Family Train Travel Survival Guide

Line up entertainment: Your kids will probably enjoy looking out the window and exploring the train, but there will be other times you'll also want to have an arsenal of small toys, books, cards, and other items to occupy time.

Pack snacks: Amtrak's long-distance routes feature full-service dining cars with plenty of kid-friendly fare -- think French toast, grilled cheese, meatballs with penne. On shorter routes, trains have snack bars offering sandwiches (including veggie burgers), bagels, chips and other snacks.

Traveling with an infant? Bring baby food or formula and ask the food-service staff to warm it for you. You can make reservations for the dining car shortly after boarding. As always when traveling with kids, you should always bring snacks and beverages, in case you can't get a reservation or the snack bar decides to shut down just when your kids announce that they are starving.

Touch base before leaving home: It's always a good idea to check for delays before you leave home. Call Amtrak at 800/872-7245 to check the status of your train. Got an iPhone? Amtrak has a free app (http://www.amtrak.mobi) that lets passengers review schedules, buy tickets, manage reservations, and check train statuses.

WeJustGotBack.com is an award-winning family trip-planning site. It includes reviews of kid-friendly hotels and resorts, expert planning advice, readers' travel tips, vacation deals and more.

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