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Taking the train overnight with a baby (FREE book giveaway)

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For those who missed the earlier post, we’re looking at “Best holiday travel moments with children” this week. Post your comment to the previous post to share your own moment and possibly win a signed (and gift-wrapped if you like) copy of Travels with Baby. Details in the last post.

This snapshot is from one of my favorite holiday travel moments as a parent, when we very brilliantly took the train with our baby daughter, rather than flying or driving to visit relatives for the holidays. (This photo is part of Photo Friday over at DeliciousBaby.com, check it out!)

Here we are a few Christmases ago, riding Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Express in our “Roomette,” on our way from Willamette Valley Oregon to the Bay Area. The Amtrak Roomette is the least expensive sleeper option available on Amtrak, and two adults are allowed to share the accommodations with an infant. More than one child, however… and you’ll have to either upgrade to the much more expensive family sleeper or go coach.

After watching a lovely sunset over farm fields, we realized–we thought–the folly of our plans. Here we had spent the money for this scenic overnight adventure, most of which would take place in the dark of night. How scenic is that? We did enjoy some passing Christmas lights as we ate dinner in the diner (included with Amtrak’s sleeper accommodations, but no filet mignon for infants riding free), but it was after dessert that the real magic began.

A full moon rose above us as we chugged through snowy mountains, illuminating the snow and flocked forests for miles on end. It was spectacular to say the least. Our baby daughter snoozed at one end of our lower bunk, but we couldn’t stop watching and enjoying the snow globe view view out our window.

For tips and advice on planning family train trips by day or overnight, in the U.S. or abroad, check out Part 6 of Travels with Baby. I’ve included recommendations for scenic day trips by train, all about sleepers and family arrangements, best discounts and rail passes available for families and children (in the U.S., Canada, and across Europe), baggage details and advice, and more.

Also, don’t miss these holiday travel tips in my new post over at Examiner.com:

> Holiday travel tips 1: Helpful hostess gifts from your baby or toddler
> Holiday travel tips 2: Being good houseguests, baby and all.

Passports with Purpose update: We’ve raised more than $4,000 for Heifer International so far! Thanks to those of you who have already purchased raffle tickets for the Passports with Purpose fundraiser! There is still time to enter to win the:

> $100 gift certificate to Babies Travel Lite (prize ID K05)
> Sit ‘n’ Stroll travel car seat/stroller (prize ID K06)
> CARES child aviation restraint (prize ID K04)

…each with a signed copy of Travels with Baby. To see all the great prizes for travel enthusiasts, head over to the Passports with Purpose prize directory, then purchase your $10 tax-deductible raffle tickets at our page at FirstGiving.com.

Safe journey,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby
SAVE MORE – Get an additional 10% off at Amazon + FREE Super Saver Shipping when you buy from “Travels with Baby Books”

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