By Erika Owen
October 09, 2015
Derek Low

A plane ticket may be the quickest way to get from Destination A to Destination B, but you can travel from coast-to-coast for far cheaper if you're willing to take some time to do it. Enter: Derek Low, a 24-year-old engineer from San Francisco who embarked on a 15-day tour of America for $429 aboard Amtrak. Fun fact: You can actually make it from San Francisco to New York City for $213, but that trip comes without all of the stops (read: extremely important exploring opportunities!).

Derek Low

On Low's route, he got the chance to visit Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Denver before reaching the opposite coast. a few perks along the way: stunning views, reclining train seats, an amazing meal of baby back ribs, and a"sightseer car" with spinning chairs—proof that train travel can still be more fun (and comfortable) than flying.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.