• 79°

Planning a getaway? Don’t forget train travel

If you’re looking to spend a weekend in New Orleans or thinking about visiting a friend in Hattiesburg, then consider taking the train from the local Picayune station.
Train travel is often overlooked when people plan day or overnight trips, and it’s hard to imagine why.
With gas consistently looming around three dollars a gallon and traffic always an issue, trains can be an affordable and relaxing method of getting from place to place.
The American Automobile Association released the results of their annual “Your Driving Costs” study in May. The United States average cost of owning and driving a sedan in 2014 is 59.2 cents per mile.
The yearly cost of driving 15,000 miles adds up to more than $8,500 dollars.
And that’s just an average cost for a sedan.
While the study does factor in maintenance and depreciation, the figures for a sports utility vehicle are even more daunting.
The local Amtrak station has tickets available to New Orleans and Hattiesburg on an almost daily basis for less than 20 dollars, and children between two and 12 travel at half price when accompanied by an adult.
Train rides can be a fun experience for a child.
Passengers are never confined to their seats, there are snacks available on the train and most offer a viewing car that provides an excellent chance to sightsee.
There are usually power outlets next to the seats that can charge laptops for watching movies if children get bored or restless.
Trains can be pretty fun for adults, too.
Sitting back and drinking coffee while finishing up a good book is a more appealing prospect than watching your gas gauge creep down while idling in rush hour traffic.
Riding the rails may not always be a feasible option depending on the nature of one’s travel, but it is certainly worth considering because of its cost and convenience.