While sitting on the train yesterday I had a flash of brilliance. Or utter stupidity… I’m not sure yet.
We are planning to take a family vacation this summer to go visit my family in the Philadelphia area. My brother and sister-in-law are having their second baby, which will bring the cousin count to 5, all within a few years of each other. So fun! We discussed a group vacation to a destination (like last year’s family trip to the Cape), but budgets and time and the fact that the littlest cousin will likely be born in July dictated that we would meet at the most convenient spot — my older sister’s house with a pool! We’ve finally nailed down dates and I quickly did a search to see how much flights were going to be.
BOS > PHL round trip for the whole fam = $1,100
What in the…
Why in the world is it so expensive? First of all, we have to buy Owen a ticket since he will be over 2 by then. So that’s a BIG part of the cost. But really, Boston and Philly are SO CLOSE, why in the world does it cost nearly $400 a person to get there? I can fly to Vegas for far less. Heck, I could probably even get to Europe for less than that. Southwest and JetBlue are usually my go-to budget airlines, but they don’t fly directly between these 2 airports for whatever reason. Other, slightly cheaper options include stopping along the way, but that just seems ridiculous since the entire flight time is probably an hour or less.
My first thought: Well, OBVIOUSLY we have to drive. But y’all know how Owen does in the car. Carsickness. Agitation. Crying. Pleading. He’s gotten SO much better recently, even on longer trips (like to the zoo last weekend, we pushed 40 minutes and he didn’t fuss at all), AND he will be over 2 so his carseat can face forwards. BUT! Sticking the most active toddler ever in a seat for 8 hours, plus bathroom and food stops along the way? Kill me now. Maybe I’m being a little too dramatic, but the thought of driving that many hours with Owen in his current stage makes me cringe.
Which brings me to the idea I just came up with. What about taking the train?
- It’s cheap. Dirt cheap compared to flying.
- We don’t have to go through security or pay through the nose for parking. That means we can bring all of the food and liquids and strollers we want, with little to no waiting in line.
- Bathrooms and food are readily available.
- No “Fasten your seatbelt” sign. In fact, no seatbelts at all.
- Owen will be IN HEAVEN riding a choo choo. At least for the first 5 minutes. Train conductors stopping by every once in awhile? The kid will probably want their autographs.
- Scenery. I always take the train to New York instead of flying because it’s just. so. darn. beautiful.
Disadvantages? It’s still long. 6+ hours. But that’s still less than driving! Owen’s motion sickness could still be an issue, I’m not really sure. He won’t be riding backwards, which is a huge plus, but I will likely bring a few changes of clothes. For everyone.
Why don’t I hear about others taking the train with kids, or see toddlers running down the aisles normally? Is there something I’m not thinking of? Anyone ever tried this before?