Join us in May for our Grand Canyon Rail Journey! We’ll begin in Chicago, then wind our way over the Mississippi River, past wheat fields, ranches, missions, pueblos, mountains, canyons, and deserts before reaching our destination. After exploring the geological and historic wonders of the Grand Canyon, we’ll cruise along Route 66 and tour Hoover Dam.
When: April 30-May 6, 2018
Where: Chicago to the Grand Canyon
Registration Deadline: Registration will remain open until spots are filled. We currently have 10 spots left.
We’ll explore the Grand Canyon, Route 66, and Hoover Dam during this trip, and our main hotel will be on the canyon’s rim! We’ll spend two days and one night on the train, and three days at the canyon. We’re filling up fast, so if you definitely want to go, please register as soon as you have the funds to pay half your estimated total.
Trains are a wonderful way to travel and to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Our group will have an opportunity to eat meals together, play games, and watch the world go by as we travel to the Grand Canyon.
Your experience will be enhanced if you opt for sleeper accommodations rather than regular coach seats. The least expensive sleepers are the roomettes. They accommodate two people, with two seats in a daytime configuration, and two beds (bunk-style) in a nighttime configuration. While sleeping, you’ll be positioned parallel with the tracks (your head and feet will point toward the front and back of the train). Click here for a roomette diagram.
If you have two or three people in your party (one must be a small child if you have 3 due to size limitations), and two can comfortably sleep together on a bed that’s slightly bigger than a standard twin, then a bedroom may be a good choice. There’s more floor space, and it has an in-room toilet and shower. If you have a larger party, two bedrooms can be combined to make a larger suite. In this type of room, you’ll sleep across the width of the train (your head and feet point toward the sides of the train). Click here for a bedroom diagram.
If you have four people in your party (two must be children under 5′ tall), the family bedroom may be a good option. There’s more floor space, but no in-room toilet or shower (they’re down the hall), and it’s on the lower level of the train. These rooms are very limited, and more expensive than roomettes and bedrooms. Adults sleep across the width of the train, and children are positioned parallel with the tracks. Click here for a diagram of the family bedroom.
We have mostly roomettes for this journey, several bedrooms, and a couple of family bedrooms. If you choose sleeper accommodations, your meals during the train portion of our trip (dinner on Monday; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Tuesday) are included in the fare.
If you prefer coach seats, they really aren’t a bad alternative to sleepers. They’re as roomy (or roomier) than first class seats on planes, recline more, and have a footrest. Meals aren’t included for travelers in coach.
Cost and What’s Included
Your cost will depend on the size of your party and the train accommodations you choose. I don’t have final 2018 pricing for some things, so the prices below are estimates. Your final total may be a little higher or lower.
Prices include hotels, train fare, sleeper fare if you choose a sleeper, admission, and transportation to the sites on our itinerary. It also includes breakfast at our hotels on two mornings. Meals on the train are included if you choose a sleeper. They aren’t included if you travel in coach.
Transportation from your home to Chicago, and from Las Vegas back home is not included.
Here are the estimates (per family, not per person):
Family of 2
One Roomette: $2632
One Bedroom: $3261
Family of 3
Two Roomettes: $3695
One Bedroom: $3640
Family of 4
Two Roomettes: $4074
One Family Room: $3992
Family of 5
Three Roomettes: $6327
Two Bedrooms: $6901
Family of 6
Three Roomettes: $6706
Two Bedrooms: $7280
Our hotel rooms will have two queen beds and will be reserved for each family (you won’t share a room with people you don’t know). They accommodate four people. If you have 5 or more in your party, you’ll need two rooms.
Payment, Cancellation, and Refund Policy
Half of your estimated total is due within 7 days of my email confirmation of your spots. The final balance is due by October 31.
Your payments, minus a $250 cancellation fee per person, are refundable only if I have a family on my waiting list to replace you through January 31, 2018. After that, no replacements, roster changes, or refunds will be made.
Your signed waiver and payment acknowledges your understanding and agreement with my cancellation and refund policy.
This trip may be cancelled if we don’t have enough registrations. If it is, I’ll refund all payments made to me. You’re responsible for your airfare and any cancellation penalties the airlines charge. so please wait until I confirm the trip before you purchase non-refundable airfare.
Travel insurance is highly recommended.
I accept checks, bank checks, and money orders. I don’t accept PayPal or credit cards for my trips. (I’m not willing to increase the cost of my trips to cover their fees), but credit card convenience checks are fine.
Important Things to Know
- Our journey together on the train is an important part of our trip. I’ll provide train tips and information about riding the rails before we leave.
- Due to multiple modes of transportation, I recommend packing light. It’s much easier to carry and keep track of one piece of carry-on luggage per person. (I’m a one-bag traveler and would be happy to share tips about packing light.)
Want to go?
- To register for this trip, click here.
- If you don’t receive a confirmation with payment information within 3 days, please email me.
- Your full payment will be due within 7 days of receiving my confirmation email.
- I’ll email a confirmation when I receive your payment, and send you periodic trip updates via email.
- And that’s it! Email me if you have any questions.