Your kids are out of school on summer break, and you are planning where to go on that much-needed family vacation.
Instead of flying or driving, consider taking an Amtrak train instead! It’s such a great alternative for travel, while allowing you and your little ones to really experience and marvel at the natural beauty en route to your destination.
We took the kids to Truckee, California for a five-hour journey on the Amtrak California Zephyr over the Memorial Day weekend and they loved it!
Here are some reasons why you will love traveling by train with your kids:
THERE ARE BATHROOMS
You know that feeling you get when your kids insist they don’t need to use the potty at a rest stop, only to scream for it ten minutes later? Not so on the train!
The bathrooms are there as long as you are. Huge they are not, but if you are used to an airplane lavatory, you will know what to do. And yes, there are even changing tables.
YOUR KIDS CAN WALK AROUND
No more being imprisoned in car seats for hours at a time. Your kids will love the fact that they can walk, stand, stretch their legs, and even stand right next to the windows to gaze at the scenery. They can even snuggle with you for a quick nap if that’s what they need. Awww.
Okay, people, the legroom on the Amtrak is insane. When you first sit down, it may feel somewhat like being on a plane, except you can stretch your legs all the way out.
You actually can’t even reach the tray table in front of you while seated; you need to lean forward to fold it down, then extend it towards yourself. It’s the best kind of problem. Even when the person in front is reclining, it makes almost no difference.
By the way, you can even recline back about another 45 degrees, while resting your legs up on an extendable footstool thing. You won’t even miss your bed!
Traveling through the Sierra Nevadas has got to be seen to be believed. In summer or winter, its stunning views will keep you clicking your camera.
Snow-capped mountains, thousands of pine trees, ponds, creeks, cliffsides, and acres of untouched wilderness. The lounge car offers breathtaking floor-to-ceiling views of all this and more with swiveling two-seater benches.
Seating is first come, first served, and passengers can stay as long as they wish, so plan ahead if you would like to take photos. Your belongings must remain in your seat, as no large luggage/bags are allowed in the lounge car.
DINE IN BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPE—AT A TABLE
If you feel your tummy rumbling, head over to the Dining Car, which for us, was the next car over after the lounge car. There are only about eight tables in this car, and it’s also first come, first served.
You will receive a menu with a few options, and for us, service was pretty quick. The cloth napkins and real silverware hearken to a romantic time in the past when most everyone traveled by rail, accompanied by the lush landscape sweeping past the large windows.
Your kids will get a kick out of it—it’ll be like no restaurant they’ve ever been to.
SOMEONE ELSE IS DRIVING
The thing that makes the Amtrak journey the most relaxing? Someone else is doing the driving. Let that sink in for a moment.
All of your family members can truly relax, sleep, read, take photos, manage the kids, or do whatever you wish, all while comfortably riding the rails. Though this is somewhat true of a plane, there is the ability to stretch out or walk around freely. Priceless.
Amtrak trains run various routes that allow you and your family to experience all different parts of the country, with the option to get on and off in different cities, and even ride in sleeper cars, depending on how long the journey is.
It’s a great experience for your whole family, and will make traveling with your kids much easier and more enjoyable this summer, or anytime.
Do you plan on traveling in a unique way with your kids this summer?