Saturday, March 28, 2015

Comfortable Train Travel

What should you take and what should you do on a comfortable train trip? Four devises carried, will add comfort to the trip. Of course, the phone. This keeps you in contact with friends, family, and business. If the train is running late, you can call ahead to let your hotel reservation know or family that will meet you. The smart phone will give you other information. If you use Google Maps, you can see where the train is at, as it locates you on the map through GPS. Downloading the Amtrak App, will allow you to chart the ontimeness of your train.

The tablet will give you these same advantages, except for the call. The wider screen will make map watching more comfortable. With WiFi, we can watch videos, either downloaded or hosted on our devise. Earbuds and Noise Cancelling headphones are required for this. Many Amtrak trains have free WiFi but a WiFi card that uses 4G will be nice to have. Unfortunately, most cable and satellite apps will not be as useful on these trips as they have limits on what can be watched while away from home network. You can still stream from Blockbuster and other rental apps, including Netflix. However, Amazon is limited. Amazon streaming video is not supported on Android devises, even if you go though the website. You still can stream music, however.

Your laptop computer is your best friend. Here you can stream video from all the major carriers including Amazon video. This gives you a place to work if that is wanted.

Beyond this media, other things will make the trip comfortable. A blanket if the trip is long along with a pillow. Of course taking a sweater or using your jacket or coat, during colder time, can be substituted for either blanket of pillow.

Cameras and camcorders will make trip interesting as you record what goes by. On many trips the scenery is as interesting as any video you could have, particular through historic areas, mountain vistas and waterways.

On many trips outside the NE, train trips are friendly, much friendlier than flying, You can even talk with the next person, without seeming odd. In the lounge and cafe car you can sit with fellow riders that you haven't met before. Many diners use community seating, where they will seat you with someone you just or not yet met. On my first trip on train, I went to the diner. The host said "two" and I said "I am not with him." The host said "do you have anything against him?" and we set together and we talked. On another trip, I had a roomette, alone. Even before leaving the station I began a conversation with someone in the next room. We ended up have our dinner together and some time in the lounge.

So you board the train, take a seat, and the conductor views you ticket (in the old days he would punch a hole in it). If it is an early train you can now go to the cafe car or the diner and get breakfast. In the cafe it is most frozen and then microwaved, but still acceptable, they do have fresh good coffee. You can now go back and sight see from your seat or stay in the lounge. Before you know it you have been traveling more than an hour. If it is later you can have dinner instead. Overnight would mean sleeping. So when you board, how long the trip, will make all the difference in what you do.

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