Your Q's, My A's About a Road Trip Alternative
THE LATEST U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL UPDATE
I've placed this link first just in case you are unaware of this latest update. If I put it at the bottom and you chose not to wade through my newsletter you'd miss it. I know it's hard to imagine some folks might do that ;)
Just when I thought I had an overseas tropical adventure in my very near future it gets yanked away by Coviditis. This was an out-of-doors, business-related overseas tropical adventure (yes, in travel we do that) - a conference with my like-minded travel associates, no, community, and I was very much looking forward to it after this confinement. I was going to the Le Blanc Spa Resort in Los Cabos, "An Adults-Only Oasis of Perfection", it's called. See what I'm missing in the photo, below. ~Sigh~ Better safe than sick though, right?
Thank you for allowing me to mourn for a few moments. I literally JUST found out as I sat to write this. Fortunately I'm not about to cancel your trip, but rather inspire you, and hopefully myself in the process. I've been fielding a lot of questions lately, so I thought I'd answer two of them here so everyone can have the benefit of of this information. As your teachers used to tell you, if you have a question, it's likely others have it too.
These questions are both about rail journeys, and the answers might help you recognize that a safe getaway IS possible these days. I did a newsletter full of rail journey fabulousness here, so check that out if you haven't seen it. The question I've been asked most frequently is:
"If I'm on the train for a few days do I have to sleep in my seat?"
I wouldn't let you do that; I know that's not how you roll. Sleeping car accommodations come in a choice of flavors intended to afford you the comfort, mobility, and relaxation: 'roomettes' and 'bedrooms', even family and handicap accessible bedrooms. And here's a big bonus - passengers with sleeper upgrades have priority boarding!!! You VIP, you. All rooms include a large picture window, and daily bed turndown service. Unlike the folks in the main car, who have to keep their masks on as they ride, you do not while you watch the world go by from your private sleeper.
A roomette accommodates two adults, with space for two small suitcases and a garment bag. Showers and restrooms are conveniently located, and shared with other roomettes. Bedrooms accommodate two adults, with space for two suitcases. There is an in-room sink and vanity with private toilet and shower. Remember that when you travel by train your luggage allowance a lot more generous than the airlines' allowances. You'll get two checked suitcases and two free carry-ons on board before you face a fee.
Other in-room features and services: private daytime seating that converts to a bed at night; bed-making and coffee prep; meals in the dining car; a small closet; individual reading lights; a garment rack, soap and shower amenities; a fold-down table; fresh towels and linens; bottled water and morning coffee, tea and juice; complimentary daily newspaper; a sleeping car attendant; and access to the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge, available in select train stations.
I've also been asked this:
"How can I get the train to go where I want to go?"
This question really asks "Is it possible to customize my trip if I don't want to follow a published train schedule? The answer is yes. Your trip will be just the way you want it, like all the trips I design. Most people don't know that this is possible. If on your way to enjoy Nashville's charm you want to stop and see family in Kansas for a few days...done. Do you wish to have a rental car while you're in Whitefish, Montana enjoying Mount Rainier National Park for a week? Done. Traveling to the Grand Canyon from Chicago to spend a few days exploring then heading to Oregon with the grandkids? Sounds like a plan!
I've told you this before: the best part of a rail journey is there is NO DRIVING!! It's better than a road trip. You can eat, sleep, leg-stretch and potty when you want without having to search for that perfect pull-off. You won't need a gas station (or its delightful restroom). You'll see sights that are unexpected and unspoiled and not visible from the highway. Convinced yet? Airline safety protocols pale in comparison to those of the railway - passenger spacing is generous; public touch-points are cleaned every 30-60 minutes; and sanitation stations are ample.
If you have questions about a custom rail journey or any other travel mystery, please ask me. Don't jump into the unknown without your a parachute, a.k.a travel advisor input. Your travel dollars are a big investment and you've waited a long time to travel again.
'til next week.