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Amtrak Countryside

The last time I adventured by train was in 2007. I bought a Eurail pass and rode all over the spectacular countryside of Europe- a unique way to really see a place. While the journeys were much longer, I made friends on most of the rides I took as I practiced my Spanish, French and Italian with strangers who were seat mates.

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A truly nostalgic experience, I love Amtrak Train Travel. Whenever I return to see my family in St. Louis I almost always stop in Chicago on the way in or out via the train. I was taken back to those memories made in Europe and thought everyone else should be riding more trains too. Here are seven reasons why you should Adventure By Amtrak Rail in 2015….

It’s Inexpensive: Depending on your destination, if you have the time, you can save plenty of money. For example, my ticket from St. Louis to Chicago was $27 and to fly would have cost me $175. Saving money is actually how this little adventure came about… When I was looking to book a flight from St. Louis to Boston in January and the steep holiday prices still hadn’t subsided, I thought it might be time to check out a more creative and adventurous endeavor to get home while saving some dough. I had taken the Amtrak down from Chicago once before and decided to have a look into doing it again as I had no specific time restraints. After weighing my options, instead of flying back to Boston direct from St. Louis for $367, I booked a $27 Amtrak ticket, a 4 star boutique hotel for $89 and a flight from Chicago to Boston for $155. I saved $96, which I could now spend on dinner and activities exploring Chicago.

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Seat with a View: Get a great glimpse of the good ole American countryside and be a photographer for the day. Depending on your route, much of the track is off the beaten path so you have plenty of photo opp’s on Amtrak train travel. TIP: Book a ride where you’ll experience the sunrise or sunset from the train in motion. Make sure you pick the right side or you’ll be leaning over your neighbors seat snapping pics like I did.

R and R Time: There are no long waits to go through a security line and compared to the legroom you get on an airplane, even in first class, you’ll feel like a king or queen in these seats. And they lean back about three times as far. The movement of the rail is reminiscent of being rocked to sleep; a great calming effect and place to catch up on your z’s and recharge before you arrive at your next destination. On my own two rides, most of the train cars weren’t full so you may even have the luxury of your own row.

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R + R

Regular Riding = Rewards: Sign up from the beginning and if you become a regular rider, you can earn points towards free tickets and more. Amtrak is partnered with Hilton Hotels, Hertz and Teleflora (check out their routes here).

See New Places: When you’re riding, some of the stops are in places you may not have stopped in before. I did a lot of hop on hop off in Europe. Go down a different track on your next travel adventure and visit a place you didn’t think about going to before.

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One-If-By-Train: Trains are great for solo travel. You can meet new people or choose to tune out with a great spotify playlist (check out our Travel Tune Playlist here).

Work Work Work: Amtrak train travel is equipped with FREE (and in my experience very speedy!) WIFI plus two outlets in each seat to keep all your devices powered up and the perfect place to power out some business if you need to. I wrote this entire post, edited and uploaded on the train before I ended my journey.

Have you had an epic adventure or experience on Amtrak train travel or another rail system? Tell us about it in the comments below!