Take the car or take the train?

Hi, new here and I have a question! My husband and I are planning on taking a day trip from Maine to Boston this summer. We have two choices for transportation: our '08 Hyundai Sonata or the Downeaster Amtrak train. It would be about a $100 round trip if we took the train. While I’m not sure of how gas will be by the time we go, my husband says our Sonata gets about 30 miles to the gallon and it’s about 190 mile drive to Boston from our home in Maine. While driving might be cheaper, I’m thinking it’ll be a pain to drive in the city and I’d rather not pay to park in Boston (we have someone who will have our car that day, if we need it). While expense is an issue, I would take convenience over saving money–to a point. I should also mention we have a 13 month old who is not wild about being in the car… So, what do you all think? Would you drive down or take the train?

I would be inclined to take the train if you are only going to Boston, and especially if you can borrow a car when you need it.

Forget the money; convenience and maintaining your sanity is more important

If, as I suspect, that $100 round trip fee is per person, then the car would be a far cheaper way to travel, even when you factor in the cost of parking for the day.

You could even park in Newton, and take a relatively short MTA ride into Boston. This would eliminate the hassle of driving in Boston, and would enable you to park the car (or, in the local parlance, “pahk the cah”) for far less money than a parking lot in the city.

It’s actually only $24 per person for a one-way ticket. So, between my husband and I, it’s about $100 for two round trip tickets (I’m assuming there isn’t a fee for a 13 month old, or if there is, it’s not too much). But thank you for the suggestion! I had thought of the MTA–I assume there’s a site I can check for ticked prices?

I have always enjoyed riding trains. My wife and I have a train trip planned this coming week from Washington, D.C. to Charleston, South Carolina. We will fly from our home to D.C. The trip by car would be 10-12 hours each way. When I was younger and found myself a single parent, it was much easier to travel with my son who was 4 years old at the time than to drive, even though he was a good passenger. After I remarried, my present wife and I love train travel–we can sit and talk or read as we travel. We’ve been coast to coast by train.

I grew up in the heyday of trains. When I was a kid, we traveled a lot by train. When I went to a graduate school 350 miles from home, I found a way to make train connections and could make the trip within 20 minutes of the time it would take to drive the distance. When I went home, I could study as I rode the train. I also felt that the train was a little more reliable than my 15 year old Pontiac that I purchased for $75 to get me and my possessions to graduate school. When I figured the cost, it was very little more than the cost to drive the distance.

For me it would be a no brainer.  Take the train and be more comfortable.

I’d take the train if there aren’t too many stops. There is a lot of room to move around. Both of you can tag team the baby and keep her occupied.

To us, it depends upon the use of the car when there. Boston, somehow manages to make cars more of an inconvenience with parking (big $$$$) and just getting around. That would trump actual expense of travel. We use the train or bus to Boston when staying in town. Sometimes, we drive to the outskirts, say Portland, Me., then to So. Station, outside Boston by bus/train, then into downtown Boston by subway. That’s our usual Fenway approach. That allows us to be flexible coming back say, LL Bean stops by car.

As mentioned before, you can use both in an economical and convenient way.

10-12 hours from Charleston to D.C. ? Did you have the handbrake on the entire time. I’ve made the trip about 5 times now, It’a about a 7-8 hour trip. 8 and half it you hit traffic in northern VA.

Tag Team The Baby? Isn’t That A Wrestle-Mania Term? I Don’t Get Cable Or Satellite.

And one more thing. How’d you know the baby is a “her”? I think I’m losing it.

Sorry, I meant from my home in the midwest the trip to Charleston, S.C. is about 10 hours–not from D.C. We have limited vacation time, so we wanted to go to D.C. as well as Charleston.

"Tag Team The Baby? Isn’t That A Wrestle-Mania Term? I Don’t Get Cable Or Satellite.

And one more thing. How’d you know the baby is a “her”? I think I’m losing it."

You lost it a long time ago.

“tag team the baby” = take turns and enjoy the trip

“her” = a boy or girl if no sex is specified. It could be ‘he’, too. I have 3 daughters (4 counting the dog), so it’s always girls for me, dontcha know!

Maybe I should stop having fun when I answer posts. I could become a Vulcan! Totally logical answers! Ohhhh what fun! :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you ever driven in Boston? Aside from the peculiarities of local driving practices (Largest and most battered vehicle has the right of way), almost all “blocks” are irregular polygons. While there are some street signs, they are cleverly designed by very smart people to be of no use whatsoever in navigation.

Take the train. Or, as someone has suggested, drive Route 128 to the Riverside MBTA terminal and take the T into town. I haven’t been to Boston for a number of years, but last time I was there, there was lots of parking at Riverside. It was cheap. And the MBTA trains were OK and not too expensive.