#ExperiencesNotStuff: Holiday Gift Idea #6 of 12

#ExperiencesNotStuff: Holiday Gift Idea #6 of 12:


Train travel makes travel feel romantic and adventure-y like times gone by…setting off to explore the unknown on the Orient Express (hopefully minus the “murder on board”). Taking a family vacation via train can give you that feeling of setting out together on a real family adventure. Plus, it’s our favorite mode of transport…bathrooms on board, no need to be strapped into your seat, dining car, lots of interactions with locals (which is why we included an overnight train journey as part of our Travel With Kids Vietnam Family Adventure Tour this summer!)

Here in the U.S. Amtrak offers several great overnight train journeys that make a great experience for the family.

Or, if you are willing to head a bit farther abroad, Europe has one of the easiest to navigate train systems in the world which makes a family vacation in Europe really easy and fun. We took the boys overnight by train from London to Florence for our family trip to Italy when they were little and had a fantastic family adventure together. The adventure started with the train through the Chunnel (under the ocean from London to Paris)…a very cool experience in itself!

Boarding our Paris to Florence overngiht train

Boarding our Paris to Florence overngiht train

Another country that has a well established train network (although slightly harder to navigate as much of the signage is not in English nor do many station employees speak English) is China. We’ve taken several overnight trains on a family vacation in China…one from Shanghai to Chengdu (where the pandas live!)…

…for the start of our journey down the Yangtze River through the Three River Gorges and visiting the world’s largest dam!

We also took a 3-day train from Beijing to Hanoi, Vietnam, which provided amazing scenery and lots of fun with locals…a great start to our family trip to Vietnam! We almost missed the train because of Beijing traffic, so it started out a little high-strung, and there was a midnight train change at the border of China and Vietnam, which made us all a bit grumpy, but all in all, it was a fun family adventure together!’

And, while it’s not an overnight train journey, it is an amazing experience so I have to include it…the train journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru! Yes, you can hike the Inca Trail, which is awesome too, but this train ride should not be missed, and is especially great fo families visiting Peru.  It winds through the Sacred Valley, which is dotted with mud villages with the Andes as a backdrop…breathtaking!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! Look for the next holiday gift idea for the kids tomorrow. And remember, #ExperiencesNotStuff!

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