessee has a rich musical history that has tourists flocking to the town to experience where some of their favorite musicians spent a lot of their time.  This is where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and many other music legends spent a lot of their time cranking out hit after hit. A lot of these amazing artists need guitars to make their music and when they reach for a guitar, odds are they reach for a Gibson.

The Gibson factory is where they craft these awesome guitars and you can take an awesome one hour tour of the place for only ten dollars. You will see guitar technicians put these guitars together from scratch and the end results are sure to blow your mind. If you like guitars then this is definitely the tour for you.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Cruising on your hog is a pleasurable experience that many people love to partake in when flying down the open road. If you love bikes then a tour of one of or all of the Harley Davidson factories is a must. You can find factories in York, Pennsylvania, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and Kansas City, Missouri.

See these bikes built from handlebars to seat and marvel at the beauty of the classic Harley Davidson motorcycle. Each factory focuses on a different model so if you’re looking for a specific Harley in your tour do your research first and make sure you’re hitting the right factory. 

CRAYOLA CRAYONS

If you got some kids on a trip then definitely hit the Crayola Crayons factory. See how they create colors like mac n cheese, Caribbean green, and celestial blue. This tour is great for adults and insanely fun for kids as well. There are 26 different attractions for kids to experience such as Melt & Mound, Drip Art, and Doodle in the Dark. With names like that do you expect anything but a colorfully good time? I don’t think so.

KOHLER

Sometimes you want to see something you use every day be made. If you have a lot of experience with something then it’s good to know how that thing is made so you have a better understanding of how it works and where it comes from. We all have a lot of experience with toilets, that is unless you live out in the woods somewhere.

So come see how toilets are built at the Kohler factory tour in Kohler, Wisconsin. They don’t only make toilets there, they make kitchen and tile products as well. The tours are completely free and you’ll have no problem taking a few bathroom breaks.


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Destinations

Spots That Should Be On Your Bucket Lists

No need stress about picking a destination; we have created the ultimate travel bucket list for everyone.

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Life is too short and most of us don’t get to see even half the places on our bucket list, so let’s change that. Why work so hard if you don’t get to play every once in a while? The time for travel is now and we can help with the toughest decisions. No need stress about picking a destination; we have created the ultimate travel bucket list for everyone. Time to book your travel plans and get out and see the world, before it’s too late.

 

Tokyo Technology

Head to Tokyo to see a modern city sitting on the edge of technology and marvel at the futuristic advances. The city of Tokyo is so forward-thinking and modern that most visitors are amazed in awe of how well it all works together. Check out the city of the future, today in Tokyo, Japan.

Mardi Gras Bourbon Street

Experience the insanity that is Mardi Gras in the French Quarter or New Orleans so you can check that off your bucket list. Catch some beads while imbibing in alcohol on the famous Bourbon Street as revelers dance and frolic all around you.

Aussie Good Time

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and lush ecosystems on the planet and quite possibly the best place to scuba dive. Because of rising seawater temperatures, the reef is quickly dying so you might want to hurry up and book this trip soon 

 

Machu Picchu

This Incan ruin sitting atop a mountain range in Peru is one of the most spectacular ancient cities anywhere and a trip will seriously change your life. After a grueling hike, visitors are welcomed to an incredible site.

Old Town Havana

The embargo and ban on travel to Cuba have recently been lifted so this hidden gem is now open to the world. This land caught in time is a great place to visit and it’s vintage cars and buildings will tug at your heartstrings. Smoke an authentic Cuban cigar and drive a vintage car here.

African Photo Safari

Is any bucket list complete without a real African Safari? Imagine photographing zebras, lions, and elephants in their natural habitats while in the safety of a 4×4 vehicle. Easily one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, so book your safari soon.

Morocco

Morocco is one of the best places to get lost and you will not want to be found. Explore one of the city’s many Souks, or open-air markets and get some souvenirs.

Hawaii

Hawaii is paradise lost and easily one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Everyone should hike an active volcano and Hawaii has a few of them. Experience Earth’s power and beauty as you hike up Kilauea volcano. Afterward, relax on some of the World’s greatest beaches.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast in Italy is one of the world’s most gorgeous coastlines and a popular destination for the rich and famous. Live like a celebrity and cruise down the coast from Sorrento to Salerno and see what all the hype is truly about.

Eiffel tower

Paris is the international lover’s city and is full of rich history and culture. No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The views are remarkable and the memories will last a lifetime.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China was built hundreds of years ago to keep out roving hordes of Mongols, but this massive wall is now a top shelf vacation attraction. Walk a nice stretch of this incredible architectural feat and see for yourself just how awesome it is.

Overwater Bungalow

Possibly the most common vacation dream, staying in an overwater bungalow, is more easily accessible now than ever before. Head to Bora Bora in French Polynesia to experience overwater bungalows at affordable prices and live like a celebrity.

Galapagos

See what Charles Darwin saw in the Galapagos Islands that made him come up with the Theory of Evolution. These remote islands off the coast of Ecuador are home to some of nature’s greatest variety of animals and marine life. The eco tours here are incredible and life-changing. 

Greek Gods

Come to Greece to experience where democracy was created and see some of the oldest structures still standing. The Acropolis, Parthenon and original Olympic Stadium are just some of the awesome sites Athens has in store for you. The Greek gods will shine down a great vacation for you. 

Pyramids in Egypt

Is there any destination more iconic than the Pyramids in Egypt? These massive mausoleums of Egyptian rulers have stood the test of time and are one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

Northern Lights

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, in person, you are missing out. You have to head to Iceland for the best opportunity to see the Northern Lights in all their glory. The Frost and Fire hotel is located in the Arctic Circle and near the North Pole, so your views of the lights are second to none.


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Destinations

New Hawaiian Law Forces Oahu Rental Vacationers Into Panic

On August 1st, the Hawaiian Island of Oahu began altering the home rental landscape to the dismay of renters and tourists alike.

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     On August 1st, the island of Oahu – the capital island of Hawaii, began to enforce a decades-old law regarding illegal home rentals. For many years – several decades, in fact – it was illegal for Oahu property owners to rent units for fewer than 30 days outside of resort zones. However, this law was never previously enforced. This change of heart is expected to close about 5,000 “illegal” rentals on the island. It states that any advertisement for the property, physical and virtual, may be used as evidence of the illegal activity. To ensure that the resident takes this threat seriously, continuous violators are liable for fines up to $10,000 a day. Ouch. As an expected surprise, the city of Honolulu stated that the number of listings it saw dropped 37% (compared to weeks prior). Unfortunately, as this crackdown is now a serious “crime”, tourists that had long booked their vacations before this August 1st switch-up are dealing with its immediate fallout. Vacations, anniversaries, and wedding plans have all been deeply affected by this new rental landscape.

Disaster

     Marlena Rundquist is one such bride-to-be that has felt the intense pressure caused by this immediate rental alteration. Regarding her September 4th wedding – “I had full-blown anxiety and panic attack. It was literally a month away. I couldn’t find anywhere to go. The people still willing to take a fine had hiked the prices: $200 a night went to almost $500 a night. Hotels were upping the price.” Not only was her own accommodations totaled by this change, the rooms needed and booked by guests were also heavily affected. “I’m still nervous because you don’t know between now and then if anything will happen,” she said.

In a similar situation, Tommy Szymanski was planning to visit the island to celebrate a number of special events including his own anniversary. However, he was given much of the same news. “The Waikiki reservation canceled Saturday and was like: ‘Yup, that’s it. We’re closing up shop on four different places and are trying to figure out what to do… I’m sitting here going ‘Really?’ My initial reaction – and this is from an outsider not knowing the stuff behind Hawaii’s politics – the resorts are getting exactly what they wanted with this bill.”

“The cost for two nights for a place on Travelocity was the cost of six nights through my Airbnb,” he added, alluding to the fact that remaining choices on Airbnb were less than desirable. “There were either ones with horrible reviews or they were substantially more expensive.” 

Choices?

     Clearly, this new bill has impacted vacationers and renters, alike. Refunds from apps like Airbnb and HomeAway have been administered but the new costs to be incurred by committed guests will surely be hard to swallow. Costs have doubled (or worse), the selection of respectable accommodations have narrowed, and the fill-rate of the newly available rooms is sure to explode. Is this the right way to deal with interested parties?


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