Tips Travel

Amtrak Train Travel – Tips and Information

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 amtrak train travelenjoyable 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.

The Good:

#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.

The Bad:

#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!

amtrak train travelThe 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.Signature-option1

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristina
    April 1, 2016 at

    I enjoyed reading this because my friend and fellow blogger came to visit me on the train from Missouri to Portland last month. She enjoyed it, but her lists would have looked like yours! Very same compliments/complaints. Your blog is very nice!

    @Kristina Farrow
    Being Kristina

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 1, 2016 at

      @Kristina – Thanks for reading! I love the train, but there a challenges with anything. You should try a trip sometime.

  • Reply
    BgW
    April 1, 2016 at

    Great information from a seasoned veteran of Amtrak

  • Reply
    Amy Rodrock
    April 1, 2016 at

    Wow I love your post! Very informative and it is so well designed that it is really smooth to follow. I did go on an Amtrak once and I certainly agree with you- bring a sweater! lol

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 1, 2016 at

      @Amy – Thanks, Amy. I forgot a sweater a couple of weeks ago. I actually had to pull a baby blanket out of my suitcase that I had packed to give as a baby shower gift. I was really glad I had it!!!

  • Reply
    Terri
    April 1, 2016 at

    I recently traveled to Portland by train. I found it to be quite enjoyable. I get the senior discount so it was less then driving my self! Took some great pictures too!
    Enjoyed your blog! Good Luck with your challenge!

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 1, 2016 at

      @Terri – Thanks! The cost is definitely another advantage. I definitely spend less by taking the train even with my upgrade to business class. Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Mickey
    April 1, 2016 at

    Great Post!! I love trveling by Amtrak! Its always an adventure! I will have to book business class next time!! Woot woot!!

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 1, 2016 at

      @Michey – Thanks! If you like the train you’ll love business class!

  • Reply
    Judy
    April 1, 2016 at

    Hey Carla,

    I hope you do make it through the challenge. This is a great blog and I love the format you compose the information with. I haven’t traveled on Amtrak in a long time, and your post took me back to when I did.
    Great job.

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 2, 2016 at

      @Judy – Thanks for reading! I’m really hoping to make it through this challenge!!!

  • Reply
    Mars
    April 2, 2016 at

    I love travelling by train but I’ve only done it in the UK where I live, must get out more!

    Would second all your advice, I was contracting for work about 5 years ago and used to get a 3hr train ride to work at the start and end of the week – Business Class made it all a pure pleasure when I could afford it!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    • Reply
      Carla Braun Wilson
      April 2, 2016 at

      @Mars – I loved traveling by train in Europe. I need to do that again!!! I took a train from London to Edinburgh and the scenery was amazing. Good luck with your challenge!

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