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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Mamas,<br>
Am I crazy? DH, DD, and I all dislike flying. Well, actually DH and I really dislike flying, and DD is now sensing it. Both of us get *incredibly* stressed out. I'm at the point of begging my doctor for some meds to knock me out the next time I fly.<br>
So, last night we had this brainstorm. Instead of flying, why don't we try the train. Here's my dilemma: airplane travel is more expensive, but less than 1 full day of travel. Train travel is WAY cheaper (even if we went the most expensive private room route) but will take 2 1/2 days. DD will be 2 1/2 when we fly/travel next.<br>
Has anyone traveled on the Amtrack train? Are they nice? Is 2 1/2 days of travel each way be too long, or would it be nice and relaxing and fun? are the meals good? Would a fairly active toddler be ok for the trip?<br>
Let me know what you think, please!<br><br><br>
UPDATE: We took the train home for Thanksgiving.... it was WONDERFUL, and we can't wait to do it again. BC we were on the train for 48 hours each way, we opted for the nice private bathroom sleeper car. It was perfect. Room to move, but not tooo much room. We got to look out the window, play games, watch movies, etc. Showering on the train was a fun event for my 2 1/2 year old DD. The food was ok, not great but fine. The sleeper car we got was nice. DH slept in the top (twin bed) bunk, while DD and I slept in the bottom (full bed size) bunk. The train was very easy to sleep in, DD slept great at night and during the day at nap time (she isn't a great napper, so this was nice). I would do it again with the sleeper car/ not private bathroom, but I probably wouldn't go coach for a 48 hour trip if I didn't have to.<br>
~maddymama
 

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I have not traveled on an overnight Amtrak, but on day trips the train are soooo comfortable. There is a ton of legroom and the seats are nice and roomy, and you can get up and wander around.<br><br>
The only concern I would have with a toddler is sleep. How do you think your child would sleep on the train? Sleeper cars are expensive, but I can't imagine sleeping in your seats for two nights.<br><br>
On the day trips I've been on, the food isn't great, but it won't kill you for a few days. I'm sure they have more options on such a long trip. You can also bring some of your own food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah.... sleep is part of my concern. But we co-sleep, so as long as I am near, then it shouldn't be that difficult, IYKWIM. I know the food wouldn't be great, but maybe good enough for a few days. And bringing food is definitely an option.<br>
I'm kinda concerned about activity time for DD on the trip. DH and I think it would be waaayyy more relaxing than flying, but are concerned about an active toddler for 2 /12 days.<br>
Anyone else with experience with this?<br>
~maddymama
 

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The longest train trip we've taken with DS was 6 hours, though we'd love to take a longer one someday. We got to tour one of the cross-country Amtrak trains at an event and it seems like it would be a fun time. There is a separate lounge car so your DD would have a space to blow off a little steam.
 

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My 2.5 yo dd and I have done a ~12 hour Amtrak trip (changed trains midway) There are pros and cons. We'll be repeating the trip whenever we visit my parents now that we've moved-- since we'll often travel while dh works, this makes for a cost-effective way for the two of us to travel together (I don't like interstate driving, and that would have to be a two-day trip, so we'd end up paying for hotels, too) Here are some thoughts from my experience:<br><br>
Pros:<br>
room for dd to move around<br>
other kids/people to interact with<br>
casual lounge cars to hang out in<br>
comfy seats<br>
cheap<br>
electrical plugs for portable dvd<br><br>
Cons:<br>
no service AT ALL onboard<br>
some routes won't check luggage<br>
tiny bathrooms (hard for changing poopy diapers)<br>
squirrely schedules (our only train arrives around midnight)<br>
occasional, long, unexplained delays (we sat on the tracks in nowhere Indiana for 2 hours)<br>
looooooong<br><br>
* one leg of our trip takes us on a bigger, nicer train which does check luggage and which has better bathroom setups. I'd be very happy and comfortable to ride all day on that train, but would still hesitate with a multiday trip.<br><br>
Like I said, we'll be doing it again- but for us it's only one very long day each way. I think that overnight/multiple days would get very tiring and grimy and just blah. If dh and I were both going, then no question, we'd just drive. That leaves one of us to handle the kids and we'd have the flexibility of being able to go and stop whenever/wherever.
 

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just as an aside, if safety is your concern... air travel <i>is</i> safer than train travel. All sorts of metrics to look at....<br><br>
but to answer your ?, i took Amtrack all the time when I was in college, to get back home on the weekends, etc.<br><br>
as faar as travelling with a toddler, we recently took a 2.5 h train trip with a 2.5 y old. He LOVED it, as would be expected for a kid obsessed with modes of travelling. Having taken long plane trips with him, I would think train travel would be easier since there is less movement constraint.
 

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I've been thinking the same thing.. although my little guy is obsessed with trains right now, so I would assume it to be a trip of exploring and adventure. I'm curious why trains are less safe than air travel (I honestly don't know). I think if you packed enough varieties of fun stuff and let go of people staring at you walking up and down the train with a kid, it could be fun!
 

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I remember taking an overnight train with my mom when I was younger (with my younger sister too--brave mom!). I loved it and still remember how enthralled I was with the pull down sink/toilet/beds in our sleeper car and everything all packed in there. It was a real adventure and we had a great time. I think we were a bit older (6 and 3 yo??), but I still remember it with fondness! (Lots of card games, packed snacks, trips to the snack car, cut out paper dolls, climbing on the bunks, exploring the trains, getting out at the stops to stretch our legs, visiting with other passengers, traveling through the different cars....ah the olden days of yore...)
 

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love train trips and my 2yo does also. overngiht, during the day its cool. hours looking out the window. get seats with tables in between and yo can play with a lot of things. take walks on the train. if train stops for a while, it´s great to get out and run and scream as loud as you can!!!!!<br>
i love trains. i´m about to take an oerseas trip on plane...and am not looking forward to it!
 
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