How to Master Train Travel: Expert Tips | Chase – Chase News & Stories

We don’t support this browser version anymore. Using an updated version will help protect your accounts and provide a better experience. 
Update your browser
Please update your browser.
We don’t support this browser version anymore. Using an updated version will help protect your accounts and provide a better experience.
Update your browser
Sign in
Free credit score
Financial Education
Customer Service
Give feedback
Schedule a meeting
Find ATM & branch
It appears your web browser is not using JavaScript. Without it, some pages won’t work properly. Please adjust the settings in your browser to make sure JavaScript is turned on.

If you’re looking to take a trip but want to avoid a visit to the airport, you may want to consider train travel. By land mass, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world. That means there’s a lot of beautiful land between major cities that you won’t see by flying over. Train travel is also much more passive than driving, meaning you can just sit back, relax and take in the sights. As a bonus, train travel is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel.
Once you’ve decided to travel by train, what’s next? Here are a few details to think about.
Your first step should likely be choosing a route. You can search by routes offered by a specific railroad, or you can see if you can cobble one together if there are certain areas you don’t want to miss. You may want to start your route locally, or you may want to start somewhere else like a nearby city that has more available train lines. Choosing a route is totally up to you — you can have some destinations in mind, or you can just see what’s available. And while you can certainly do a cross-country trip from east coast to west coast, you may also want to consider a regional tour of a smaller area, or a themed route.
If you’ve decided on a longer route, you may want to look into getting a rail pass. For shorter trips it’s likely cheaper to book the tickets individually, but a rail pass will save you money if you’re planning a long-distance train trip. Generally, rail passes will allow a certain number of journeys depending on the level of rail pass you purchase.
When you’ve made your decision on destination and tickets, you’ll want to book ahead. In some of the more populated cities the trains can fill up quickly, so you’ll want to make sure you have a seat far ahead of time. Additionally, if you’re going to be spending the night on the train, you may want to book a sleeper coach for a more comfortable sleep. And much like an airplane, there are different classes of seats, so you may want to choose higher levels for the longer legs of your journey.
Packing is an important part of train travel — if you need something you didn’t bring, it could be tough to get ahold of it since the train stops are often quite short depending on your route.
Like any form of travel, traveling by train has its own unique safety considerations, though it’s generally quite safe. Be sure to have a lock for your luggage to help prevent theft. You’ll likely have to leave your bags alone if you need to use the bathroom, so make sure you’re taking the proper precautions.
Having said that, it may also be a good idea to have a personal bag that is small enough to carry with you as you move around the train. In here you can store your ID, wallet, tickets, cell phone and any other valuables you don’t want to risk losing.
If you must change stations at night, be vigilant. Try to stay in areas where there is ample light and there are other passengers around you. Otherwise, just take other common-sense precautions. Don’t leave your bags unattended, stay awake and alert and keep your headphones out or on a low volume so you can hear what’s going on around you.
For an extra layer of safety, consider sharing your itinerary with friends or family so someone knows where you are at all times. You may also want to plan to check in with someone on a set schedule.
If you’re planning your first long distance trip, here are a few helpful tips you may want to know about train travel.
While it’s a good idea to bring snacks, there will be a dining cart available for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. While it may not be a five-star fine dining experience, you’ll likely find that the frequently rotating menu keeps you full and happy.
Additionally, many trains will have a bar car. This is usually found near the dining car and acts as a sort of lounge for passengers. There are often comfortable booths and tables where you can sit and play cards, order a coffee or a cocktail and meet other travelers.
Some trains may also have special scenic cars that have seats facing outward to give you a better view of the passing landscape. This is more common on some routes than others, so check ahead of time if this is available on your trip. The seats tend to fill up quickly, so you’ll want to claim your spot early.
If you’re worried about getting stiff inside the train car, don’t fret. There are designated rest stops at which you’re allowed to get out, walk around and get some fresh air. Just make sure you know which stops are rest stops and which aren’t.
Train travel can give you a brand new traveling experience. If you’re looking for a way to see more of the country while relaxing and just enjoying the ride, then train travel may just be a great option for your next adventure.
Cash back rewards are bonuses provided to customers when they use their cards to make purchases. Cash back rewards can take the form of dollars or points.
Understand the debt-to-income ratio and its significance in personal finance. Learn how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio and why lenders use it.
Debt consolidation means to bring all of your balances to a single bill & it can be a useful way to manage your debt. Here's how to consolidate your credit card debt.
For Informational/Educational Purposes Only: The opinions expressed in this article may differ from other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Opinions and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone, and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions, and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
Enjoy 24/7 access to your account via Chase’s credit card login. Sign in to activate a Chase card, view your free credit score, redeem Ultimate Rewards® and more.
Explore the world and earn premium rewards with Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred®. Compare travel credit cards and find your ideal travel companion.
Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® on everyday purchases and redeem for travel, cash back and more. See all our rewards credit cards and choose one that’s right for you.
Enjoy the convenience of earning cash back with Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Compare our cash back credit cards to find your best option.
Browse credit cards from our premier partners, including Amazon Rewards cards, Southwest Rapid Rewards cards, Marriott Rewards and others.
Own a business? Power its potential with one of our business credit cards, like Ink Business Preferred℠, Ink Business Unlimited℠ or Ink Business Cash℠.

“Chase,” “JPMorgan,” “JPMorgan Chase,” the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Your points don’t expire as long as your account is open; however, you’ll immediately lose all your points if your account is closed for program misuse, fraudulent activities, failure to pay, bankruptcy, or other reasons described in the terms of the Rewards Program Agreement.

© 2023 JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Chase’s website and/or mobile terms, privacy and security policies don’t apply to the site or app you’re about to visit. Please review its terms, privacy and security policies to see how they apply to you. Chase isn’t responsible for (and doesn’t provide) any products, services or content at this third-party site or app, except for products and services that explicitly carry the Chase name.