My son and I traveled 27 hours on Amtrak in a private bedroom and roomettes. The pricey upgrades were worth it.
12.11.2023 - 16:19
A few years ago, my 11-year-old son and I took flights from our hometown of St. Louis on a trip to Boston, Massachusetts.
Instead of coming back on a plane, I booked a variety of seating arrangements on Amtrak and embraced the journey with my son.
Our 27-hour-long train ride wasn't cheap, but I've never regretted the experience we had in a bedroom and private roomettes.
I booked an Amtrak on the Lake Shore Limited route, an overnight trip running from Boston to Chicago with a train change in Albany, New York.
I got a full bedroom from Boston to Albany and smaller roomettes on the overnight to Chicago and the Texas Eagle line from Chicago to St. Louis.
Tickets for a similar journey for one adult and one child currently cost about $1,160.
A private bedroom from Boston to Albany costs $270. A roomette from Albany to Chicago costs $660 (the most expensive part of the trip) and similar seating arrangements from Chicago to St. Louis cost $230.
Ticket prices vary depending on when and how far in advance you book your trip, but coach seats can be half the price or less of a roomette and bedroom.
Our upgrades might not have been cheap but I don't regret investing in more space for a long journey.
The perks began the moment we arrived at Boston's South Station. Our tickets included access to Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge, where we settled in before boarding.
We rested and nibbled on granola bars, pretzels, and pastries. It's almost always snack time for my son so I appreciated the access to a place to eat before we boarded the train.
If we had booked coach seats we wouldn't have had access to the lounge so right off the bat, I was glad we upgraded.
The private bedroom was larger than I'd expected, complete with a full-sized sofa, a separate captain-style chair, and an area for our luggage.
There was even an en suite bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. Excited for the adventure, we quickly settled in.
As the train swayed out of Boston and toward the Berkshires, I stretched out on the couch while my son perched in his chair and watched the world go by out the window. We chatted, pointed out the sights, played card games, and simply enjoyed each other's company.
I thought the private bedroom was well worth the price.
As we approached Albany, my son and I repacked what we'd removed from our luggage in preparation to switch trains.
Once the train pulled in, our attendant helped us make the switch seamless by walking us to the correct track.
A new attendant showed us to our roomette, which was about half the size of the private room we'd shared on the previous train. My son and I laughed, realizing that after a spread-out afternoon, it was going to be a crowded evening.
The roomette had two comfortable seats