Seeing the world via a train ride is often the best way to get the most out of traveling. Driving or flying can be stressful, uncomfortable, and ultimately exhausting. Yet when taking a train, travelers are much less like to encounter those problems. Here are five tips for making the most of train travel within the U.S.
Amtrak provides the vast majority of train trips in America. Depending on the amount of traveling one plan to do, the first tip is to consider buying an Amtrak Rail Pass. This is best for those that are planning an extensive trip across the country. Typically, a rail pass will allow travelers to visit as many as eight destinations over 15 days, but there are passes available for even longer and more extensive travel.
The second tip is that those buying regular tickets for Amtrak are urged to do so in advance. However, it is generally impossible to reserve a specific seat if one is taking a coach train. In this case, their seat is assigned when they arrive for the train trip.
For traveling across the country, tip three is to book a bedroom or roomette instead of a regular seat. This is best for those traveling overnight since a seat is not the most comfortable place to sleep.
Tip four involves going into travel with as much flexibility as possible. Amtrak is notorious for delaying trains for a variety of reasons. Freight trains use the same tracks as Amtrak, and these trains are always given top priority. This can lead to passengers sitting on a train that does not move for an extended period.
Like with airlines, train trips often involving a layover somewhere along the way. Planning for possible layovers will help make traveling smoother. Many customers download the Amtrak app to stay updated on any delays in service or other relevant information.
The fifth tip is to build in time for unexpected delays. When switching from one train to another, it can be difficult to connect the train if the first one was delayed. Travelers need to be prepared to make their connection or arrange to take a later train if necessary.