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Family Vacations & Getaways Family Vacations & Getaways

Amtrak

Posted by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM
  • 8 Replies

Anyone use Amtrak for a long distance trip? Just curious about the basic info ... comfort, luggage storage, delays, etc.

I think we're taking it from Boston to FLA and neither of us have really use it before. Any info would be useful :)

by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM
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tonijmccann
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I took Amtrak from Michigan to Florida. (Well, Michigan to Washington D.C. and Washington D.C. to Florida) They store your luggage for you and you can take a carry on or two, there's actually plenty of room by the floor to put it. I didn't buy a sleeper and sat in regular seats and it was totally fine. Most of the time I had two seats to myself and could sprawl out and lay. It was actually a really relaxing way to travel. I hate flying and that's why I tried it. I was pleasantly surprised. They have a dining car and a snack car and there's a plug at every seat so you can plug in your electronics. I can answer you if you have any questions!

RMT1995
by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Thanks, that helps a lot! I was worried because it says that each passenger can only take 2 suitcases and that one part of the ride there's no "checked" baggage ... I got concerned that we (three of us) wouldn't be able to take along what we need. But I think the biggest suitcase I have meets their requirements, but just barely. I was wondering where all this stuff is going if they don't check it!

illinoismommy83
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM
1 mom liked this

Amtrak has no harsh rules on luggage. If your train has checked luggage you can check like 3 per person and then carry on as much as you can carry. Delays just depend on the line you are taking and the weather. Depending on where in Florida you are going, if you took the Auto Train you'd get there fast with minimal delays and food is included with all levels of ticket!

With little ones (under 6) I'd get a sleeper. With bigger kids you'd probably be ok in coach if money is an issue. Our trips in a sleeper have been much nicer and the trip passes quicker when you can sleep laying flat. I also feel 100x happier when I am clean and a morning shower in first class really makes my day. Plus, the diner food is good (I just wouldn't pay for it if I had a coach seat, lol)

A lot of the east coast lines have WIFI now so that should help the trip go faster.


RMT1995
by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Good to know ... we did consider a sleeper but I think we'd rather spend that extra $300+ on vacation. Our daughter will be 8 when we go and we've driven to FLA before (when she was 4) and she was great .. I think she'll love it.

tonijmccann
by on Dec. 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Also- on the trains there's an area where you can put your luggage.. like a set of rails on the bottom floor where you can leave them if you have luggage that you don't need to have by you. Then you can just put what you need by your feet. Your daughter will proabbly be fine in seats.. bring a portable DVD player and charger and then you can also take her to walk around a lot to go to dinner/lunch/ect. 

RMT1995
by Member on Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM

She's very easy to occupy, so I think a few books and a few DVDs will be fine. I'm sure the excitement over (1) taking a long train ride and (2) heading off on a vacation will be enough entertainment she needs :)

And good, that's what I was hoping to find out about luggage ... they scared me a bit with the "part of your trip has no checked luggage" comment. I thought that meant that we'd have to cram it all with us at our seats!

What about delays? Was the train fairly on time? We're getting in to FLA 2 days before we need to be so potential delays won't interfere with the cruise part, but would take away from the Disney part, which is already SO small.

tonijmccann
by on Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:38 PM

There were definitely delays but not much... a few minutes here and there. I was never late to one of my stops. A few stops on the way were late (15-45 minutes) but they always made up the time and I was on time to mine. 

RMT1995
by Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Thanks for the input... we just booked it, hopefully it'll work out!
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