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.
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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.