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I’ve spent 100 hours traveling over 3,000 miles by train in 5 countries. Here are my 7 tips for making time fly on long rail journeys.



When booking a long-haul overnight ride, I recommend splurging for a private space whenever possible.

Inside an Amtrak bedroom en route to NYC from Miami in October 2021.

Joey Hadden/Insider

In my experience, long-haul train rides have a variety of seating and accommodation options, ranging from coach class to private rooms.

For my first overnight Amtrak ride from NYC to Miami, I spent $500 on a roomette, which is essentially a 25-square-foot hotel room with a pair of chairs that fold out into a bed, and a top bunk that folds down from the ceiling. There’s also a pullout table between the chairs, temperature controls, and a sliding door with curtains for privacy. 

I thought the roomette was much more comfortable than a typical train seat, and having total privacy made me feel more at home.

But on the way back to New York, I was even more impressed with the $1,000 bedroom accommodation, which was similar but larger and came with a private bathroom. According to Amtrak’s website, bedrooms are around 45.5 square feet, which, for reference, is a little bigger than a standard king-size bed, Insider reported. The room packs in a couch that folds out into a bed and another bed that folds down from the ceiling.

After trying both accommodations, I thought the bedroom was worth the splurge for the extra space and private bathroom. On such a long journey, it made a big difference to me to have my own personal room like I would in a hotel. Being more comfortable definitely helped to pass the time on the long, 30-hour ride, as well. 

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