Amtrak.

Okay so we made our way to New York on Wednesday and we got here via the Amtrak train.

We are using the Amtrak three times on our trip – Boston to New York, New York to Washington and Washington to Philadelphia. We booked our tickets around January time, so well in advance. I did this because you can get some great discounts. We paid $199 altogether for both of us. Faye as a child gets a half price fare (when accompanied by an adult). The only disadvantage to this is you need to pick the exact train to go on and if you miss it or want to change it, you can end up paying the most expensive last minute rate for it. The trains are often fully booked by the day of departure so it’s not advisable to turn up hoping to get a seat. If booking in advance online you get emailed your ticket which you print out so when it comes to boarding the train you hop straight on and the ticket guy checks it once the train has left.

The tickets are for unreserved seating so it’s best to get there early to sit together with family/friends. The seating is two on the left and two on the right with the aisle in between.

Boston to New York took just short of four hours and the train was efficient and on time with good announcements of all the stations along the way. There was plenty of leg room and there is tray tables in front of you. Each window seat has two plug sockets so you can take chargers for phones, cameras and games consoles which is handy. It also has free Wifi which worked with no problem all the way. As well as a food cart half way down for snacks.

They are quite strict on baggage, two bags per person, no heavier than 50lbs. Bags have to be put on shelves or in overhead lockers so make sure you can lift them or ask someone to help, people are pretty friendly here towards parents with young children.

I had looked into flying but it was much more expensive and with the faff of checking bags in it would of taken just as long as the Amtrak. There are also Greyhound buses which are a cheaper option but they can take a long time. I felt the Amtrak was good value for money (so far, I still have two trips to do and may hate it by then) and its also another mode of transport for children to explore and Faye found it quite exciting doing something new. Just make sure you pack snacks and activities to do on board.

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