Tag Archives: travel

The Benefits of Traveling by Train

The summer is quickly approaching, and with the summer comes family vacation time.  Many families will use the summer months to strengthen their family bond by participating in a host of family vacations. Some families plan all year so that they are able to make the most of the vacation time that they will spend together.  Many times these family trips are planned between the months of June and August, as this is when most school-aged children have their summer vacation.

One of the primary methods of travel is by car.  Many families choose to take road trips by automobile for several reasons.  Whether it is because of the cost effectiveness, the ability to stop as desired, or the ability to plan sightseeing stops along the way; traveling by car is one of the most popular forms of travel for families.

Another popular method of travel is by airplane.  Of course this form of travel has a huge advantage for those travelers who are ready to skip all of the hoopla and just reach their destination.  Traveling by airplane is very convenient, and most destinations can be reached in a matter of a few hours.

Traveling by passenger train is probably a method that most families don’t normally consider when they plan their family vacations.  Why don’t these families generally consider this mode of travel?  Perhaps it is because they think the price of traveling by train is expensive in comparison with traveling by car.  Perhaps these families feel that traveling by train will take too long.  Maybe the thought may cross their minds that the ride will be uncomfortable.  At any rate, traveling by train is something that should be considered by any traveler who wants to sit back, relax, and ENJOY their vacation.

Think about it… No worrying about driving the speed limit; no confusion about directions; no frustration searching for the cheapest gas station; and no anguish after eating from questionable gas stations or less than savory fast food restaurants along the way.

By choosing Amtrak, passengers have many options for comfort and enjoyment. Passengers can choose to ride in the Coach section, which is quite roomy.  The seats recline, and passengers have plenty of leg room for their comfort.  If Coach is not their thing, passengers can step it up a notch, and opt for a sleeper cabin.  In this cabin, one can lounge and relax during the day, and sleep peacefully in a bunk at night.  Either way, passengers have several options, and the choice is theirs.

Regardless of the option that is chosen, passengers have the ability to walk around freely while visiting the dining car or other passenger-friendly areas of the train.  They will not have the ability to stop at every little country town they pass.  Nor will they have the ability to stop every time they pass a billboard announcing an exciting phenomena, monument, or shopping mall.  However, if reaching the final destination in style is of importance, then traveling by Amtrak may be an option.

There are many options when it comes to travel.  Of course, reaching the final destination is important, but who wants to be tired by the time they reach the resort?  Who wants to be aggravated by their family before they even reach the Family Reunion?  Shouldn’t a vacation be peaceful from start to finish??  Just a little food for thought as you make preparations for your upcoming family trips.  This year, why not try something new?  Take a ride on Amtrak and see the beauty of America- without the usual fuss.

Take the opportunity to add Amtrak to your list of options.  Gourmet dining, sightseeing from your comfortable, reclining seat, and the ability to leave the driving to someone else should all be reasons to make traveling by train another option when it comes to planning your upcoming family vacation.

Getting There is Half the Fun

When I was younger, maybe around Middle School age, I remember taking a family trip to Washington, D.C.  This wasn’t just any trip….  this trip was on Amtrak.  There was a huge group of us including aunts, cousins, my mom and sister, and my grandmother.  One of my cousins even invited her friend to come along.  My family was always big on exposing us to things such as travel, culture, etc.  This particular trip was no different.

It’s amazing, because we still talk about this trip.  Just a few weeks ago, as we were discussing our mode of transportation for this year’s family reunion, we started sharing memories from this D.C. trip.  I remember staying up all night, laughing and talking with my cousins.  I remember the tiny, and not always clean bathroom.  I can still picture the coach seats where we all sat as a group.  The huge picture windows in the rail car were perfect windows to the world as we zoomed through small towns on the way to our destination.  I also remember reaching above a passenger’s head for a Red Velvet cake that we brought along with us.  Unfortunately for the male passenger, my aim wasn’t too great, and he ended up covered in Red Velvet cake.  As any teenager would do, we giggled to no end about the man’s unfortunate plight, while apologizing profusely.

The beauty of the trip, however, was the time spent with family and friends.  I remember touring the White House and various other monuments.  I remember the bond that we shared as we rode that train together as a family.  These are memories that can never be forgotten.  Even if individually we are unable to remember the trip in its entirety, when each person adds a piece to the puzzle, we are all able to recount the wonderful memories of that vacation so long ago.

As we plan for upcoming summer vacations, the importance shouldn’t merely be placed on the final destination.  Many times, some of the most memorable events happen en route, as we trudge along on our way to our final destination.  Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?  When we merely focus on the final destination, and place all of our time and energy into what will happen when we arrive, we oftentimes miss the beauty of the journey itself.