Sunday, October 12, 2014

My first experience on a train.....Tips for taking an Amtrak Train Overnight.

Hey all I just got back from such a wonderful trip to Florida to visit my boo and I must say it was so much fun...once I arrived. The ride there was awesome but it was extremely long and exhausting. The best parts were the fact that my mommy came with me, being able too see nature and different towns. But that's basically it. If you have to ride OVERNIGHT and if you have about a grand to spare then I suggest you get a roomette. We had a coach seat which wasn't too too bad, but after about the first 10 hrs your butt falls asleep. Then when it's time for lights out, around 10pm, and you began to get tired finding a comfortable sleeping spot was difficult for my mom and I. Her more than me because of her height. I am only 4'10'' so I was kinda able to curl up in a ball on the seat. I can't sleep sitting up, but if you can then do you boo. Otherwise get a room!!!

Overall my first Amtrak experience was pretty dope. The staff was super nice to my mom and I. They were also extremely helpful with all the questions we had. Also some of the other passengers were nice as well and very helpful. My mom and I had no idea how to lower the seat or lean it back so someone helped us with that.  If you are talkative and enjoy meeting strangers I suggest you go sit in the lounge car because that's where most people went to meet other passengers. I am not really into strangers, so I stayed to myself the whole time. I talked only to my mom. I am so glad she came because I didn't have to share a seat. If you do go on an alone trip and you are maybe some what like me (introvert, not into being too close to a stranger, etc) I suggest you get a room. The rooms are pretty expensive but well worth it for an over night trip.

A few tips on what to bring:

-Toiletries (deodorant, mouth wash, lotion, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray and wipes ,etc). If you are coach, there is no shower. So I purchased body wipes, mini tooth pastes, hand sanitizers and body sprays to help alleviate the fear of not washing for more than 24 hrs. Some people don't mind being funky, or not brushing your teeth but for my mom and I we made sure to do both. People talk to you sometimes in the AM and who wants to smell that you know. LOL. So be prepared. But if you reserve a room, you will have a place to shower. I also purchased disinfectant spray which I took with me every time I went to the bathroom, better safe than sorry.

-A change of clothes

-A pillow and blanket. It is extremely cold on the train and they have no control of the temp, so if you're cold then it's kind of too bad. They have $15.00 blankets in the cafe area.

-Cash for the cafe. They do take debit and credit card though.

-Eye mask for at night. They lower the lights around 10pm but it still helps to have a face mask just in case.

-Ear plugs if you can't sleep with noise

-Or headphones, which to me is common sense but most people didn't use any. Be prepared to have someone will tell you off for having to hear your laptop or cell phone. I saw a lady do this to a girl.

-Slippers or comfortable shoes to wear to the bathroom during the middle of the night. Make sure they have hard soles because the bathroom floor can sometimes be wet.

-Dress comfortably so that it's easier to sleep in your clothes. Something like leggings or anything loose.

-If you bring your laptop make sure to have all of your shows or videos downloaded already because the train doesn't have wifi. There were times during travel where I didn't have reception to make a phone call either. Bring your devices but be aware that you won't have any internet.

-Bring your own meals. I wasn't paying money for food so I knew I'd bring my own snacks and food on the train. I had everything you could think of. Sandwiches, sodas, water, juices, candy, chips, etc. You can't heat anything up so bring stuff you can eat cold. Unless you don't mind paying $2.50 for a bottle of water and can sodas. Or paying to eat in the dining area, then go ahead. I have not idea how the food tasted or what they serve. But I do know they have some small items at the cafe like hotdogs and hamburgers.

Overall I enjoyed my experience, but it was such a long ride. If you can take a plane for a longer trip then I suggest you take a plane. The other thing is cost. Tickets varies but the cost for me was very cheap, cheaper than a plane.

I will definitely catch a train again but reserve a room instead of having a coach seat. Most of my trip was at night so I couldn't really get a view of any scenery. And it's hard to take pictures because the train was going so fast.

Here are some I was able to get.

I hope this helps anyone traveling anytime soon. Add some of your own suggestions in the comments below.

Thank you for reading

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