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This Guy Saw the USA for Less Than $500. Here’s How He Did It.

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Adventure traveler and entrepreneur Derek Low has gained fame for writing about his journeys. He’s been featured in TechCrunch, CNN, The Guardian, and TIME

Low is the kind of traveler who can travel on the cheap as easily as he travels in style. Readers are drawn to his easygoing charm and matter-of-fact observations about the places that he’s been to and the people that he’s met.

The happy traveler is happy everywhere.

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Photo credit: Derek Low

But, perhaps, one of Low’s most popular travel stories is the one where he rode Amtrak trains to travel from San Francisco to New York.

Ready for the long ride.

Derek-Low

Photo credit: Derek Low

Low’s 3,397-mile railway journey across America took him through 11 states — California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York — and four time zones.

Traveling by train lets you enjoy the scenery.

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Photo credit: Derek Low

Low got to enjoy enough awesome scenery to last him a lifetime. Best of all, he did it without breaking the bank.

So, how exactly did he do it?

Low revealed, “I paid $429 for a 15-day rail pass. You can do it for much less. The rail pass includes eight train rides which I used to explore other cities after my cross-country journey.”

There's something endearingly old-fashioned about trains.

Amtrak-train

Photo credit: Derek Low

He added this tip: “If you’re thinking of stopping at a few cities, a rail pass can be a great value. Note that a three-day journey counts as one ride, but so does a 30-minute one! If you work out the math, each ride is $54 on the rail pass. In comparison, most long-distance journeys cost upwards of $80.”

Check out the cross- country train route.

Derek-Low-train-trip-map

Photo credit: Derek Low

Low left San Francisco via Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which travels directly to Chicago. “The train doesn’t technically depart from San Francisco,” explained Low. It actually departs from Emeryville, which is 20 minutes away from San Francisco.

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