10 Tips for Sleeping Overnight in Coach

So you have your long-distance ticket but you need a few tips on how to get the most out of the over-night hours. You're in luck! It IS possible to sleep in a coach seat. Our wide reclining chairs with tons of legroom and adjustable footrests will have you sleeping like a ... well ... you know.

1. Bring a blanket
This gives you that warm and cozy feeling even as you're traveling across America!

2. Download your favorite movie
Load up your cell phone or tablet with a few movies. When it's too dark to enjoy the scenery out the windows, these come in handy.

3. Don't forget a pillow or weird inflatable neck-brace thingy
Our coach seats have tons of legroom and recline at the push of a button. There's even an extendable footrest. But to ensure your night is full of sound sleep, bring a pillow.

4. Pack your charger
Each coach seat has its own outlet, so be sure to bring your charger. You're going to be snapping lots of pics and playing on your phone a lot. This is no time for a dead battery.

5. Wear comfortable clothes (& shoes)
We're not talking full-on pajamas, but breathable, stretchy clothing will make your night's sleep more enjoyable. Another piece of expert advice? Wear comfortable, light shoes. Shoes are required at all times, so it's important to wear ones you can sleep in.

6. Bring headphones
Whether they're earbuds or Dre Beats, your headphones are essential for long train trips. Out of respect for your fellow passengers, try to keep the volumes low. Otherwise, enjoy!

7. Have money for snacks
Our long-distance trains have a couple food options. You can grab dinner or an evening snack from the cafe car which has grab-and-go options like chips, hummus and pizza. There's also a bigger meal option in our dining car. That's basically a rolling restaurant with booths, full menus and wait staff.

8. Travel with a friend
Adventures are always better when you can share them with someone else. If you decide to travel on a long-distance train, bring a friend. If nothing else, they won't mind if you drool on them a little when you sleep.

9. Pack wet wipes or a wash cloth
There's a full bathroom in each coach car, so you don't even have to skip your night-time beauty regimen when you travel on a long-distance train. Simply bring wet wipes or your own wash cloth for freshening up.

10. Don't forget to brush your teeth
Make mom proud, bring a toothbrush and toothpaste so you can wake up minty fresh!

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62 comments
timtimms19722
timtimms19722

Is that gif of the baby falling over supposed to be funny or a warning to parents that your unattended kid could easily crack his or her head open on the floor after hitting the cushion and rolling off the seat?  

ruki444
ruki444

Ten suggestions? I counted four having to do with sleep. Regarding rooms, they have gotten way too expensive, regardless that they include meals. I recommend to Amtrak that they design a new style of sleeper car based on the over-lapping single slumber rooms that used to be on the east coast. When I first rode those in the late eighties they were approximately $40 a night.

BeaMcManis
BeaMcManis

I learned that they no longer had pillows on an overnight coach trip from Buffalo to Toledo. However, i always bring a pillow and a fleece throw that, when folded, fits nicely in the pillowcase with the pillow. While other countries seem to be increasing the amenities for rail passengers, Amtrak is doing the opposite.

MaiaDuerr
MaiaDuerr

It's truly unfortunate that Amtrak no longer provides pillows.

BeaMcManis
BeaMcManis

If the majority of the trip is at night, request the bulkhead. More leg room a d comfort is a fair trade for no window. A pillow, a blanket, your earbuds in, and a few snacks makes this a cozy nest for the night.

Jsabe07
Jsabe07

I'm 6'5 and my wife is 5 ft, we haved booked the Amtrak from Wilmington DE to Orlando. I just watched a video on the Viewliner roomette and the leg room between the seats looks really small for a guy my height. But I've also heard that the sleeper is the best for a long trip. Is there any way to actually see one in person so I can make a better choice on whether to upgrade or not?

NigelSurfsUpMahood
NigelSurfsUpMahood

bring sleeping bag if you are in coach, once the lounge car closes (on the superliners) you can stretch out on the seats on the lower level or on the upper level you can lay down between the window and the seats. I usually bring my own beer, you must hide your stash, i bring Corona because that's what the sell onboard and you wont stick out while enjoying your adult beverage, (one at a time) also a six pack cost $30.00.

ChuckFarina
ChuckFarina

Bring Benadryl, 'cause your going to need some knock out pills in order to sleep in coach. Take my advice and pay for at least the roomette, better is the bed room.

vernwash2012
vernwash2012

I didn't know this until our train was rerouted and I started exploring the lower level of the train I was in. Coastal Starlight.  Turned out there were 4 bathrooms - 2 regular ones, an ADA one and one big one at the end.  It openes up your options!

Paul Everett Vinson
Paul Everett Vinson

Better yet, book 1st class in a sleeping car with the benefit of a bed and privacy. That would be train travel at its best!

AlexAndrews
AlexAndrews

That's really just applicable to any long train trip. My advice would be two things that oddly enough didn't make this list at all. If you plan to sleep on the trains, start early in the trip. And have an alarm set for 30 min before your disembarkation station. 

SuperChiefPete
SuperChiefPete

-don't just bring a toothbrush: bring all your toiletries in a gallon sized resealable bag! Keep it with your carry-on and go down to the handicapped bathroom (make sure a disabled person does not need it 1st of course) and freshen up in the morning!

merano05
merano05

If there's a kid seated behind you, chances are good he WON'T go to sleep and his loving mummy will be unwilling or unable to stop his noisy chatter  and kicking the back of your seat. Take note before bedtime and see if you can get the attendant to let you change your seat, because I've never come out the winner when in this situation. 

ElCap
ElCap

Trust me: I don't sleep THAT well. Try me.

GeorgeSchwarz
GeorgeSchwarz

These are all good tips, but what about the security of your luggage in the overhead rack and the security of your personal effects with you (i.e., laptop, cell phone, etc.)? If you're sleeping -- really well, if you're luck -- what prevents the unscrupulous from raiding your stuff?

neroden
neroden

Tip #1: don't let idiot car attendants put you in an Amfleet I, which does not have the adjustable footrests or the legroom, for an overnight trip.  I had that happen once -- never again.  

Demand an Amfleet II, which actually *have* the adjustable footrests and the legroom.

dannymanTM
dannymanTM

Also, bring your immigration papers, because ICE might wake everyone up at 6:00am at the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and deport the guy sitting next to you.  (This happened last time I rode The Lake Shore Limited.)

steamtrain6868
steamtrain6868

Bring a bottle of your favorite adult beverage to share with your neighbor :-)

donoltmann
donoltmann

I've taken my shoes off.  I'll probably do it again. (Don't tell anyone...)

Brushing your teeth is a good idea.  Here's the rub.  Pointy-bottom cups.  I'm not sure the water to the sink in the Amfleet II bathrooms is potable, so I get my water from the dispenser next to the cup supply.  Now, I'm holding the cup in one hand and have to maneuver the toothbrush and toothpaste without crushing my cup full of water.  You can't put the cup down and you really DON'T want to put your toothbrush down.  So, what do I do?  Mostly fumble around, spill water and almost drop my toothbrush on the floor, but somehow, teeth get brushed!

Suggestion?  Cups with flat bottoms.  Grab one from the lounge car if you can.

Nidira
Nidira

If you don't travel with a friend (or family member), be prepared to have a perfect stranger fall asleep on you, especially on a particularly full train.

ElCap
ElCap

Hummus? So we don't offend the Islamists?

steamtrain6868
steamtrain6868

Dont sleep near the door...Its always opening and closing and COOLD Air comes in.

tjemartin
tjemartin

@Jsabe07  Not sure if you knew about it, or anyone has told you before, but one plus about booking a roomette/bedroom on an Amtrak train is, your meals are included in the price of the room.

As for your question about seeing a room on an Amtrak train in person, I am not sure, but would not hurt to ask an Amtrak customer service rep or other Amtrak employee about it.

ChuckFarina
ChuckFarina

There's even a shower down there. Were you in the sleeper car. In the sleepers, which are forward of the dining car, there are three or four restrooms down stairs, as well as a shower. There are also two restrooms upstairs. If you get the Bed Room, you get your own bath room/shower and a wash basin, bunk beds and two day time seats.

timtimms19722
timtimms19722

@Paul Everett Vinson Yes!  And don't forget the Russian caviar and a case of Dom Perignon!  Thanks for the advice for riding overnight in coach.  Good grief.

timtimms19722
timtimms19722

@Paul Everett Vinson Yes!  And don't forget to bring the Russian caviar and a case of Dom Perignon!  Thanks for the tip regarding overnight coach travel.  Good grief.

HmtGolfGuy
HmtGolfGuy

@merano05 Funny, every time I've been in that situation the kids are OUT by about 10pm - However, the young adults playing games (loudly) and the cranky middle-aged/older paxs are much more of an issue

blondecandie
blondecandie

@GeorgeSchwarz  You really create your own security. My overhead bag, I put a lock on. My other valuables are in a bag that I carry with me when I leave my seat and sleep with the bag nestled very close to me and under my feet. I ride the train a lot and I've never had a problem. Besides, there's too many observant people that could tell you what they look like.

jbs319
jbs319

@neroden Amfleet 1 coaches don't run on overnight trains except for Northeast Regional 66/67, and there are no Amfleet 2s on that train.  Occasionally an Amfleet 1 business class car will show up, but that is very rare.

neroden
neroden

@donoltmann Everyone takes their shoes off while sitting down.  Amtrak should simply change their rule, because it's stupid to ask people to sleep in their shoes -- most of us can't.  The normal requirement, as applied in airplanes, is to wear shoes when not strapped into your seat.

Paulonater
Paulonater

@ElCap I eat hummus because I want to, because it's GOOD. I couldn't care less about who it offends or doesn't. I'll eat crunchy roasted crickets if I want to...

Alika
Alika

@ElCap No, because like pizza, it's f'n tasty. That's why! :-)

JimJenkins
JimJenkins

@ElCap Gosh, I've eaten hummus for years as a vegetarian choice, not a religious choice.

NigelSurfsUpMahood
NigelSurfsUpMahood

@TraceyTierneyFunaro  buy a coach ticket, after you are aboard ask the conductor if there are any available rooms, you will be surprised how much cheaper the upgrade can be.

ChuckFarina
ChuckFarina

Apply for the AMTRAK Guest Rewards card. Soon you will be enjoying free travel on AMTRAK, in a roomette or bed room.
 Plus you get to eat steak for dinner, Rail Road French Toast for breakfast, Angus burgers for lunch, and many more choices. All included in the cost of first class. You also sit in a first class waiting lounge at many stations, loaded with coffee, sodas, cookies and snacks. Queen Ann chairs or a sofa and Television, newspapers, and magazines.


GeorgeSchwarz
GeorgeSchwarz

@blondecandie Thanks. I was thinking of those steps and know, somewhere around here, I have a couple of locks, including a cable lock, that would work.

dannymanTM
dannymanTM

My goodness, @CarrieWilder, for your sake I hope they don't impose random English grammar checkpoints, or you too might get hauled off the train at 6:00am and whisked off to a gulag of indefinite detention for the simple crime of having not paid attention in school.

RobinBiernbaum
RobinBiernbaum

@neroden @donoltmann  i took off my shoes whenever i was just sitting in my chair and put them on if i were to go walking somewhere and never got told to keep shoes on at all times

HmtGolfGuy
HmtGolfGuy

@NigelSurfsUpMahood @TraceyTierneyFunaro @NigelSurfsUpMahood@TraceyTierneyFunaroNot any more.  Conductors are required to call in and get current availability/pricing.  Used to be much cheaper this way but too many instances of the "upgrade" charge not showing up as revenue or "involuntary downgrades" because a room was no longer available.  If they don't call in they're subject to rather extensive discipline so they just don't take the chance anymore.

TraceyTierneyFunaro
TraceyTierneyFunaro

I do, and I have used them..thanks for the info though!! I appreciate any help that could save some $$

TraceyTierneyFunaro
TraceyTierneyFunaro

Still too much..over $700 on the trains I use to travel...no amount of food that could would eat could justify that. I still love traveling via Amtrak, regardless...

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