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Amtrak Suggestions?

Posted by on Oct 26, 2010 in personal | 4 comments

Amtrak Suggestions?

Soon, our family and some friends are traveling together via Amtrak. For most of us, this will be our first extended train ride. Well, “extended” in the sense of “longer than a ride at an amusement park.” We’ll be riding the train for about 5 1/2 hours.

Since this will be our first trip, I was wondering if any of my readers had any tips or suggestions for riding Amtrak?

(By the way, our train will not have a dining car.)


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  1. 10-26-2010

    5 1/2 hours is a long ride! I took an 8 hour trip from Stockholm to Malmö earlier this year, and boy was it tiring! Here’s some tips to stay sane on the journey:

    – Be prepared: bring a book or a deck of cards. Bring items that allow for some interactivity, but a book is always good in the event that your travel companions all fall asleep.
    – Don’t let the kids bring their gaming consoles, and refrain from using your handy 3G-enabled devices. You’ve got a ‘captive audience’ for 5.5 hours – use that time to bond and know more about each other instead of fiddling with your Facebook settings!
    – Sneak in some hamburgers and chips, especially if you know you’ll get the ‘snack itch’ like me. You’ll be grateful for it if you get hungry, otherwise it just serves for a good snack!
    – Bring along water and/or drinks. Non-alcoholic, of course. You don’t want the train to sway more than it already does 😛
    – If you have a bad back, prepare a cushion and some painkillers (as a last resort). It can get quite unbearable, especially if it’s a full cabin.

    That’s about all I have to offer! Hope this helps! 😛

  2. 10-26-2010

    One of the most relaxing places in the world to read a book! Very different to a car (when not driving of course!)or a bus, where vibration and movement make enjoyable reading virtually impossible.

    Second thought – perhaps reading with so many friends around is not all that sociable! Well than, how about at least a short conversational Bible study (say half an hour on Pauls journeys!) – and the other passengers may overhear a bit of Good News.

  3. 10-26-2010

    I think your family will enjoy the experience. Deb and I took one from Raleigh to Tampa and back. The seats for a day trip are very comfortable (not so much overnight).

    If you think anyone might want to nap, bring a neck pillow and sleeping mask.

    The suggestions for bringing snacks and drinks is a good one!

    For us, the sound of a train whistle brings fond memories.

  4. 10-26-2010

    Chris, Harper, and Art,

    Thanks for the suggestions! I think they will be very helpful.