Train travel with kids
This is the first of many blog posts about our train trip from Milwaukee to Kansas City. I hope you'll stick around to see my tips/tricks and failures.I took the train with all three kids, alone, without my husband or any other adult help. We survived. At times it was really fun. At times, we really wanted to be there already. Just like any forms of travel, there are pros and cons. It’s life, there are pros and cons to life people! You take the good with the bad.
(This picture was on our first train from Milwaukee to Chicago, it's a much smaller train and the space is set up different than the longer train from Chicago to Kansas City)
What made you decide to take the train? We compared a lot of different factors, price, time, ease of travel being the top priorities. It was cheapest to drive, however that also means wear and tear on my vehicle and being the only adult in a car with 3 kids, one being a crazy toddler. The other asking “How manutes?” (aka how many minutes) every 30 seconds on just trips around town. That made me panic just thinking about it. Plus pit stops for gas, potential breakdowns (you NEVER know!), safety... Honestly I just didn’t think I could mentally handle it and I thought I would get frustrated driving so long without some help. So I nixed that right away. Flight was WAY out of our price range and taking our 2 year old on an airplane no matter how short, did not sound like fun. He’s a mover and I know it wouldn’t have went well. Factor in security, cost of food, getting food, being stuck in a small space for a few hours and potentially changing places… um not so much. So in came the train… It was just double the cost of driving. No security checkpoints that were mandated (call me crazy but that didn’t freak me out at all), being able to walk around the train, take as much food or drinks on as you wanted, sitting together, free wifi, the same time length as driving, the safety of not driving alone in the middle of nowhere…. It all easily pulled me towards that option.
Price in comparison to other travel? We weighed a lot of different things when we were deciding how to get to KC this time around. One of them being price. The airfare for myself and 3 kids was almost $2000. Not in our price range at all! By car, we spend about $200 for gas, not to mention pit stops for food and what not. On the Amtrak, the kids traveled for half price with one full price adult. Since there was only one adult, only one child could go half price. I called Amtrak, they told me to book another child at the adult rate and then another child could go half price, which ended up being cheaper than buying two more fares for the full price child rate. There’s also a AAA discount that we were able to utilize for all of us. The price ended up to be just under $500 round trip.
Wait so you didn’t get a sleeping car? No we didn’t. The reason being is because if we did do that, the price would be the same exact price as flying. I couldn’t justify that.
How long was the trip? It was about 12 hours, give or take. Yes we sat in coach the entire time. The space is GIANT. You can recline the seats much further than if you were on a flight.