Traveling cross-country by train is an adventure that requires packing light and thoughtfully so that everything you might need is easily accessible!

Amtrak allows you to bring two smaller personal items and two larger carry-on items. You are permitted to bring two personal items of 25 lbs. each and measuring 14x11x7 inches each, AND two carry-on items of 50 lbs. and 28x22x14 inches each. In addition to these four free bags, most trains allow you to check 2 bags for free, which becomes a very convenient way to bring large bulky items.

For a cross-country journey, one personal item and one carry-on rolling bag is perfect. Unlike packing for a flight where all of your clothes go in your larger rolling bag, organize what you might need for each day and each outfit in separate plastic bags within your personal item to save yourself time.

Thank you Amtrak for sponsoring this blog post, as always all opinions are my own.

Here is our must-bring train packing list: 

1.       Comfortable clothes and shoes: Bring clothes you feel comfortable lounging in all day and that do not wrinkle easily. You are required to wear shoes on the train, so bring comfortable slip-on shoes and shower shoes, as well.  

2.       Snacks: Favorite snacks are a must on any long journey. Pack granola bars or potato chips for munching while taking in the views.

3.       Water: Stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle.

4.       Medications: Don’t forget to bring any medicines you might need and maybe Tylenol or something for motion sickness.

5.       Headphones: Add your own soundtrack to the views or listen to an audiobook or movie during down time or before bed.

6.       Chargers: Don’t forget to bring all your cables to charge phone or camera batteries.

7.       Portable charger: A portable charger always comes in handy if you are farther from an outlet.

8.       Power strip: Many sleeper cars only have one outlet. Instead of taking turns with your different cables and your bunkmate, maximize charging by plugging multiple things at once with a power strip or a USB strip.

9.       Travel pillow and blanket: Overnight trains can be cold, so make sure you’re extra comfortable with your personal travel pillow and blanket.

10.   Dry Shampoo: Keep hair feeling fresh for the long haul with a few sprays of dry shampoo.

11.   Earplugs: The train horn can be heard overnight, so if you need quiet while sleeping, bring earplugs.

12.   Eye mask: Block any extra lights that might peek around the curtains with an eye mask.

13.   Entertainment: Download movies or audio books, or bring a book or games. A deck of cards is also a great way to make new friends on the train.

For more technology to bring on a train trip watch this video: 

 What else do you recommend packing for a train trip?


title on top of a photo of a train with door open and a suitcase in front

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *