If you’ve been meaning to live out your on-the-rails wanderlust dreams but have never made it farther than a few Metro stops away, Amtrak is allowing you and a friend to cozy up in a compartment at a steep discount.
The national passenger railroad service is offering a buy one get one deal on its roomettes. These narrow but private compartments house two seats that essentially convert into bunk beds for long haul trips. Each Amtrak promo fare also includes meals, bottled water, soap and shower amenities (for a nearby restroom and shower), towels and linens, and turn-down and coffee service.
Amtrak says the promo, which runs January 7 through May 23, 2019, is valid for select destinations. Here in L.A., we’ve found the most notable BOGO rates departing from Union Station on the Coast Starlight (which, despite its name, only really hugs the coast through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties).
While you’ll save half off the normal price of a roomette, keep in mind that these promo fares are still roughly double the cost of two tickets at Amtrak’s cheapest service tier. Note that if you’re just looking for a quick taste of that roomette life, you won’t find the seating option on Amtrak’s popular short-distance Pacific Surfliner. You could take the Coast Starlight to the Bay Area, but the $183 price tag for the nearly 12-hour trip (we know, crazy, right?) doesn’t seem like the most efficient use of the fare.
Instead, consider booking a trip on the Coast Starlight all the way up to Portland (29 hours, $357 for two people) or Seattle (34 hours, $378). If you’re a real glutton for punishment, you can spend $677 on a 43-hour trek to Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief, or pass nearly 46 hours on the tracks for $646 on a Sunset Limited trip to New Orleans.
While they’re not quite the cozy, Harry Potter-like compartments you may be wishing for, the roomettes are certainly one of the more comfortable means of rail travel. Check out this video below of a typical Amtrak roomette.