Overnight travel with toddler & a group

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  1. Jan 4, 2019 #1
    I am planning my families first trip on Amtrak. We will be going from Chicago to Las Vegas. I will have my two year old, husband, brother and his friend. My brother will share a room with his friend and my family is looking to book the largest room available.

    Any tips on traveling the rails with a toddler? Thanks:)
     
  2. Jan 4, 2019 #2

    cpotisch

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    You're going to Las Vegas in New Mexico, right?
     
  3. Jan 4, 2019 #3

    the_traveler

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    #1 - I assume you mean Las Vegas, NV! It is not served directly by Amtrak, but you can catch a connecting Amtrak bus from either Kingman, AZ or LA. The route from Chicago also has a stop inLas Vegas, NM! Be sure to book to the correct one!

    #2 - You May wish to consider the Family room. It includes 2 adult beds and 2 child sized beds.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2019 #4

    cpotisch

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    If she's going to Las Vegas, NV, then the only option is to take the Zephyr from Chicago to Salt Lake City, which takes 34 hours 5 minutes, followed by an 8 hour 10 minute ride on a Thruway bus to Las Vegas. The issue is that the CZ gets into Salt Lake City at 11:05 PM, and the bus leaves at 7:45 AM. That's an 8 hour 40 minute overnight layover in Salt Lake City, followed by a VERY long bus ride. :unsure:

    So I have to ask, is it really worth it to take Amtrak from Chicago to Las Vegas (Nevada)?
     
  5. Jan 4, 2019 #5

    cpotisch

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    I think it would be the Family Room and a Roomette, since her brother will be sharing a room with his friend. So it would be the brother and friend in a Roomette, and then the OP, her husband, and their toddler in the Family Room.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2019 #6
    Hi guys! Las Vegas, NV! It gave me the option to go to Kingman, AZ and then a 2.5hr bus ride fo Vegas. 

    Does the family room have the in-room shower and toilet? We are taking the train for the experience and view and one traveler coming with us has a fear of flying due to being in a plane crash.

    Tia!
     
  7. Jan 4, 2019 #7

    F900ElCapitan

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    You could do a “bedroom suite”. If they can get you a E & D or C & B set, they have a door between them that can open. The advantages would be being upstairs, your own toilet/shower and sink (in each room), easy to socialize in your rooms, big windows (but only on one side of the train). The lower bed is a little bigger so either one of you could sleep with your child and the other above or the two of you could squeeze into the lower bed and your child can sleep on the upper bunk. The other option already mentioned would be the family room and a roomette, of which there are 4 roomettes on the lower level so it would be possible to be close. The family bedroom spans the car width so you have windows on both sides but they are 1/2 sized windows. You’d also have to use the community restrooms and shower, but they’d be close (just down the hall). 

    I’m sure you realize it but the stop in Kingman is in the middle of the night.

    Sounds like a really fun trip! 
     
  8. Jan 4, 2019 #8

    cpotisch

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    The Family Bedroom lacks any in-room bathroom-related facilities.. The standard Bedroom is the only accommodation with its own shower. It has a sink in the main part of the room, and a small enclosed toilet and shower area. There is also the Accessible Bedroom, which is for disabled passengers and has a curtained-off sink and toilet, though no shower.

    I would note that since the Family Bedroom is on the lower level and therefore extremely close to the shared bathrooms and shower, the lack of in-room facilities really isn't much of an issue at all. And since there are a whopping *four* bathrooms down there, there really isn't any risk of you having to wait to use one (this has literally never happened to me).
     
  9. Jan 4, 2019 #9

    cpotisch

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    But it should be a lot cheaper to get a Family Bedroom and a Roomette than to get a Bedroom Suite, though. And they have five people traveling, so the four beds in the Bedroom Suite would necessitate two people sharing a bed, while the Family Bedroom and Roomette have a total of six. 

    And IMHO, a Bedroom Suite also probably wouldn't have enough space for everyone's bags, since there is limited floor space and no usable storage area in the room. Meanwhile with the three people in a Family Room, the empty bunk (probably the upper children's bunk in this case) can be used to store A LOT of bags. And since it's on the lower level, even if they can't fit all the bags in the room, they are still only a few feet away from the shared luggage area. OTOH, the standard Bedroom (Suite) is on the upper level, which is really far from the luggage area if they need to put any bags down there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2019
  10. Jan 4, 2019 #10

    bratkinson

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    Don't forget there's space UNDER the couch/bed/seats in all sleeping accomodations.  I use that to my advantage in a roomette.  I have an airline sized carry on that slides under the seat.  When I make the seats into a chaise lounge configuration for sleeping, I use the carry on as a 'base' for a couple of inflatable pillows to fill the gap between the seats, then unroll the mattress pad.  Works great!

    If opting for the family room, be sure to ask for a lower level roomette, preferably #13 or 14.  #11 and 12 are down stairs as well.

    And if using adjoining bedrooms (upstairs), your 2 year old gets to sleep with Mom or Dad, whoever is in the (wider) lower berth.
     
  11. Jan 4, 2019 #11

    the_traveler

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    That’s only if they take the CZ. If they take the SWC, they can either get off at Kingman connecting to a Thruway bus or LA connecting to a Thruway bus.
     
  12. Jan 4, 2019 #12

    cpotisch

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    How come it isn't showing up on the booking page, though?
     
  13. Jan 4, 2019 #13

    cpotisch

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    But remember that the two full size berths in the Family Room consist of the same exact bed/couch "module" as in the standard Bedroom, and the respective bunks are of identical width and length, so sharing the lower berth with their toddler is just as much of an option in the Family Bedroom as it is in the Bedroom. In fact, if the toddler spends the night in the big bunk with one of them instead of the lower kiddie bunk, then then they can keep the two opposing seats up the entire time and not have to worry about turning down or making up the room. :huh:
     
  14. Jan 4, 2019 #14

    PRR 60

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    If you search for CHI to LAS (Las Vegas Airport), it shows.  The bus from Kingman serves the airport.
     
  15. Jan 5, 2019 #15

    the_traveler

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    The bus from Kingman serves the airport (LAS) while the bus from LA - and SLC - use the Greyhound Terminal (LVS).
     
  16. Jan 25, 2019 #16

    Ashland Train Enthusiast

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    As someone who has traveled overnight with a toddler before (San Antonio -> Richmond, VA), we found that a bedroom served us just fine.  Our little girl was sleeping in her own bed at the time (she was just about 2 then), so we were comfortable with her sleeping in the upper berth on her own, just with a couple of extra pillows set beside the harness that's there to keep you from rolling out of the bed.  My wife and I comfortably shared the lower berth together.  Having the en suite toilet was very helpful for traveling with a toddler, as we were in the middle of potty training at that point in time.  My recommendation would be to go with a bedroom from you guys and a roomette for your friends.

    ~ATE
     
  17. Jan 25, 2019 #17

    zephyr17

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    Not so.  The "normal" Las Vegas, NV routing from Chicago is the SW Chief, with a shuttle from Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas' McCarran Airport.  That is only about a 3 hour shuttle ride, although it takes place in the middle of the night.
     
  18. Jan 25, 2019 #18

    cpotisch

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    Yep, Bill already cleared that up in post #14 (I hadn’t seen that the airport was an option).
     
  19. Jan 27, 2019 #19

    Rasputin

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    I think a toddler would do fine in a bedroom or family bedroom.  

    However on this proposed trip you would be detraining at Kingman around midnight and then taking a bus to Las Vegas, arriving at about 3 A.M.  That is a tough schedule.  I wouldn't want to take that part of the trip myself, much less with a toddler.  I will just hope that my concerns are unwarranted and that your trip goes well.  
     
  20. Jan 29, 2019 #20

    cpotisch

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    Agreed. This is a group of five people (including one toddler) taking their first ever trip on Amtrak, and with the bus segment and those arrival/departure times, I just don't think this would be a good fit for them. I certainly wouldn't want their first Amtrak trip to leave a bad impression from unpleasant connection times and a bus ride. :unsure:
     

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