Expert Packing Tips for Holiday Train Travel

Expert Packing Tips for Holiday Train Travel

LuggageHelpTake it from us at Amtrak. If you’re traveling by train this holiday season, you’re going to need a packing strategy. Here are 5 most important packing tips you need to know about what to bring and how to bring it this travel season!

1. There’s a 50 lb. limit
The good news is you can bring two 50 lb. bags completely for free! For the international crowd that’s 23 kg or 3.57 stones per bag. As a general rule of thumb, however, if you can’t maneuver it, you might want to check it. Our over-head storage requires you to lift the luggage above your head, and it cannot exceed the following dimensions: 28” x 22” x 14” on most trains and 28” x 22” x 11” on our Pacific Surfliner.

2. Choose your luggage wisely
There’s a good chance your luggage will be exposed to the elements, whether you take it with you on the platform or you check it into the baggage car. Around the holidays that can mean snow, sleet, or just plain cold temps. When you pick which bags to travel with, avoid trash bags, large packing boxes, fabrics that let sharp poke through or containers that can’t securely hold your stuff. We want all your holiday sweaters to arrive at your destination unharmed.

3. Check cardboard boxes
We understand there’s lots of gift giving this time of year. In fact, we don’t mind getting a few ourselves! But transporting that new Xbox One or iPad Mini can be tricky. If you’re packing your holiday haul in cardboard boxes, keep in mind that those boxes will only be accepted as checked baggage. They also have to have handles and be adequate for shipping. If you’re short a box, we’ve also got shipping boxes available for sale. No worries!

4. Pack essentials in a separate bag
For passengers traveling in our long-distance sleeper cars to get home this holiday, here’s some expert advice. Save yourself some room and only bring a few important items (not the whole kit and kaboodle) into your sleeper. If you’re staying in a roomette, bring two overnight bags, in a family bedroom bring two to three suitcases, in a bedroom bring two suitcases, and in an accessible bedroom bring two suitcases and a wheelchair. Your additional luggage can be checked.

5. Leave sharp stuff at home
Whether you’re carrying on your luggage or checking it into the baggage car, there’s a few important things you can’t bring. It’s for safety, folks! Knives, sharp objects, spears, and swords (sorry, King Joffrey) all have to be left at home. Also billy clubs, nightsticks, nunchuks and New Years fireworks are prohibited. Seriously. For a full list of prohibited items, go here.

What’s at the top of your packing list this season? Let us know in the comments below!

Read More All Aboard!: Baggage 101: What You Can Bring On Board