What vacation plans do you have for this Summer? If you feel like doing something out of the ordinary, why not consider a train vacation? These Traveling by Train Vacation Tips are just what you need to enjoy a beautiful trip via Amtrak or a similar train system. The truth is, people used to use the train for travel all the time! With the growing popularity of air travel and cars that make road trips comfortable, not many people travel by train anymore. I am all for planning a good train vacation though if only to have a fun and unique trip!
Traveling by Train Vacation Tips
If you too are thinking about a train vacation, I have put together some tips that just might make your planning easier and maybe, just maybe a little bit cheaper!
Follow tips below for savings:
- Check the “deals” section on Amtrak’s website. The company often offers deals and packages that may save you some money.
- Book Tuesday through Friday. Just like with airfare, specific days of the week are more likely to bring you savings.
- Check for flash sales. Back to their website again because Amtrak often offers flash sales and smart fares where you can save up to 30%.
- Consider getting a Rail Pass. A Rail Pass is a great option if you plan on going a long distance. These passes let you travel a certain amount of days out of a time period. For example, 7 days of travel over a 21 day period.
- Book at least 14 days in advance. You will save up to 25% as long as you book 2 weeks (or more) before you leave.
- Bring lots of food. Food on the train is expensive, whether eating at the cafe or in the dining car. Save money by bringing your own food along on the trip with you. Since Amtrak allows you 2 personal bags, as well as 2, carry on bags at no cost, you can easily pack a bag of snacks for your trip.
Don’t forget the comfort factor as well:
I was recently told by a very experienced train rider that she has learned that if you are planning a trip of fewer than 24 hours, you should spring for a coach pass, but anything more than that warrants a sleeper car. This allows you to stretch your legs while getting some privacy. Another benefit of a sleeper car is free food, so while the ticket costs you more, you will be saving on meals. That being said, sleeper cars are significantly more expensive than just a coach seat.
- Pack travel pillows and a fleece blanket for sleep
- Wear shoes that are comfortable to sleep in when reclining in the coach seats
- Pack noise canceling headphones
- Bring a small bathroom kit that is easy to grab for brushing your teeth and a quick wash up in the bathroom
Go prepared with entertainment:
Also, be sure to bring along plenty of books to read and/or your laptop or tablet for work and online entertainment. Most Amtrak lines now have Wifi available, however, you will need to download or use your own hotspot for streaming things like Netflix or Amazon Prime. That said, don’t let the entire trip go by without taking some time to watch the countryside pass as you go. You will miss some beautiful sights if you do.
If you are traveling by train this year, you’ll quickly find great tips above to help make it a more enjoyable vacation for your family. Your family will absolutely love the comfort of traveling by train, and you’ll love how much less stress you have while traveling!