Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Travel Tuesdays: Traveling by Train

My husband and daughter slept on the train. 
Next week, my husband and I will take the train from Providence, RI to Washington, DC. Many people ask why we don't fly because,"It's faster." Or drive because, "It's cheaper." The thing is, we like the train. And we're not alone.

Over the holidays, my friend Kim and her family took a train from Massachusetts to Indiana (with a stop in Chicago). She texted me a few times during the trip and each of them said something like "I LOVE the train!" The thing is, Kim is an established "road tripper." She loves taking road trips with her family. I don't think she expected to like the train as much as she did (Tell me if I'm wrong, Kim!)

I asked her to share some thoughts about the train with my readers. She emailed me a lengthy response with quotations from each family member. Here are the highlights:

Ben - "I like that I didn't have to drive; I was rested when we arrived at our destination."

Abby (almost 11) - "I like that I can go to the bathroom whenever I want and that we brought whatever snacks we wanted. I also like that I can read on the train and not get sick." (She often has motion sickness in the car when reading).

Dylan (almost 6)- "I like the candy cane and train coloring books the conductor gave me. I like walking on the train too. And I like the pizza!"

Jon (9)- "I like the big windows and the view and walking around whenever I wanted."

Kim - "It was a long stretch of time when we had NO WHERE else to be and NO WHERE to go. I see train travel as balancing for busy hustle and bustle lives. The train offers time to relax and reflect that can not happen if you're driving and certainly can not happen when the subliminal (TSA) threat is ruling your shoes and laptops in air travel. Fellow travelers were happy and resting too. No one we encountered was cranky or complaining. There is a camaraderie that is unmatched in my experience." 

I could have spent hours writing a post about the joys of traveling by train but these five said it perfectly. If you haven't tried traveling by train, give it a try! 

We've traveled by train in the US, Morocco, and Italy. Each trip was different but there was always the rushing landscape to enjoy along with hours of uninterrupted time to read, relax, write, play games, etc.

Have you chosen a train over air travel or driving? How was it for you?

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  1. I like the train too... although I'd probably have a 4-6 hour limit. My kids prefer it to the car, which they are not used to as city kids, as it gives them more mobility and we can interact more with them. We'll be flying to FL next fall though for their first airplane trip. I did it as a kid by train and that was way too long (24 hours!).

    1. Even,
      Hopefully, as your kids get used to traveling, the time will be less of an issue. I do think the train is a nice alternative to driving for just the reason you cited- they can get up, walk around, go buy a snack, etc.

  2. Oh, we love the train, too. Especially in Europe, although last year I took the train up to NYC from DC and the bus back--the train was so, so much nicer. Also: I live in DC (well, Arlington, VA)! And my husband is from Providence! How long is the train trip??

    1. Well, we have some connections, Anamaria! I'mm be in your area in 3 days.

      It's about 7 hours. The Acela is faster (not by that much- I think an hour) and way more expensive, so we take the "slow" train.

  3. A fun way to re-think train travel. Not so convenient on the West Coast, perhaps! Thanks for this, and for being part of the 2013 Comment Challenge!

    1. Not speedy to the west coast, for sure! But I know a lady who took the train from Massachusetts to LA just before Christmas. She told me she loves it.

      Thanks for hosting the challenge again. I was watching for it this year.

  4. I caught the train bug when I was 12. My family and I went on a two week train trip and I have amazing memories (one of the reasons for the recent trip with my daughter). The longest stretch of the trip was from Seattle to Chicago. Several years later we took Eurail through Europe and then my husband and I took the train through Malaysia and then across the South Island of New Zealand. All fantastic experiences. Thank you so much for sharing this link with me, Michelle! It's great to read about fellow train travelers. (Now I want to go on another trip!)

    1. Once you get the travel bug it's pull seems to get even stronger, right!?
      My first real train experience was in Morocco on the "Marrakesh Express" (which is not so express, btw). We later took the train in Italy. I'm relatively new to train travel in this country, but I'd like to take a bigger train trip like yours just to experience it.