I slept in a bedroom and a roomette on Amtrak trains and learned what a difference 20 square feet can make

I slept in a bedroom and a roomette on Amtrak trains and learned what a difference 20 square feet can make
  • In October of 2021, I spent two nights on overnight Amtrak trains traveling between Miami and NYC.

  • I stayed in a 20-square-foot roomette for $500 and a 40-square-foot bedroom for $1,000.

  • The extra space in the bedroom was more comfortable for the long journey and worth the price.

In theory, 20 square feet may not sound like a lot of space, but on a 30-hour train journey, it makes all the difference.

In October of 2021, I spent 60 hours on two overnight Amtrak trains between NYC and Miami to test out the train line's different sleeping accommodations.

On the way to Miami, I spent 30 hours in a $500 roomette accommodation, which is a 20-square-foot enclosed private space with a fold-out table, two chairs that fold out into a bed, and an additional bed that pulls down from the ceiling.

On my way back to NYC, I spent 30 hours in the next level up, a bedroom accommodation that cost $1,000 for a private 45-square-foot room. It was double the cost of a roomette for twice as much space and also included a private bathroom.

Having a private, enclosed space was the most important thing to me on this long train journey, and both rooms offered that. So going into the trip, I felt like the steep price of the bedroom may have been a waste of money — but I was totally wrong.

When I boarded my train to Miami, the small size of the roomette shocked me. Although the roomette sleeps two, I felt cramped as a solo traveler. I didn't have enough space to do anything but sit or stand. For me, this made the 30-hour journey feel longer.

The author sits in a roomette with a window on the left side and a duffel on the right.
The author in the Amtrak roomette.Joey Hadden/Insider

On my ride home in the bedroom, I felt far more comfortable thanks to the extra 20 square feet of space. I had enough room to get my body moving by dancing around. This felt freeing and satisfying, and, if I wanted to, I think I could have even done some body-weight exercises or practiced my karate moves.

The bedroom also had enough space for a sofa where I could stretch out and put my feet up, whereas the roomette only had two single seats.

Having my own bathroom was another bonus in the bedroom, and I think it's a great amenity when traveling with others.

A view of the bedroom on an Amtrak train
The author's bedroom on an Amtrak train.Joey Hadden/Insider

No matter the accommodation, spending 30 hours on a train can be taxing. But staying in a bedroom made me feel more comfortable than staying in a roomette. I thought the bedroom offered ample space to stretch out and move about, which made all the difference to me.

Read the original article on Insider