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Train Travel Tips
Make Your Family Vacation Memorable

By Robert Smith

Train travel can be an enjoyable experience for your family. It is considered the best form of public transportation by many as it is eco friendly, fun, and way more relaxing than bus travel. If you plan well in advance and if you are aware of the dos and don'ts, riding the rails can be a nice experience.

Here are six important tips that can make your train travel experience an unforgettable one.

Make sure you have a copy of the National Timetable booklet and a good travel planner with a route map with you. You can get them at all Amtrak offices.

Kids can get bored easily. If they do not get to see something interesting or do something interesting while traveling by train, they can get cranky. So, make sure you choose a scenic route which will keep your kids interested throughout the ride. Unfortunately, if you have already chosen a boring route, make sure you pack some of your kids' items to keep them interested. Things like magnetic chess boards, toys, coloring books, children's magazines, DVD players and storybooks could come in handy.

Amtrak allows you to check three pieces of baggage without paying any extra charges. You should make sure none of the baggage weighs more than 50 pounds. However, it should be noted that checked baggage service is not available on all trains. Also, some stations do not have facilities to handle baggage. So, before you get started, you should make sure your origin station and destination station offer baggage service. This is one of the most important train travel tips you should keep in mind.

Try to choose a direct route. Changing trains, especially if you are traveling with your family, should be avoided. If one of your trains gets delayed unfortunately, you could miss the connecting train and could end up going nowhere. Also, there are chances of losing your luggage while changing trains. So, whatever the destination is, always choose the most direct route to avoid complications.

If you have planned for a long trip, book a sleeper car and travel at night. No matter how beautiful the route is, more than five or six hours of train travel during the day can get really boring – especially for your kids. So, book a sleeper car and get a good night's rest in the bunks.

Make dinner reservations for your entire family and enjoy a nice meal in the dining car. The meals in the dining car are reasonably priced and are tasty as well. You can enjoy the scenery, talk to other people, and enjoy your meals in a relaxed environment. Trust me – your train travel experience is not complete without enjoying some great food in the dining car.

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