I have some wonderful memories of traveling by train with Aaron and the kids. Since Aaron didn’t fly we took an epic cross country journey via train. Although it’s not usually the most efficient way to get to your destination (and you won’t get the best sleep of your life on an overnight train) there is a relaxing and delightful quality to train travel. You can sit back and truly enjoy the journey without having to worry about traffic or directions, and can see the world in a way that you can’t when you’re flying over it. I whole-heartedly encourage taking a long train trip once in your life, and have a few suggestions for how to make it more fun:
Research the scenery: In addition to reading up on your ultimate destination, take time to research some of the places you’ll be passing through, even if you can’t stop in them. Knowing a bit about the towns and countryside your train is speeding by will give the scenery more meaning.
Keep kids engaged: If you’re traveling with children, collect some facts and features about the journey that will be interesting to them. When the kids were young and we traveled cross country I’d look up the history of the key towns we would be traveling through and share it with the kids. We also played a lot of games.
Chat up your fellow passengers: On a long train trip engage in conversation with the other passengers—find out where they’re from, where they’re going and why they’re on the train. While you might be hesitant to talk to your seatmate on an airplane (since you’re strapped in for hours and there’s no easy exit from an awkward or dull encounter) on a train you can move around a bit more so there’s less pressure. It’s a great way to meet people from other areas and walks of life.
You can read all about the Spelling family cross-country train ride in my first book Stories from Candyland.