Get a pre-departure checklist
The most stressful aspect of traveling is the preparations. To ensure a smooth journey on the train, there are a few things you should arrange and plan while you’re still home. Amtrak Train Travelers It’s hard to imagine spending more than 36 hours aboard a train without having made a plan. We can’t.
- Identification A photo ID or passport.
- Train Tickets You must have either your printed ticket or your electronic ticket.
- Travel insurance – Protect yourself from unanticipated travel misfortunes.
- Your medication – Be sure to bring your medication, especially if your destination will require it. It is important that you bring your medication in your carry on and are able to administer it yourself.
- Personal Care Items – Soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, lotion, hand sanitizer, and more.
- Other Travel Essentials What are your must-haves when traveling? The scenery is bound to entertain you, but it’s worth having some other essentials. There are many great options for books, audiobooks and tablets, as well as board games and cards. You also have the option to bring a notebook, binoculars, binoculars and a camera that can capture the scenery.
- Be Comfortable – Comfort is key when traveling by coach or in your private sleeper car. Even experienced travelers can feel exhausted on long train journeys. For those late-night bathroom trips, you can use a slipper, earplugs and eye mask as well as a blanket, pillow, and even a fleece blanket.
Bring your own snacks and alcohol
It is permissible to bring your own food and drinks onboard the train. This is especially important if your dietary restrictions or special needs are met. You can have these items at your seat, in private Sleeping Car accommodations or the Sightseer Lounges. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased onboard but you are allowed to bring your own stock provided that you follow all train guidelines. Only your Sleeping Car accommodation can allow you to access your private stock. Highly recommended is to bring your own water.
Avoid bringing more than you can carry (unless you are checking it).
Traveling by rail means that you are likely to be the one taking your luggage along narrow aisles and up steep steps. You should only bring what you are able to carry. It’s possible to get on a train quickly and even in the middle at night. You’ll be grateful that you didn’t pack a second pair of shoes each day. Limit the number of bags you can carry on per passenger to 2. Keep in mind: Amtrak offers assistance at certain stations through its Red Cap service.
Early to Rise, Early To Bed
Try to get up early and not stay up too late. This will help you to be more awake and ready for your adventures.
You will have a more enjoyable journey, especially if you wear comfortable clothing. Warm socks is also advisable. The train cars can often get very cold, even though they aren’t connected by doors. You’ll notice that many passengers prefer to be comfortable and wear their pajamas onboard. Remember that you are traveling by train to experience the experience and not to impress fellow travelers.
Plan for train delays
Amtrak trains and freight trains share tracks, so expect delays on longer cross-country routes. To allow freight trains to pass, your train may need to stop at the Moffat Tunnel if it is taking the California Zephyr train from Chicago to Denver. Take your time, it’s all in the journey.
Not all station stops are created equal
You will see the train make stops at stations along your trip. It is important that you know what stops are for rest and which ones are for passengers to drop off and pick up. If you want to take a break or have a smoke, it is important to be aware of whether a particular stop is a designated stop where you are allowed to get off. Amtrak enforces this rule. Also, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of nowhere.