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On a 30-Hour Amtrak Journey, I Paid $500 to Upgrade My Room, and I Believed the Extra 20 Square Feet were Worth Every Penny

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Last year, I took an Amtrak Journey that took me from NYC to Miami and back. I traveled by train in a private room in a sleeping compartment both ways for around 30 hours total. Approximately $500 was spent on a Viewliner roomette ticket to Miami. For a bedroom, the return flight to New York cost roughly $1,000.

In keeping with our reporting standards, Insider pays for the train lodgings. I reserved a roomette, a roughly 20-square-foot private cabin with two beds, two chairs, a table, and a toilet for $500 when I was traveling to Miami.

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A roomette is a private area with a door and curtains to cover the windows, an upgrade over a coach seat where you are seated next to other travelers. Roomettes can sleep up to two persons, approximately 22.75 square feet in size, based on Amtrak’s website. For reference, a twin-size bed is about the same size or a little bigger.

For the ride home, I reserved a bedroom, which cost double but provided twice the space, an extra chair, a shower, and an attached bathroom. Bedrooms can adjust up to 2 adults and are around 45.5 square feet, which is somewhat larger than a conventional king-size bed, according to Amtrak’s website. Both rooms provided perfect solitude, free meals, and clever storage solutions that made me think of a little house.

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On this long train trip, having a private area was quite vital to me, and both rooms provided that. A table that could be dragged out between the chairs was one of the many creative storage solutions in both rooms. Additionally, I believe that choosing the bottom bed, where there was less swaying and bouncing from the train, contributed to how relaxed I felt when I woke up in the bedroom on the way home. This option was available in any room. I advise sleeping on the bottom bed in any accommodation if you find the train’s bumpiness annoying throughout the day.