How to Find a Rail-Savy Travel Agent to Book Your Amtrak Travel
I recently received an email from someone asking if I recommend using a travel agent to book rail travel.
Good question! My answer was (and is), “That depends.”
There’s really no reason why you can’t book it yourself, especially if your itinerary is a simple trip — Point A to Point B. The Amtrak web site is very well designed and all you have to do is plug in your starting point, where you’re getting off, and the date of travel. And, of course, you can always call Amtrak (1-800-USA-RAIL) and book through one of their reservations agents.
On the other hand, if your trip involves long-distance trains, connections or stop-overs, or if you would just feel more comfortable relying on an expert, by all means work with a travel agent.
But here’s the thing: not all travel agents are familiar with rail travel, especially long-distance trains, so it’s important that you find someone who is truly rail-savvy. He or she will know to do the little things that can make a big difference.
For instance, a really knowledgeable travel agent will know to put you in a sleeper that’s right next to the dining car, which means you’ll not have to make a long walk through several cars on a moving train three times a day.
A rail-savvy travel agent will have good advice about making specific connections because he or she will know which long-distance trains are likely to run late.
Sleeping car space often sells out well in advance, but a good experienced travel agent will have the in-house capability to put you on a wait-list for a specific train … something you can’t do for yourself.
Ahh … but since a lot of travel agents know very little about booking Amtrak, how, you ask, can I find one who really is rail-savvy? Well, just ask him or her a simple question: What’s the difference between a roomette in an Amtrak Superliner sleeping car and a roomette in a Viewliner?
A good rail-savvy travel agent will know that a Viewliner roomette has an en suite toilet and wash basin, while those facilities are “down the hall” in a Superliner. Also, the upper berth in the Viewliner has a window, but there’s no window for the upper berth in the Superliner roomette.
If the travel agent answers that question correctly, you’ve found someone you can trust to do the right kind of job in booking your long-distance train journey.
I had a very good travel agent who I lost track of when we went on the railcross country on the california zephyr . her name was cecilia and that’s all I know. She was excellent and I am trying to get in touch with her. But my contact list was scammed. This time. I am wanting to go to Italy to the cinque Terra and portofino area. And I’m looking for an agent that is familiar with European travel in that area in particular.
Try Jessica Green at Gateway Travel 800-6393706 Tell her I referred you. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
we need recommendations for seattle area agent to book coast to coast travel.
amtrak website is hard to navigate.
I sent you a name. Let me know if you didn’t get it.
Well, in the second paragraph you really dropped the ball. The current (June 22) design of the AMTRAK website is horrid. You can’t easily find out what days LD trains actually operate, you can’t see the schedules (Timetables) any more, and if you go as far as entering your DP dates, and you come upon a sold out train, then you can’t just change the date, you have to go all the way back to the start and enter your information again.
“The AMTRAK website is ‘very well designed’, you say. NOT!
It’s probably because I use it so frequently. Granted there is plenty of room for improvement.
Wanting to plan a train vacation(U.S.A.) Would love to explore Alaska by train. Looking at month of August 2022
Let me know if you need a good travel agent to set it up.
Hi Jim, I would like your recommendation for a rail savvy travel agent! I live near Houston TX and would like to travel by rail to San Diego and N California to start and hookup with rental cars and hotels.
Call Jessica Green at 800-639-3706. She’s very busy, so tell her I referred you.
My wife and I are thinking of traveling from Atlanta to San Francisco via Chicago and then traveling back from San Francisco to Atlanta via New Orleans all on Amtrak. Any suggestions or recommendations for any travel agent with Amtrak experience?
Yes, call Jessica Green. Her toll free # is 800-639-3706. Tell her I referred you.
Can you offer guidance about Maui?
There are several very good guide books on Maui, but one I do NOT recommend is “Maui Revealed.” It sends you through private property to several of the scenic spots with no respect for local residents. If you’re asking about hotels, I suggest The Mauian, which is affordable and is located on the best beach on this island (Just my opinion, of course.)
I need a ticket from Miami FL to Petersburg va. Help
Call Amtrak reservations at 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Hi Jim. I’m looking to book from Chicago to San Francisco in January 2022. Looks like the http://www.traintravelconsulting.com site is dormant and I can’t find any contact details. Similarly, I can’t find a site for Gateway Travel (Jessica). I wanted to do a little research before calling. Would you mind please sending me a recommendation for someone who can help plan the trip, with advice for stops along the way? Many thanks. Randy.
(I have responded directly.)
I live in Oceanside CA and want to make a train trip this fall from Chicago back home. I have a whole bunch of questions because i’ve never done this before. Any good local travel agents I can talk to? Thank you.
We’ve spoken om the phone. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Will I save money thru a travel agent,from Columbia SC. to Miami Fla round trip roomett?
I’m looking for a travel agent in the Northridge, California area who can help me book a trip by Amtrak from Los Angeles to Texas as well as car rental and hotel accommodations. I am traveling with someone who blind and has a service dog so I want to make sure things go smoothly. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I have given you the name of someone I trust implicitly.
Are they any AMTRAK TRAVEL AGENT IN Jacksonville NC ?
I don’t know about Jacksonville, but I suggest you call Jessica at 1-800-639-3706. She is an expert. Tell her I referred you.
By the way, I tried t email you and it bounced back.
I know his was written years ago but it is very are to find anyone hat specializes in train vacations.do you still have any connections.
Contact Jessica Green
toll free from the US: 1-800-639-3706
toll free from anywhere: 1-603-336-5444
Tell her I referred you.
My husband and I will be first time train traveling from Los Angeles to Boston and the Boston to Alabama.
I would really like some guidance on this trip as I have never booked train travel before.
I looked at train travel consulting site and it appears they are just referring to Amtrak site.
Could you please recommend an agency that could help me.
I have replied directly by email.
Looking for an experienced Train Travel Agent.
We’re traveling this Summer by rail from Sacramento/SF to Chicago.
We want accommodations for3 adults and 3 children with Family Bedroom.
Can you help us?
I emailed my recommendation. If you didn’t get it, contact me again.
Hi Jim, I’m also looking and saw you responded recently. May I also get the name of a rail expert?
I’m thinking of going from Rochester ny to fry Myers by train how do I get started how to find good travel sgent
Contact Jessica Green at Gateway Travel
If you want to become IRCTC authorized ticket booking agent gives you very good opportunity for becoming IRCTC agent with minimum rate offer. Now if you interested then contact us on given numbers- 9837153069, 9412761496
So very tempting, but I think not.
I had the best time ever at Myrtle Beach
?? I’m delighted for you. ??
I recently had to go from Michigan to Oregon. I hate flying so I chose to take the train. I used Train Travel Consulting at Accent on Travel USA to book my tickets. They were great and were not only able to recommend the best route with the least layover inconvenience out of the three possibilities available, but also were able to push my starting date back a day when I discovered the day before my reserved date that I would be unable to leave on that date.
I highly recommend googling Train Travel Consulting at Accent on Travel USA for anyone planning a train trip. Their website is http://www.traintravelconsulting.com
I couldn’t agree more.
They are the best! They have booked several trips for me, but when I tried to book with them recently, they sent an email saying there services were suspended do to extended illness. They are awesome! Do you have anyone else to recommend?
I’m sorry to hear that. Let me make some inquiries.