Thursday, July 09, 2009

Traveling via Amtrak

My wife, son and I recently took a trip to St Louis, to visit her Mom and Dad. We always have a good time, but don't look forward to the drive, as it takes 7 hours or so one way from 'lil old SE Wisconsin.

City of St.Image via Wikipedia

Thankfully, she looked into an older style of travel for our most recent trip to visit G'ma and G'pa; Amtrak.

The cost is not much more than it is to drive. Fuel costs driving our mini-van is usually about $120, not to mention the fuel my son expends attempting to break out of his car seat...

The cost for our train ride was $188 with tax. Our son rode for 1/2 price since he is only 3.

The trip took nearly the same amount of time, and we could ALL nap on the way down. We were able to bring a small cooler with lunch, play for a couple of hours in the dining car (coloring books, puzzles, etc.)

The only complaint I will lodge is customer service is a bit lacking. Our initial inquiries indicated we had the ability to check a bag, but found we couldn't because our train was a commuter.

If we would have chosen a later departure, we could have checked our larger luggage. As it was, we were able to confine our packing to the 22x14x28 dimensional limit for carry-on baggage, for a total of two per passenger. Rules are similar to the airlines; purses and laptop bags don't count toward the limit.

Our future trips will likely be the train, especially with climbing fuel costs.

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