I paid $500 extra to upgrade my room on a 30-hour Amtrak ride, and I thought the additional 20 square feet was worth every penny

I traveled from NYC to Miami and back on Amtrak trains last year. The train rides took about 30 hours each way, and I had a private room in a sleeper car on both journeys.

The author takes a selfie in front of an Amtrak sleeper car in Miami.

Joey Hadden/Insider


The ticket to Miami cost about $500 for a Viewliner roomette accommodation. The ticket back to New York cost about $1,000 for a bedroom accommodation.

For full disclosure, Insider paid for the train accommodations, per our reporting standards.

I booked a bedroom for the ride home, which was double the price for twice the space, an additional chair, a shower, and an enclosed bathroom.

A view of the bedroom accommodation.

Joey Hadden/Insider


According to Amtrak’s website, bedrooms are around 45.5 square feet, which, for reference, is a little bigger than a standard king-size bed, Insider has reported, and they can also sleep up to two adults.

Both rooms offered complete privacy, came with complimentary meals, and used smart storage hacks that reminded me of a tiny home.

The author’s meal and an Amtrak sleeper car.

Joey Hadden/Insider


Having a private space was the most important thing to me on this long train journey, and both rooms offered that. 

Both rooms also had some clever storage, like a table that pulled out between the chairs.

And I think I woke up feeling more rested on my way home in the bedroom simply because I chose the bottom bunk, where I felt less swaying and bumping from the train. You could select this option in either room.

The author wakes up in a roomette and a bedroom.

Joey Hadden/Insider


If you’re bothered by the bumpiness of the train during the day as I was, I recommend sleeping on the bottom bunk in either accommodation. 

Frankly, I don’t feel comfortable sitting for 30 hours. I could get my body moving in the bedroom by dancing around, while in the roomette, I felt too cramped to move very much.

The author attempts to dance in both rooms.

Joey Hadden/Insider


To pass the time, get moving, and feel more at home, I took frequent dance breaks in my bedroom where I closed the curtains and blasted music in my earbuds. 

This felt freeing and satisfying, and, if I wanted to, I think I could have even done some body-weight exercises or practiced my karate moves. 

All bedrooms have a three-mirror vanity, a shower, and, notably, a toilet behind a locking door. In some roomettes (mine included), there’s a side table that swings open to reveal a toilet. Above it is a folding sink and a single mirror.

The vanity is seen in the bedroom and roomette.

Joey Hadden/Insider


After staying in a roomette with a toilet for the first half of my trip to Miami, I was moved to another room without a toilet for the remainder due to the availability of roomettes when I booked my ticket. I had access to a bathroom at the end of the sleeper car.

When I was traveling home in a bedroom, I appreciated that the toilet was separated from the rest of the room by a door.

I also thought the bedroom also had a nicer vanity with three mirrors facing each other, which made it easier to wash my face in the morning.

This post was originally published on Insider

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