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Amtrak Travel Tips – Vancouver to Seattle

I decided to go by train from Vancouver to Seattle as I thought my daughter would enjoy it, we could relax and enjoy the scenery and it would make the border crossing into the US a lot easier.  Indeed it was all true and she had a great time. Here are my tips for traveling with Amtrak.

Booking the train tickets
I didn’t find the website easy to use and after I input all my details the site crashed on several occasions!
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/HomePage

As this is an international border crossing you need to include your passport details.  I contacted my hotel in Vancouver http://www.sunsetinn.com/ and had the tickets delivered to them by courier

Departure
To clear immigration you need to arrive at the station at least an hour in advance so factor that into 6:40am Amtrak Cascades departure
Don’t forget to organize your ESTA (visa waiver program) documentation

Onboard
I paid US$20 extra per seat to go business class.  I think this was worth the little extra for more leg room and a comfier seat.  My daughter loved being on the train and she happily watched her DVDs and stared out the window.
The journey is 4.5 hours and they do have a buffet car onboard.  We stocked up the night before with food suppliers from a grocery store close to the hotel
As you pass into the US, the train stops briefly and immigration officials climb aboard and check your passports

 

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