Admit it - you hate airports, too. The eternal lines, the x-rays, the serious lack of leg room, that awful recycled air...and then there's the commute to/from the airport, with the extra cost of taxis. Plus, you know, the jet fuel...
Unless I have to get across an ocean, I prefer to travel by train. Yes, it takes a lot longer, and, yes, I'm a romantic, but trust me, trains are the way to go. Pack your corkscrew, your magazines, your phone charger and your journal. It's time for a train ride.
Here are 5 reasons why I love trains:
Like me, you probably have stacks of books you've been meaning to read, scores of un-listened-to podcasts, journaling to catch up on, etc. Give yourself some time off and take the train! Nobody's gonna interrupt you. Wireless service might even disappear periodically...especially in Nebraska. Don't forget your pillow and a light blanket. Just in case you deserve a nap.
#2 BYOB (More than 4 ounces!)
Yes, there's a dining car and a cafe car, but nobody cares if you bring your own pic-inic basket. This is especially good news for vegans! Bring a bottle of wine, a bunch of grapes, six sandwiches and some chocolate chip cookies (or whatever your favorites are) and settle in. Don't forget a napkin.
#3 Location, Location, Location
I took the light rail downtown to Denver's Union Station and rode it all the way to Union Station in downtown Chicago, where I could easily connect to the Metro rail. Trains don't require vast open acres of Tarmac - they can shoot you right into the heart of the city. You can still take a taxi if you want to.
I like to travel light...for me that's a duffle bag weighing in at 30 lbs and a tote of food and water that weighs a lot less when I arrive at my destination. On trains, you don't have to worry so much about the size and shape and weight of your bags - there's more storage space to go round. If you happen to have a lot of luggage, you won't get hit with a bunch of fees like at airports. Just don't pack more than you can carry!
#5 Nobody's gonna hijack a train.
Sorry, but the West ain't so wild anymore. Banks aren't shipping boxcars of gold by rail, and cowboys are roaming the range in pickup trucks. Security is not so much an issue here, especially compared to airports. Bring your art supplies and your pocket knife along. You can skip the cavity search, cuz trains travel on tracks, yo.
What are your favorite reasons to travel by train?