In this day-in-age of Facebook and constant connectivity to the Internet, it is easy for me to overlook things like buying a train ticket on Amtrak, especially since I’ve done it so many times in the past few years. It wasn’t until recently that I started to notice that folks out there are having a hard time procuring their ticket on Amtrak.com. What seems to be very straightforward to me may not be straightforward to others. That is why I decided to create a step-by-step video explaining and showing what you need to do.
Step 1: Find the nearest stations with Google
You simply go to Google.com and search for “nearest train station to (your location name/destination)”. Once you have that information, you can simply go to Amtrak.com and buy your ticket.
Step 2: Buy a ticket on Amtrak.com
The next step is to go to Amtrak.com and buy either a one-way or round-trip ticket. I go through an example purchase where I show you what each field means and most importantly, how to add a bike to your trip. We then go through the process of reviewing an e-ticket that is sent to an email box which you can use on the train.
Step 3: What to do on the day of travel
The last step is to show you where to board the trains and how to park and secure your bike and bags. You will see how Amtrak conductors check the e-ticket, as well as where to sit on a train. I reveal some etiquette involved when traveling with your bike, such as letting passengers go on or get off the train first before you proceed.
What I don’t go over
Of course there are parts that I don’t go over in the video and that is the actually route planning for your trip. I felt that this was off topic, so I decided to leave that out, but there are certainly many ways to do this whether you use traditional maps, Adventure Cycling Association maps, or online maps, like Ride With GPS or Google Maps.
I also don’t go over securing a home for the night. This is something you’ll need to do either by looking at online maps for campgrounds, hotels, motels, or bed & breakfast establishments.
If these topics are something you want me to cover, please let me know in the comments, and I will consider adding a video or two to show you how I plan for my trips.
So without further adieu, here is the video.