Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving Trip on the Train

The best start to holiday celebrations is with a trip on the Pacific Surfliner. Great views and comfy seats are definitely better than sitting in traffic on the freeway!

Thanksgiving Week is a very busy time onboard Pacific Surfliner trains as travelers make their way to family and friends throughout Southern California. In 2016, reservations were required on all Pacific Surfliner trains between Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 27 to accommodate the surge of travelers. During these dates, Metrolink and COASTER passes were not accepted. Amtrak monthly passes and Amtrak 10-ride tickets could still be used, and didn’t require a reservation.

Here are some helpful tips when traveling during busy holiday weekends:

  • Book your tickets beforehand – visit Amtrak.com, call 1-800-USA-Rail, or use the Amtrak app.
  • Take up to two bags (with a total weight of 150 pounds or less) for free. We have space on the first level of the train for larger and heavier luggage, and there is also room above each seat.
  • If you are traveling between stations with luggage service, you can check your bags. Stations are marked on the schedule with a suitcase.
  • Arrive early, especially on holiday weekends since the train stations might be busier than usual.
  • Consider upgrading to Business Class for a little extra legroom, free snacks and drinks, and other perks.
  • Bring valid photo identification with you, as the conductor could request it.

Keep these holiday events in mind for next year:

O’Side Turkey Trot
Oceanside
Pumpkin Smash at the Zoo
Santa Barbara
Cider and Food Truck Festival
Del Mar Race Track
Black Friday Shopping
Downtown San Diego
Turkey Trot 5K
Solvang
Miracle on 34th Street
Camino Real Playhouse
Central Coast Craft Fair
San Luis Obispo
Wine Tasting
San Luis Obispo
Surfin’ Santa Arrives
Seaport Village, San Diego
Downtown Tasting Tour
Ventura
Hollywood Christmas Parade
Hollywood
Enjoy Delicious Pies
Philippe’s, Los Angeles

Traveling by train is fun – spend time with loved ones, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and experience the nostalgia of rail first-hand. You might enjoy it so much that it will become one of your new Thanksgiving traditions.

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