Posted On July 21, 2014 By In Lifestyle, Miscellaneous, Ramblings

Thoughts on Alternative Transportation


I’m currently sitting on one of America’s fabulous Amtrak trains. And no, that’s not sarcasm. I think people need to rethink their thoughts on the train. While yes, it may take me an extra hour to get to my destination than if I would have driven, but the leisure time is worth it.


Pros to riding the train:

  • No one rides Amtrak. Therefore, I get an entire row to myself.

  • You can change seats. Smelly person next to you? Move across the car. Screaming child? Move to an entirely different car.
  • Voltage. Laptop/ipod/phone dead? No problem. Every seat has an outlet. Beat that airlines.

Not on the train!

  • Free wifi. Hell to the yes. Sure it’s spotty and they blocked YouTube (bummer, I know) but my cheap self can spend the entire trip on Pinterest for FREE.
  • Better views. This one may only count for the California coast train as I’ve never taken Amtrak outside of California. I’m currently staring out the window watching the Pacific Ocean pass by. Oh, the sun is setting too. Yeah…
  • Someone else is doing the driving for me. Yeah, this one is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Cost-effective. Round trip train tickets are pretty affordable when compared with today’s ridiculous gas prices. And don’t even get me started on plane tickets.
  • BOOZE TRAIN. You can drink alcohol. Lots of it if you so choose. You may need to sneak it on if you’re poor but that doesn’t really require much sneaking. This leads to my next point…

These guys have it figured out.

  • I can bring WHATEVER I want.  Yes I know this isn’t a good thing for terrorists but it’s a good thing for me if I want to take more than 3oz of liquid. Oh and I won’t get harassed and asked to strip for TSA.
  • Great opportunities for people watching. I feel like Amtrak has a better selection of people watching. There are truly some gems on this train.

Now there are some down sides unfortunately. The kids are free to run up and down the aisles but that doesn’t mean you can’t accidently stick your foot too far out. As I mentioned before it is a slower mode of transportation but I find it relaxing. Also, the trains are seriously lacking a much needed make over. You germaphobes might not like the dirty seats and arm rests. But get over, bring some Purell.

Next time you’re planning a trip, consider the train. It’s really not as bad as people think.

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Renée Rapin is a writer for Writtalin. Renée is a UCSB grad and currently works as an event coordinator. She is a terrible speller and has an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs, wine, and reading. In her spare time she enjoys people watching, sweating at the gym, and planning for book club. Hopefully you find her worldly observations as entertaining as she does. You can email Renée at: [email protected]