Living in Orlando, I have taken several trips to Miami. I have taken a plane, rode many different buses, driven my car, and taken the Amtrak, but recently I had the opportunity to take the new train service in Orlando called Brightline. This new service is a high-speed passenger train that gets you to Miami from Orlando in 3 hours and 30 minutes. That may not seem like a huge difference when you make the trip in a car, but there is a convenience to using the train service, and I couldn’t resist such a great deal. When traveling to Miami, I always look for something that meets my budget, especially since I don’t think it’s right to spend $100 on a trip that only takes 3-4 hours. This is why when Brightline announced their Black Friday Deals and Holiday Deals, I jumped right on it and booked my tickets.
So if you’re interested in getting cheap train tickets on Brightline, keep reading as there are a few things you should know.
Finding Cheap Train Tickets for traveling to Miami
When Brightline announced their train station in Orlando, I subscribed to their newsletter. I also started to follow them on Instagram to keep track of their progress and any deals they may have. Brightline has two different class options – SMART and PREMIUM. SMART is like coach except it has business class seats along with other amenities. PREMIUM has complimentary snacks and beverages, premium lounge access, and access to conference rooms in the station. While one ticket in SMART class from Orlando to Miami is $79 one way, a ticket in PREMIUM class is $149 one way.
I was not going to spend $158 on a round trip to Miami when I could pay less to fly, drive, or use the Amtrak to get there. Then around November, Brightline announced their Black Friday deal of $39 one-way tickets and I was sold. My round trip came to $78, which was a much better price than the $158. Traveling to Miami on a budget is possible, but you need to find the deals to make it happen. To find these great deals, I suggest following Brightline to keep up to date with their deals. Right now, they have tickets in the $49-$59 price range which isn’t too bad, and kids ages 2-12 ride free, with the purchase of an adult SMART fare.
My Experience Traveling to Miami on a Train
Compared to Amtrak, Brightline is more stylish and has a luxury experience – bigger and more comfortable seats, healthier snacks, the lounges are way better and remote work-friendly, and the train itself is smooth. A lot less bumpy ride.
When I first entered the Brightline station in Orlando, I was surprised to see how different it looked from that of Amtraks. First of all, there were a lot more seats, there was also a lounge and a bar and I loved the Christmas decorations around the station. The Miami Station seemed bigger than the one in Orlando but had about the same Premium lounge, seats, bar, and Christmas decorations. You will not see the decorations unless you go during the holidays like I did (thought I’d point that out in case there was any confusion).
Since my ride couldn’t pick me up upon my arrival, I hung out at the station working. The station has a bunch of comfortable seats and couches, along with outlets and wifi, perfect for anyone who works remotely. I ate at the bar, which offers food, wine, beer, liquor, and coffee.
As previously mentioned, Brightline is a lot more stylish and I was quite comfortable in the seats I chose. Before my trip, when booking my seats, I was able to choose my seats and ended up getting a whole table to myself, which was great since I spent most of the time working.
The other difference between Amtrak and Brightline is that I didn’t have to walk to another car to get food. After every stop, the staff would pass by with their carts full of food and drinks, and I could make my purchase from my seat.
On my way back from Miami, the train was a bit full. However, I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me. You can usually tell when someone is going to be sitting next to you on the app, and while I had seen someone would be sitting next to me, I lucked out and sat by myself. I didn’t get the same big table, but nonetheless, I was still comfortable.
Things to Know
- Dogs and cats are welcome on the train, but you must provide advance notice that you are bringing a cat or dog with you.
- The train does make stops in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Aventura.
- You can change seats a few hours before your trip.
- The Orlando Station is located in the MCO airport around Terminal C.
- If you do plan to park at the Orlando Station, you will need to pay for parking.
- The Miami Station is in downtown Miami.
- If you need a ride from the station to any part of the downtown area, check out Freebee! This service is not only free, but you also get the chance to ride in a Tesla.
Overall, I am happy I got to try out the Brightline train and had the opportunity of traveling to Miami even if it was on a budget. Not only was I able to travel for less than $100, but I traveled in style to Miami and back.