It was always our plan to take Amtrak to Savannah since the train leaves Tampa and stops in Savannah. There are additional buses or transfers needed, but there are several stops along the route.
It’s not luxury travel like many of us are accustomed to. It’s also not as secure as air travel – they don’t check IDs or tickets until you’ve left the station. Good experience though. The girls (ages 11-12) enjoyed it!
Amtrak Travel Tips:
Amtrak only lets you book 7 tickets in a group online. You have to call or break up the reservation to order online. We are a group of 15. 9 on the train, the rest chose to drive. All moms went with their girls. 8 total girls and two leaders.
At the station they do board groups first! On the way up we were all together. Going home we have 5 together, and 4 separated. Close to one another but not together.
It’s shaky. Their horns blow frequently. The seats are roomy and recline! They do offer rooms and roomettes but the rates are more. Not needed for 7-8 hr ride.
Dinner on the way down in the cafe car was pretty good. Burgers and stuff. Chips. Drinks. Snacks. Very reasonable! Breakfast offerings were muffins, biscuits, or any of the lunch snacks! Many of our girls just ate a late breakfast and had lunch before we got back into Tampa.
Hours aren’t flexible so if you are flexible this is for you! The only time to leave Tampa is 5:30pm getting you into Savannah at 1:15am. Going home the train is from 4:30am-12:30pm.
The hours and stations present challenges in Savannah with transportation. Uber is pretty much the only option but it was reliable even at those weird overnight hours. The Savannah station has to cross a train track to get there from town. There’s only one way to the station. Leave at least an hour to get there! It’s only 10-15 min from downtown but the trains stop on the track for 30-45min. We scheduled the Uber the night before!
We walked our entire 3 days and took an Uber once. We did take the free DOT shuttle bus once. Walking wasn’t bad if everyone is healthy and able! Some of our parents struggled and Ubered a few on their own. Our girls were troopers!! Plenty of places to stop from place to place! Just build in walking time in the schedule!!
Amtrak has been a good experience for the girls to see another mode of transport. Even with the imperfections we have many who said they’d do it again! My daughter wants to try the train from Tampa to NY next! 21-ish hrs!!
Amtrak does have an auto-train!! No idea which stations have them but you could bring a car along!! My parents have done it before and enjoyed it.
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