Vacations. We all need them once in a while. There are plenty of ways to get to your destination, but I have found that riding the train has been on of the most enjoyable experiences.
Yes, it takes longer to get to your destination, but flights are often delayed and cars will run out of gas. The train is great for sightseeing. Since no one is driving, everyone can enjoy the sights, since there are plenty of windows and more.
Still not convinced? Here are more reasons for riding the rails:
1. Room to roam – Whether you ride in the coach section or the sleeper car, you are not strapped to your seat. You can hit up the bar, go to the arcade or check out the views in the sightseeing.
2. Tasty Bites (Seriously!)– On an airplane, you’re lucky if you even get any snacks for a short trip. And for longer trips, you have to wonder what lab the food was created in. On the train, you get real food, and it’s pretty damn good. On our trip, I feasted on herb-roasted chicken, flat-iron steak and Angus burgers. They came with sides (veggies, rice, mashed potatoes) and dessert (I never thought I’d say this, but I don’t want to see cheesecake for at least 6 months).
If you get a sleeper car, the meals are included, so you needn’t worry about the price. If you ride coach, then you have to pay separate for your meal. However, for the price, it seemed pretty reasonable for the portions. Also, the food is NOT wrapped in cellophane. It’s served on a real plate and you get to eat with real silverware!
3. Go on the go when you want – One of my issues with long roadtrips is that I hate when Nature calls and I have to frantically wonder where the next rest stop will be. Plus, the stop usually ends up being a rest stop in the middle of nowhere or having to get a key attached to a plunger for a gas station restroom. On the train, you don’t need to worry about it. Whether the train is on the move or at a stop, you can go! You don’t have to wait for that “Fasten Your Seatbelt” light to go off.
Since we had a sleeper, we also had access to a shower. You definitely can’t do that in a car or plane. The shower on our train was actually pretty spacious, too. The shower definitely came in handy, since we were on the train for about a day and a half.
4. Catch some Zzz – This mostly pertains to the sleeper cars. The seats convert to a bed, and an upper bunk can be pulled down if there are two people. For me, this was great. I have always wanted a bunk bed and never had one. So, it was fun for me to sleep on the top bunk. There’s a safety net to catch you in case you roll over. The only downside is trying to get up and out of bed. You can’t get up as you normally would; instead, you have to scooch at of bed.
5. Mix and Mingle – I am not the most social person, but the train definitely encourages meeting new people. If you eat in the dining car, you will be seated with other riders. My boyfriend and I had eaten with a few other riders, and I will admit it can be a pleasant experience. When we had breakfast on our last day on the train, we sat with 2 guys who’d been on vacation for 3 weeks. One of the guys was telling us how he had taken 13 bags with him on a trip. Interesting people I tell ya!
6. No baggage fees – Need I say more?
Bottom Line: When you plan your next vacation, consider taking the train. It’s a unique experience that is fun for the whole family (except pets – they don’t allow them).