Top 10 Tips for Train Travel
Heading for a train adventure? What should you bring? What should you avoid? Join Trip on a Deal host John Palacio and his 92 year old grandfather Harold in this top ten list of the most important things to thing about when you ride Amtrak, Eurail or any other train.
John: This week on Trip on a Deal, the top 10 tips for traveling by train.
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Today, 10 tips for traveling by a train. Hello and welcome to Trip on a Deal. I’m John.
Harold: I’m Harold Jay and this is my grandson John Palacio.
John: That’s right, and today we are traveling together on the Amtrak Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Chicago and today, we’re offering you a list of—
Harold: 10 tips for traveling by train.
Harold: Tip number one.
John: Tip number one is you want to go to amtrak.com and check their weekly specials because you can find sometimes some deeply discounted fares to your destination.
Harold: If you belong to groups like the Triple A, then check them for discounts on your trip.
John: That’s right. And also, you should just Google Amtrak Deals of the Week because sometimes, you can find through travels and some other organizations some great fares that way as well
Harold: Tip number two, when you bring your luggage, be sure you bring a tote bag to carry your excess luggage you’re to go need on the train.
John: That’s right because when you check your bag, you’re not really going to be able to access it while you’re on the train so your tote is essential. What did you bring with your tote in the cabin?
Harold: I brought my toothbrush, ears, and magazine.
John: And a whole mess of clothes.
Harold: Yeah, a lot of clothes.
John: And the thing is on those sleeper cars, there’s not a lot of room for excess baggage, so you may want to check a few things if you have a lot of stuff.
Tip number three.
Harold: If you’re going for more than one day, consider upgrade to a sleeping car.
John: Yeah. No, the cost is considerably higher than just a seat but you do get three meals a day. You get a private space and most importantly get a shower. And they’re kind of small but you manage, right?
Harold: Yeah. I had a shower; it’s very comfortable. Tip number four.
John: If you are in coach, you’ll be given a pillow but you’re not going to be given any blanket, so if you need to have a blanket to sleep, consider brining your own.
Harold: And you have to bring your earplugs so that you will be able to sleep at night.
John: Because if you don’t, you will definitely be sleeping next with a lot of snore.
Harold: Tip number five, be sure you bring more entertainment that you think you’re going to need.
John: Yeah. You brought, what, World War II magazines.
Harold: Yes, I did.
John: And we were playing cards yesterday, which was a lot of fun. If you bring a DVD player or a music player, you have to bring your headphones because you don’t want to disturb the other folks on the train. And a good thing to bring is a GPS because you can track your route along the way. And if you’re a family, be sure to bring tons of games and toys. This is a great time to have some together time with your family, play some games and you’re not going to be disturbed by anything else.
Harold: Tip number six, be sure you wear comfortable clothing.
John: That’s right. This is not like a cruise. There are no formal nights for dinner. It’s very relaxed around here. If you want to move around the train, most of the public areas require shoes so you might want to consider getting some slip-on shoes so you can easily get from train to train.
Harold: Tip number seven.
John: Do not expect on-time performance, right?
Harold: That’s right. In fact, this train right now is three hours late.
John: Yeah, but you got to get yourself in the right mindset because, you know, think of it as a plus. You have more time to be out and relax. You don’t go training to get there in a hurry. But one thing to keep in mind if you are taking a train to get to an event, you want to leave plenty of pad just in case the train is delayed.
Harold: Tip number eight, plan ahead for food.
John: That’s right because if you are not in a sleeper car then you will be expected to pay for your food in the dining car or the café. Now, let’s be honest, it’s train food so it's okay but it's not spectacular, right?
Harold: Not the gourmet.
John: Yeah, and it's expensive as well. So the good news is you can bring your own food. So if you want to save some money, consider doing that.
Harold: Okay, it’s a good idea. Tip number nine.
John: Almost all Amtrak trains do not allow smoking anywhere on the train, so if you do want to smoke, you’re going to have to wait until you get to a smoking stop. But beware, stay close to the train—
Harold: Because the train will not wait for you. Tip number ten.
John: The number one tip for traveling by train is—
Harold: To make friends.
John: That’s right. Everybody has got a story about why they’re traveling by train and frankly, you’re going to meet some fascinating people and it’s going to be the highlight of your trip. We’ve been met some fascinating people, haven’t we?
Harold: We sure have.
John: Now, if you want more information on this list, check out our website, triponideal.com and tune in next week so you can Trip on a Deal.
Top 10 Tips for Train Travel
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