Riding the Rails
Stressed by the thought of flying with your little one? Try riding the rails! Train travel offers relaxation for parents and many amenities that make it the perfect solution for hassle-free family transportation.
Packing Your Bags
When preparing for your trip, pack as lightly as possible and limit each family member to one carry-on bag (although Amtrak does allow each passenger two carry-ons; and sleeper car passengers may bring more).
“Not all stations provide redcaps, and luggage carts are sometimes in short supply,” point out Ted and Sylvia Blishak on their website, Accent on Travel USA. “Since you’ll have to handle your own luggage at times, don’t bring more than you can carry comfortably.”
Just as you would with air or car travel, plan to bring snacks and a toy, book, or crayons to keep your kids occupied. On the days of travel, wear comfortable shoes and pack a change of clothing for each family member (two or three for your littlest ones). Also, pack your family’s medication in your purse or carry-on luggage (as well as toothbrushes for everyone).
When packing for your infant or toddler, remember to bring travel-friendly food. Most trains have a restaurant or cafe car, but bringing along your own snacks alleviates the need to move through the train with your infant or child in tow. Amtrak can heat up a bottle or baby food, and if you ask, they can also refrigerate your baby food or formula as well. Temperatures vary on the trains, so dress your baby in layers of clothing, and be prepared to shed or add layers as necessary.
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