I Took One of the World’s Most Beautiful Train Rides!
A few months ago I saw a Facebook video about the best train ride in the world that was only about $100USD — Amrak’s Coast Starlight Train! This trip looked incredible and would be a unique way to travel back towards Victoria on my way home from visiting family in California. Within a few weeks, I had bought my ticket. I was going to take the best train ride ever! Here are a few tips to making the most of this trip.
1. Ride in Coach!
As a university student, I am always keen for an adventure, but not one that breaks the bank. This trip was affordable and I honestly got way more out of the trip than I paid for. To get the cheapest price you do need to sleep in coach.
- Large comfortable reclining seat
- Not separated from the community of the train
- Cheap, beautiful, unique travel!
- No wifi (make a friend in Business class or just enjoy the trip even more without it!)
- No private sleeping area (get to know your seat mate if you have one so it is not so awkward)
- Food not included (bring lots of snacks and splurge on at least one meal in the Dining Car)
2. Spend your time in the Observation Car
The train ride is a grand total of 34 hours from LA to Seattle and vice versa. Your ride will take you through the valleys and vineyards of California, along the shoreline of the West Coast, through the forests and snowy mountains of Oregon, and the open land and marshes of Washington; stopping in cities along the way to drop off passengers and let everyone stretch their legs a moment.
You certainly do not need to stay in your seat, though. I spent my entire trip in the observation car which has windows all throughout and up to the ceiling so you can get the best views possible. This is also where I met the most unique people.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Meet People
I met people from all over the world and from all different backgrounds on this trip. I had dinner with an Australian and someone who lives on a sailboat, I chatted with a woman whose son does reviews of breakfast cereal online, and talked with a little girl who became a good friend by the end of the trip. Oh, and the girl who was my assigned seat mate? She liked all the same TV shows as me, was reading one of my favorite books, and guess what, was recently a UVic student! Serendipitous if I may say so myself.
Take a chance if you can! Save up, buy a train ticket, and go on an adventure! You will have the time of your life on a trip you will not forget.
For my FULL REVIEW, see the description in my video.