Thanksgiving Travel Made Easy

Follow these tips for smooth holiday travel!

This Thanksgiving, it’s easy to have a stress-free trip. Follow these 10 Thanksgiving travel tips to arrive relaxed and refreshed this holiday!

1. Wear Comfortable Clothes
We’re not talking full-on pajamas, but breathable, stretchy clothing will make your train trip 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 relax in.

2. Pack Light
Well, less than 100 lbs. On our trains, you’re allowed two 50-lbs. bags for free.! We’ll repeat that. You can pack two bags completely full of stretchy pants, holiday sweaters and leftovers up to 50 lbs. each totally for F-R-E-E. If you have three bags, you’ll need to check one. Please see an Amtrak agent or one of our (free!) Red Caps to help you check your additional bags. Want to see what else you can bring for free? Go here.

3. Bring A Charger
Each coach seat has its own outlet, so be sure to bring your charger. You’re going to be snapping lots of pics (tagging them #Amtrak) and taking advantage of our free Wi-Fi (on select routes) alot. This is no time for a dead battery.

4. Pack Your Camera
Obviously you’re going to be making a lot of Thanksgiving memories around the dinner table. But did you know they’ll start the minute you step onto the train? From sunrises to sunsets, you’ll pass some amazing views when you ride the rails. Be ready to snap away!

5. Arrive at least 30 Minutes Early
Our stations are their busiest around the holidays. That’s especially true the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So make sure to build in extra time when you head to the station. Also, watch the monitors for your platform or gate number. Once it’s announced, you can head that direction to await your train’s arrival.

6. Download the Amtrak App
We’re pretty hip. We have free apps for iPhone and Android phones. That means you can plan and book your Thanksgiving travel throughout Amtrak’s nationwide system of trains and buses straight from your phone. You can also check the arrival and departure status of trains and display your eTicket from right in the app.

7. Tag Your Luggage
All your bags need ID tags, but we make that easy. You can pick up free luggage tags at your local station. Simply fill out your contact information and attach it in a prominent place.

8. Mind Your Manners
There’s really no right way to ride a train, but some ways are better than others. Minding your #TrainManners is key. Try to use your inside voice when you’re on the phone. And headphones are essential for any train trip. Plus, out of respect for your fellow passengers, try to keep the volumes low. Check out more #TrainManners (and add your own!) on Twitter using the special hashtag.

9. Know Your Perks
Have you signed up for Amtrak Guest Rewards yet? It lets you earn points toward free travel (and lots more) when you ride. Most importantly, it’s free! Also, some of our larger stations have special lounges for customers with sleeper car accommodations. Check here to see if you’re eligible. Lastly, parents traveling with young kids and passengers needing assistance can board their trains first. Simply speak to an Amtrak staff member for assistance.

10. 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.

Have other expert tips to share with Thanksgiving travelers? Share them in the comments below!

Read More All Aboard!: 10 Tips for Sleeping Overnight in Coach