Post # 1
So, in reality, we’re probably going to do Honeymoon for a 1 or 2 year reward for survival anniversary, but I can’t help shopping around now. I asked Fiance his thoughts, because my feeling is that we should do something we’ve never done (or always wanted to do).
He wants to sleep overnight in a train.
Cool, I’m game! So has anyone done a rail vacation? Any recommendations – either for places to go, or extra things we should book, or anything else?
Post # 3
Sleeping overnight in a train covers a pretty broad assortment of vacations, so maybe some others will give ideas!
My personal experience is when I backpacked through Europe with my sister and best friend. We slept on the Eurorail train several times to get from one country to the next (it saved on lodging for the night so that was great!). Must say that sleeping on a train isn’t super comfy though, pretty much like sleeping on an airplane but with more room. The chairs are upright but recline. Unless you do a sleeper car in which case you can sleep laying down which still isn’t super comfy cause of the motion of the train.
That being said, it was a trip of a lifetime and sleeping on those trains is something I will always remember. If you want to do a backpacking trip like that for your honeymoon I recommend it cause it would be a one of a kind trip! One of the coolest train rides was from Oslo, Norway to Bergen, Norway. (I think it’s a pretty famous railway if you try looking it up) I was asleep and woke up in the middle of the night/ride to see we were travelling through the most beautiful snow capped mountains. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!
Post # 4
I have done Europe by rail, but my Fiance and I really wanted to do the Amtrak’s Empire Builder route:
“Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, Amtrak’s Empire Builder provides the perfect way to experience the rugged splendor of the American West.
The mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers.
From Chicago, you’ll have magnificent views of the Mississippi and see the glowing night skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Awake the next morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle. Skirting the Missouri, you’ll cross into the Big Sky country in Montana. Visit Glacier National Park during the Centennial celebration, and enjoy educational programs, art events and special activities commemorating the 100th anniversary of the park.”
However, while we still want to do that eventually, we decided that bunking with other people on our honeymoon wasn’t really our dream either, so it’s been postponed. If you are a National Park sort of person, I think it’s the way to go!
Post # 5
Amtrak is not quite as glamorous as it once was. I’ve never actually booked a sleeper car, but I used to take an overnight Amtrak from CT to IN (and back) when I was in college, and it was painful. On one experience, the train froze to the tracks, the water pipes all froze so we weren’t allowed to use the restrooms, and we ended up arriving 13 hours behind schedule.
Like I said, I’ve never taken a sleeper car, but have you seen the Sex and the City episode where Carrie and Samantha take one to California? Not sure how accurate it was, but it didn’t look like something I would want to do.
For things to bring, I say bring your own pillow and blanket. The blankets they give out (at least to people just sitting in their seats overnight) are awful. Bring snacks–the ones in the club car are expensive, and the variety is not great. And bring your own cooler of drinks, they are expensive as well.
Post # 6
@Leprechaun: I agree for the most part – the Surfliner we have here is just a crappy commuter train, but I saw the Empire Builder on a National Parks special and it looked WAY nicer than what I am used to. It could be misleading, but I think they try to play up the historical “See America First” promotion on that route and have made an effort to keep it nicer.
Post # 7
I agree w/PP who stated that train travel is not as glamorous as it used to be (LOVED the example of Carrie & Samantha on “Sex & the City!”). Husband & I have done overnight trains in Europe & the first time was w/2 complete strangers in the car (we did a 2nd class quad sleeper). The old Italian lady in our compartment decided at 8pm that she was going to sleep. Since there was a language barrier & we were being respectful of the elderly, we all agreed to bunk down for the night. It was crazy. The sun hadn’t even gone down yet. The next time, we had our own compartment, but people were running up & down the hall all night & occasionally banging on our door. No peaceful sleep then, either. Ugh!
However, it’s my understanding that the Gold Leaf service through the Canadian Rockies is much more romantic & reminiscent of old-style train travel & it’s more relaxing. The US used to have the American Orient Express, but, unfortunately, they went under a few years ago. So Amtrak is the only option that I know of & we’ve never had good feedback from clients who traveled with them. 🙁
Post # 8
We booked an Amtrak train from Ohio to LAX. We made sure to book the sleeper car for both segments (To Chicago, and from Chicago to LA). I’ve never been on one before but my mom goes to Chicago every year and LOVES it. I think it’d be a GREAT way to see the countryside. My Future Sister-In-Law did the same trip last year and said when they arrived in LA she was so relaxed. So, we are going to give it a shot… something different for our honeymoon 🙂 We are then going to fly back. Good Luck!
Post # 9
My Fiance mentioned to me a honeymoon by rail. It actually sounds pretty cool. Here’s what we are looking at possibly. clicky