I recently spent 30 hours on an Amtrak train traveling from Miami to New York City.
For $1,000, I stayed in a Bedroom, which is about the size of a king-sized bed and has a full bathroom with a shower.
Having a private room with space to stretch out made the trip more comfortable.
I’ve always loved trains, so when planning a recent round-trip journey from NYC to Miami, I decided to see if I’d enjoy 30 hours each way on Amtrak trains.
I’ve flown a few times during the pandemic and found wearing a mask the entire time and sitting uncomfortably close to other passengers less than desirable. I thought I’d give another mode of transportation a try this time and figured having a room on a train where I could close my door and be alone would be more comfortable.
On my return trip, I decided to try out the Bedroom accommodation, which was about double the price and size of a Roomette, the next smallest room Amtrak offered.
Even though the train tickets were more expensive than an economy flight to Miami (a flight from NYC to Miami in basic economy could cost around $50, depending on the day), and the journey took 10 times as long, I was eager to see if the journey would be worth the extra time and money spent.
While I booked a $500 on a tiny, private Roomette for my trip from New York City to Miami, I reserved a $1,000 Bedroom accommodation, the next step up after a Roomette, on the way back. (For full disclosure, Insider paid for the train accommodations, per our reporting standards.)
While the ride home was bumpy and long, the roomy Bedroom made me feel at ease, and it’s the only way I’d travel long distances by train again.
As someone who deals with travel anxiety, I found 30 hours on a train to be overwhelming. It’s tough for me to relax when I am in-between destinations, and, for some reason, I struggled to view the train as a destination in itself.
The constant motion of the train didn’t help, either. In fact, I ended up feeling a little queasy.
But staying in a Bedroom made me feel more comfortable than staying in a Roomette, a cheaper accommodation about half the size of a Bedroom.
While the journey to New York was just as bumpy as the ride to Miami, I thought the Bedroom offered ample room to stretch out and move about, which made all the difference to me.
I think I could comfortably do a 30-hour train journey again, as long as I book a Bedroom. And to make it more affordable, I’d book with a friend to split the cost and have some company next time.
My journey began at the Amtrak Station in Miami.
I arrived at Amtrak Miami Station at 11 a.m., 50 minutes before my train was scheduled to depart. The building’s interior reminded me of a Greyhound bus station, and I sat in the only waiting area that I could find in the station until it was time to board.
Once on the train, I found my Bedroom, which had a sofa that folded out into a bed, a bed that pulled down from the ceiling, and a chair that folded up out of the way.
For double the price of a Roomette, the accommodation I booked for my previous train trip, the Bedroom accommodation also offered double the space, according to Amtrak’s website.
The Bedroom had a table that pulled out from the wall between two of the three seats.
The table reminded me of storage hacks I’d expect to find in a tiny home.
To the left of the chair in my room, there was a sink underneath a mirror with a handful of small towels next to it.
Beneath the sink, there was a trash can and a place to hold tissues.
To the right of the mirror, there was a cabinet where I could store my toiletries and other personal items during my trip.
This feature allowed me to unpack a little, the way I would in a hotel room.
Next to the seating area, there was a small, lighted closet with three hangers for clothing you’d want to keep looking sharp.
I didn’t use the closet, but I think it would have come in handy for storing jackets if I were traveling at a cooler time of the year.
There was also a private bathroom inside the Bedroom that had a door, shower, and toilet.
On the bathroom door, there were hooks to hold towels and clothing items. On a shelf above the toilet, there were two towels for drying yourself off after a shower.
I appreciated that the toilet was separated from the rest of the room by a door and think this is a great amenity if you’re traveling with others.
The Bedroom is your cheapest option if you want a private bathroom in your room, according to Amtrak’s website.
Other Bedroom features included temperature controls and a button to call an attendant if I needed any help.
Being able to control the temperature inside my room was a nice touch and a luxury you don’t get in economy on a flight.
I could also adjust the volume of the overhead speaker, through which train stops were announced, which I found particularly helpful.
This came in handy when I wanted to get off the train for a minute and stretch my legs. Thanks to the overhead speaker volume control, I always knew when the next stop would be and how long we had at each station.
The Bedroom also has handy controls for night, reading, and ceiling lights.
The best thing the Bedroom offered me was space. I had room to stand up, stretch, and dance. This made my ride much more enjoyable.
I tried to make the train feel like home, and at home I dance pretty much all day.
I live alone and listen to music constantly, so shutting the curtains gave me a moment of privacy to just be my goofy self. This helped me keep moving, too, which I found to be essential for surviving a 30-hour train ride.
It was also nice to have a big sofa, where I could stretch out and put my feet up.
Having room to stretch out made me feel more relaxed throughout my journey.
During the day, I spent a lot of time working on my laptop, which made the time pass by quickly.
Thanks to all the work I had to do, the first chunk of my trip home went by pretty quickly.
But when the workday was done, I had to find other ways to pass the time.
I decided to lay down on my belly and look outside the window for a bit.
Exhausted from my travels, I spent much of the evening reclining on the seats and gazing out the window.
During my trip home, I saw forests, towns, and factories outside my window.
When it was time for dinner, I headed to the dining cart and got some braised beef, short ribs, and mashed potatoes for dinner.
My meals came with the ticket, and I could pick from five items. Since I enjoyed the braised beef short rib dish on my trip to Miami, I decided to get it again on my way home.
Before bed, I brushed my teeth and washed my face in front of the sink.
Since I have an electric toothbrush, it was nice to be able to charge it with the outlets in the bathroom area.
At around 8 p.m., an attendant came to my room to transform the sofa into a bed.
My first thought when I entered the room again after receiving bedside service was that the bed looked bigger than the one I slept in on my way to Miami in a Roomette.
Since I had trouble sleeping on the top bunk on the way to Miami, I opted for the bottom bunk on this journey.
The bed and sheets were comfortable, and I was happy to have more room to sleep.
Had I slept in the bed that comes down from the ceiling, I would have had control of the air conditioning and lights, and a place to put my phone nearby.
I was able to use the foldout table for my bedside belongings, though.
Since there were outlets next to the sink, I propped my phone up there so I could watch TV from bed.
There may have been outlets on the other side of the bed, too, but I wasn’t able to find them.
By the time I sat in my bed at about 8:30 p.m., I realized my body was already aching for sleep.
I thought I’d stay up and watch TV for a while, but my body was telling me to just knock out.
So I lay down in bed and watched “The Office” until I drifted off to sleep.
The ride was bumpy through the night, but being on the lower bed felt grounding, and I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off the bed at any point. Although it wasn’t a perfect night’s sleep, I definitely slept better than I did in the Roomette.
I woke up the next morning around 8 a.m. in North Carolina to the sun beaming.
I woke up to the sun peering through my window and feeling somewhat well-rested.
I had planned on taking a shower, but after looking down at the floor, I wished I had brought sandals and decided to skip my shower.
I was excited to take a shower after having been on the train for nearly 24 hours, but the shower appeared too grimy for me to feel comfortable, and I wished I had brought flip-flops to wear in the shower.
Amtrak did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but, according to its website, it sanitizes rooms between visitors.
I usually wear flip flops in public showers, though, since experts say that it’s pretty easy to pick up germs from places where many people have walked around barefoot.
Since I forgot them, I decided not showering would be better.
Instead, I washed my face in front of the sink and put on a lot of deodorant.
This made me feel a little fresher, although I couldn’t wait to get home and take a shower.
While I was washing my face, I noticed how nice it was to have three mirrors next to each other.
Having the three connected mirrors made it easier to see the spots I missed after washing the soap off my face.
Breakfast and lunch were also included in my ticket on my final day of travel, and I thought they were pretty tasty.
For breakfast, I went to the dining cart and got the continental option. For lunch, I decided to try a different entree than the braised beef short ribs I had the night before.
I chose a chicken fettuccine dish with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, and I thought it was decent.
Of all the meals I had, I found the continental breakfast to be the most filling and satisfying.
The breakfast came with a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and a blueberry muffin. For the oatmeal, I had the choice of maple and brown sugar or apple cinnamon.
I thought this meal was the most filling I had the whole trip, and if they served it all hours, I’d probably get it for every meal.
I loved having my bed down throughout the day because it allowed me to relax and rest a bit more.
To pass the time, I looked at my phone and played Nintendo while relaxing on the bed.
It was a Saturday, so staying in bed felt right to me.
When we were about three hours from New York, my attendant transformed the bed back into seats, and these final hours on the train felt like the longest of the whole trip.
I think because my bed was gone and I thought the journey’s end should be near, the final hours of my train ride felt like they dragged on.
While I’m not sure if I’d choose a 30-hour train ride for my next trip, I know that if I do, I’ll at the very least book a Bedroom.
When we arrived in New York around 7 p.m., slightly later than scheduled, I realized I had never been more grateful to be home.
But I was also appreciative of the room and privacy I had while I was getting there.
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