I spend a lot of time on trains as I travel to and from work each week. I can honestly say it is one of the more enjoyable ways to travel. However, I’m sure it’s not for everyone so here are my tips and info for Amtrak train travel so you can decide for yourself.
#1 – No Delays with Security
I like to give myself plenty of time to get to the station so I don’t feel rushed or have to worry about the traffic. There is no check-in or security like airports have so once I arrive at the station I can immediately relax.
#2 – Comfortable Seats
Seats on the Amtrak are MUCH larger than airplane seats. And there is plenty of legroom. (No one has ever said that about about traveling on a plane!)
#3 – Ability to Move Around
This may be the best part . . . getting up and moving around any time you want. Go get food in the cafe car . . . go to the bathroom . . . or just walk around for a few minutes. There are even occasional stops where desperate people step off the train to smoke for a few minutes.
#4 – Free WI-FI
The train I’m on every week now has wi-fi. The connection is not always perfect as we make our way through valleys, but it certainly helps make the trip go by faster. However, I recommend downloading movies or books ahead of time because the download times on the train are a bit slow. I only use the wi-fi if I finish a book on my Kindle or need to access something for work.
#5 – Electric Outlets Available
I have been very happy to have an outlet to plug into on several occasions!
#6 – Business Class Seating
Amtrak has at least one business class cars on their trains and it is totally worth it to book a seat in that section. There are less people so it is much quieter and I can get a lot more work done without so many distractions. Plus the seats are more comfortable.
#1 – Loud Passengers
You just can’t control who will be on the train and who has manners and understands you shouldn’t talk loudly on your phone.
#2 – Yucky Bathrooms
Sometimes the bathrooms are not as clean as they could be . . . just one of the facts of life regarding public bathrooms.
#3 – Delays
I have been very lucky to depart and arrive on time for almost all of my trips. However, occasionally there is a problem . . . another train broken-down ahead of my train . . . something on the tracks, etc. One summer it was so hot in Missouri that the train had to drive slower than normal because the track were over-heated. That was a LONG night!
#4 – No Healthy Food Options
It is completely impossible to eat healthy on the train I take . . . and I have to sit around people eating pizza from the cafe car. I’m not sure how it tastes, but the smell is divine!
The Best Tips I Have:
#1 – Take ear plugs and ear buds for your electronic devices
#2 – Take your own snacks and food
#3 – Take a sweater
#4 – Take a book, iPad or laptop to keep yourself busy
#5 – Take your chargers to keep your electronic devices powered
#6 – Book in Business Class
There it is . . . the good and the bad, plus a few tips. You can read more about Amtrak train travel in the US on their website and book your trip. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Let me know if you take a trip and what it was like for you. Happy travels!
And by-the-way . . . this post is the beginning of an A-To-Z Challenge I’ve signed up for the month of April. I’m not sure if I’ll make it all the way to Z, but check out tomorrow . . . I’ll definitely have a “B” post.