Discover the Cheapest Way to Travel from New York to Washington DC in under $30

Traveling from New York to Washington DC on a budget? Discover the most cost-effective ways to reach your destination swiftly and affordably.

With a distance of 2060 miles between these bustling cities, finding the cheapest mode of transportation is key. Consider taking a 2-hour and 32-minute train ride on Amtrak, known for its wallet-friendly fares starting at $22.

Alternatively, flying can save you up to 2 hours and 47 minutes of travel time, making it a quick but slightly pricier option.

Exploring the train route from New York to Washington DC opens up various possibilities, with the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station serving as a common starting point.

Union Station in Washington DC awaits as your likely final stop, equipped with convenient amenities like free WiFi on select Amtrak trains, elevators, restrooms, and waiting lounges.

Whether you prioritize affordability or speed, there are choices to suit your travel preferences along this popular route.

Cheapest Travel Options From New York to Washington, DC

New York to Washington, DC

Travel options from New York City to Washington, D.C. are plentiful, offering convenience and flexibility for travelers.

Here’s an overview of the most common methods:

By Train

By Train

Traveling by train from New York to Washington, DC is a cost-effective and convenient option. Amtrak offers budget-friendly train rides starting at $22, taking approximately 2 hours and 32 minutes.

You can board the train at the Moynihan Train Hall in New York and arrive at Union Station in Washington, DC. The train route provides amenities such as free WiFi onboard, making it a comfortable choice for your journey.

By Bus


Another affordable way to travel from New York to Washington, DC is by bus. Several bus companies offer routes between the two cities, with ticket prices typically lower than train or plane fares.

Buses provide a convenient option for those looking to save money and enjoy a scenic road trip. You can choose from various bus operators that offer different amenities and departure times to suit your travel preferences.

By Car


Driving from New York to Washington, DC gives you the flexibility to create your travel schedule and explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.

While the cost of gas and tolls should be considered, driving can be an efficient option for individuals or groups wanting the freedom to stop along the way and take detours to attractions off the beaten path.

Make sure to plan your route in advance and check for any traffic or road closures to ensure a smooth journey.

By Plane


If you prefer a quicker travel option, flying from New York to Washington, DC is a viable choice. While flights may be slightly pricier than trains or buses, they offer a much shorter travel time, perfect for those with tight schedules or looking to reach their destination faster.

Several airlines operate flights between the two cities, providing a range of departure times and ticket prices to accommodate different travel budgets and preferences.

Comparing Costs of Different Travel Methods

Comparing Costs of Different Travel Methods

Comparing the costs of different travel methods from New York City to Washington, D.C. can help travelers make informed decisions.

Here’s a breakdown of the approximate costs for each option:

Cost Analysis by Mode of Transport

When comparing costs between different travel methods from New York to Washington DC, it’s essential to consider your budget and preferences.

Here’s a breakdown of the expenses associated with each mode of transportation:

  • Amtrak Train: Starting at $11 one-way, the Amtrak train offers a budget-friendly option with prices varying based on the type of service and seat class you choose. It’s a convenient and comfortable way to travel between the two cities.
  • Bus: Buses can be an economical choice with prices ranging from $17 to $99 depending on the bus company, time of booking, and amenities provided.While it may take longer than a train or flight, bus travel allows you to enjoy the scenic views along the way.
  • Driving by Car: Driving your own car or a rental gives you the flexibility to set your schedule and explore stopovers.Consider factors like gas, tolls, parking fees, and potential vehicle wear and tear when calculating the total cost.
  • Flight: Although flights can be pricier, especially for last-minute bookings, they offer the fastest way to reach your destination. Prices can vary based on the airline, time of booking, and seat class.

Tips for Finding Cheap Tickets and Fares

To save money on your travel expenses, consider the following tips for finding budget-friendly tickets and fares:

  1. Book in Advance: Purchasing tickets early often results in lower prices, especially for flights and trains.
  2. Flexibility: Be flexible with your travel dates and times as mid-week flights or off-peak train hours tend to be cheaper.
  3. Use Fare Comparison Websites: Utilize online platforms to compare prices across different airlines, bus companies, or train services.
  4. Sign Up for Alerts: Subscribe to travel alert notifications to receive updates on discounted fares and promotions.
  5. Consider Off-Peak Travel: Opt for non-peak travel times as prices are generally lower during these periods.

Travel Tips and Considerations

Here are some travel tips and considerations for a trip from New York City to Washington, D.C.:

Best Times to Travel

When planning your trip from New York to Washington, DC, consider traveling during off-peak times for potentially lower fares.

Typically, mid-week travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays can offer better deals compared to weekends. Additionally, avoiding peak travel seasons like holidays or major events can help you secure cheaper tickets.

By being flexible with your travel dates and times, you can increase your chances of finding the cheapest options.

Travel Duration Comparison

The travel time from New York to Washington, DC, varies depending on the mode of transportation you choose.

While the Amtrak train provides a convenient and approximately 2-hour and 32-minute journey, buses may take longer, ranging from 4 to 5 hours or more.

Driving by car can take around 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and rest stops. Flights offer the fastest option, with an average flight time of about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Consider the trade-offs between travel time and cost to determine the most suitable option for your trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to take the train from NYC to Washington, DC.?

The Amtrak train ride from NYC to Washington, DC starts at $22 for a 2-hour and 32-minute journey.

How much is a bus ticket from New York to Washington, DC?

Bus tickets from New York to Washington, DC range from $5 to $75 and take around 4.5 hours.

Where does Megabus leave from in NYC?

Megabus departs from 34th St between 11th Ave and 12th Ave, opposite the Javits Center. Coach USA buses leave from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Is it possible to commute from NYC to DC?

Commuting between NYC and DC is convenient with options like trains, buses, and flights, offering different time and cost considerations.

What is the cheapest way to travel from New York to Washington, DC.?

The cheapest way to travel from New York to Washington, DC is by bus, with tickets starting at $5 and taking around 4.5 hours.


Traveling from New York to Washington, DC doesn’t have to break the bank. By exploring different transportation options like Amtrak, buses, driving, and flights, you can find the most cost-effective way to reach your destination.

Remember to check for discounts, travel during off-peak times, and consider the duration of the journey to make the best decision for your budget and schedule.

Whether you prefer the convenience of a train ride, the flexibility of driving, or the affordability of a bus, there are plenty of choices available to suit your travel needs.

Plan ahead, compare prices, and enjoy a budget-friendly trip from the Big Apple to the nation’s capital. Safe travels!

Photo of author

Scott Jung

My passion for history and public service has guided me to this fulfilling role. I have a deep appreciation for the rich history and significance of the U.S. Capitol, and I am enthusiastic about sharing this knowledge with visitors from all around the world. With a background in history and political science, I bring both expertise and enthusiasm to my position, making each tour an engaging and educational experience. LinkedIn

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