Take your car to Florida….on the train! – Luggage Factory

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Take your car to Florida….on the train!

Yes, you can take your car to Florida on the train – Amtrak’s Auto Train to be exact!  Save yourself about 900 miles, 12 or more hours of time, and a lot of stress by skipping I-95 and leaving the “driving” to Amtrak! The Auto Train runs between Lorton, VA (about 20 miles south of DC) and Sanford, Florida which is about 30 miles from Orlando.  Your car is loaded onto the train, you can relax in a comfortable seat or sleeper car accommodation, your meals are included and you arrive at your destination well rested and without the stress of 12 or more hours on the road.  You have the ability to walk around the train, enjoy the sights in the lounge car, dine with your fellow passengers and even surf the internet. When you make your Auto Train reservations, either on Amtrak.com or by calling 1-877-SKIP-I95, you will choose your seat or sleeper accommodation and pay for your vehicle.  You can also opt to purchase Priority Vehicle Offloading and you’ll get into your car at your destination even faster. Regardless of whether you’re in coach, business class or a sleeper, your meals are included.  You can eat in the dining car, or you can ask your sleeper attendant to bring your meal to your accommodation.  Amtrak uses community seating in their dining cars on long distance trips. So, if you are a party of less than 4, you’ll be seated with fellow travelers.  This is a great way to meet others and to talk about how much fun it is to ride the rails!  Business class guests have their meals in the dining car with sleeper passengers.  Those riding in coach have their own dining car.  Some menu items include beef short ribs, baked fish, gumbo, vegetable lasagna and even special choices for kids.  Additionally you can purchase snacks, sandwiches, pastries and beverages in the lounge car. Before you detrain in the morning, you can enjoy a nice continental breakfast and be ready to pick up your car and continue your vacation! There are restrooms available for coach passengers.  Those in sleeping accommodations also have access to their own set of restrooms and even showers.  Some sleepers have restrooms right in the bedroom; however, roomettes do not have en suite restrooms.  The Auto Train uses two level Superliner cars, so if you need to be on the lower level, be sure to call in to reservations when making your arrangements.  You can only move between cars on the upper level, so if mobility is an issue, please keep that in mind.  The train makes no actual stops, just one “service stop” in Florence, SC for a crew change, fuel and water.  Smoking is prohibited but if time permits, and if you’re awake, you may be permitted to step off the train during this quick service stop. A few things to keep in mind:  You cannot access your car until you get to your destination so you’ll need to pack an overnight bag and keep that with you, along with any valuables and medications you may need.  If you’re in coach, you may want to have a pillow and blanket for comfort.  Be sure to make note of the times for boarding, especially if you want to purchase priority offloading for your car.  Make sure to disable your car alarm, as you may have a dead battery if it goes off while en route. As you can see, Auto Train is a fun way for the entire family to travel from the North East to the Orlando, FL area.  You’ll save wear and tear on your car (and yourself!), your meals and accommodations are taken care of for one price, and you can save on having to rent a car when you get to Florida.  For more information, visit Amtrak's Auto Train site and of course, check with LuggageFactory.com for your train ride needs!    

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