Train Travel In The United States: Cross-Country
The following is a list of items that you should bring along if you plan on traveling cross country on Amtrak.
The following is a list of items that could make the difference between a long, uncomfortable intercontinental voyage on Amtrak and a pleasurable one.
One large backpack containing:
-One sleeping bag attached
-Three changes of clothing
-Medium sized bottled water
-Powdered drink mixes (Gator-aid, Kool-aid, etc)
One small handbag
-Toiletries (Toothbrush, toothpaste, razor/shaving cream, small soap, shampoo, moisturizer, dental floss, comb or brush) Note: put toiletries into ziplock bags to prevent leakage.
-Personal listening device
-One pack baby wipes (to sanitize toilet seat)
-Deck of cards
A trip cross-country on Amtrak takes four days. Therefore, the clothes that you are wearing when you board the train plus three additional sets of clothing will be all the clothes you need. There are observation cars on Amtrak that are not in use during the night (except for during times that they show movies) that allow you plenty of room to stretch out your sleeping bag on the floor between the chairs and the windows.
Since the snack bar and dining cars are not exactly cheap it's a good idea to bring the drink mixes and nutritional bars to tide you over until you are ready for a meal.
The bathrooms don't offer a lot of room, but enough to change clothes, take a sponge bath and wash your hair (of course there will be water everywhere when you're finished so be sure to wipe it up!). Keeping clean can make a world of difference on a long ride. I recommend taking some skin moisturizer as the air on the train is very dry and can cause your skin to flake and possibly itch. Also, try to purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible to take advantage of any discounted rates available.