AmtrakAmtrak Tips

20 Must Have Items For Your Next Amtrak Trip

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Riding on Amtrak is our favorite thing to do! Over the years we’ve compiled a list of must have items to make your Amtrak trip more enjoyable. If you are looking to take better photos or just have an easier trip to the bathroom in the night, these suggestions will help!

The Most Requested Item

By far the most requested item we get is the charger we use in our videos. We have been using this one for the last year and love it! If you are going on an Amtrak trip, don’t go without this charger!

Power Plug Adapter – 4 USB Ports Wall Charger – Fast Charging Adapter for 150 Countries – Multi Port Electric Plug – Type C Type A Type G Type I f for UK Japan China EU European by SublimeWare
  • [THE PERFECT WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ADAPTOR] – Use this 4 port usb charger to 150+ countries, fits with US UK EU CHINA outlets. This all in one travel adapter comes in one piece, and where many USB Travel Adapter comes in many pieces.

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This box will charge 4 regular USB devices at once. It will plug into the single outlet in an Amtrak Roomette and let you charge one item from a regular plug and 4 USB Items at once. Problems solved! They come in packs of 1 or 2, you really only need 1.

Packing For Amtrak

Backpack that Allie uses on the train

Extra Large 52L Travel Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port Fit 17 Inch Laptops for Men Women (Black)
  • LARGE CAPACITY AND ORGANIZED: men travel backpack owns 20 independent pockets for large storage and organization for small items. 3 spacious main multi compartments with many hidden pockets can accommodate lots of stuffs like college supplies, travel accessories, clothes, stationery, notebook, cord organizer, side deep Zipper pocket for Easy access essentials, side Elastic net pockets conveniently hold travel gear umbrellas or water bottles. Ideal Book bag backpack for high school Boys perfectly

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Backpack Rob Uses on the train

Endurax Large Camera Backpack Drone Hardshell for DSLR and DJI Phantom 3/4, Mavic Pro, Mavic Air with Waterproof Rain Cover and Cutomizable Dividers
  • Endurax hiking camera backpack is large to fit camera with long lens attached like Tamron or Sigma 150-600mm lens. Top quick access compartment can still fit a DSLR camera with lens attached. An extra large protective padding included to prevent cameras in main compartment from shaking.

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This backpack serves several purposes for us. First of all it is waterproof, so it holds our most valuable gear, including cameras, drones, and computers. Secondly, it has a hard shell on the top and the back, so there is added protection if it gets bumped or falls. The hard shell also doubles as a drone launch and landing pad if you carry one! Most importantly though, this backpack is large. If you are riding in coach you’ll want to keep all of your valuables with you when you leave your seat, and this backpack will fit everything you need and more.

Rob carries this backpack and loves the comfort and durability it has shown so far.

Lowepro Camera Bag

Allie carries this smaller camera bag for her GoPro and Sony A6600 Camera. Even though we both carry a GoPro, we use the one she carries for almost all of the filming we do, since it is easily accessible. This bag has proven to be a valuable addition to our luggage. She loves just taking this bag down to the observation car or even the dining car to take take some pictures and videos.

Lowepro Adventura SH 160 II – A Protective and Compact DSLR Shoulder Bag
  • The Adventura SH 160 II fits a DSLR with attached kit lens (such as Canon Rebel T5i with 18-135mm), extra lens (such as 28-300mm zoom) and flash, spare memory card and small accessories

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

21 Inch Suitcase

When we first started riding Amtrak we both were using the large 26 inch suitcases, and they were just too big for every situation. If you are checking your bags or are going to leave them in the storage compartment on the lower level of a Superliner Sleeper Car, those will work, but they can be difficult to get up the steps on Amtrak trains.

Instead we now use the 21 inch suitcase and it is much easier. In general these bags are much easier to manage than our older, larger bags. If you are doing a long trip, each person should have one, but for a trip of just a few days, you could get away with just one.

Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner, Blue
  • Hardside spinner luggage for work travel, weekend getaways, or as international carry-on
  • Includes a 21-inch hardside spinner with a protective extra-thick ABS hard shell and scratch resistant blue finish
  • 4 double spinner wheels ensure smooth-rolling mobility in any direction

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Travel Duffle Bag

Update: We now travel with a 30L Columbia Bag that we bought in the store.

Our snack bag! When in coach we put a 6 pack of soda and quite a few snacks in this bag. In a sleeper car, we leave the soda out since it is included. We choose this bag because frankly, it looks terrible. But, it is also not the type of bag others would think something nice is in, so we are confident to just leave it at our seat when we walk around the train. We only keep food in our “leave at our seat bag” anyway, so if somebody wants some, it wouldn’t bother us if they took anything!

You really don’t want to be leaving your Vera Bradley bag on your seat in coach while you go to the observation car.

Vorspack Small Duffel Bag 20 Inches Foldable Gym Bag for Men Women Duffle Bag Lightweight with Inner Pocket for Travel Sports – Black
  • Decent room: 20 x 9.5 x 9.5 Inches, 23L, enough space for personal exchange clothes for domestic and international travel as well, or gears for shuttling between work and gym. One inner pocket (Size 9 x 8 inches) for private storage like personal items and toiletries. One outer pocket (Size 6.7 x 6.3 inches) for quick access to tickets, phone charger, earphones, tissues, etc.

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sleeping On The Train

Bose Sleep Buds II

Allie doesn’t like hearing the train through the night while she is sleeping so she wears these Sleep Buds all night. They are noise canceling headphones that eliminate most of the train noise. Since she started wearing these at night, her sleep on the train has improved dramatically. If you purchase these, get the version II, they are way better than the version I.

Bose Sleepbuds II – Sleep Technology Clinically Proven to Help You Fall Asleep Faster, Sleep Better with Relaxing and Soothing Sleep Sounds
  • Sleepbuds, not headphones: Designed for sleep, Sleepbuds may look like tiny headphones, but they don’t stream music or podcasts, instead they deliver relaxing and noise-masking sounds to help you fall asleep and stay asleep all night.Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn properly in your ears, you may not obtain the correct sound qualities or call performance. Change the earbud tips to ones that fit more snugly in your ears

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Neck Pillow

We both use a neck pillow on the train. They are useful during the day for a nap or at night to sleep. One like this snaps easily to the upper loop on our backpack, so we conserve space by carrying it that way.

SaleBestseller No. 1
napfun Neck Pillow for Traveling, Upgraded Travel Neck Pillow for Airplane 100% Pure Memory Foam Travel Pillow for Flight Headrest Sleep, Portable Plane Accessories, Light Grey
  • PERFECT CHIN SUPPORT TRAVEL NECK PILLOW – This airplane pillow can better wrap your neck and free your chin, prevents the head from falling forward, relieves neck pain during travel.
Bestseller No. 2
World’s Best Feather Soft Microfiber Neck Pillow, Charcoal
  • GREEN IS GOOD – At Wolf Manufacturing, we strive to preserve our planet for the next generation of travelers. By using recycled fibers for our neck pillow filling and minimal packaging that’s made from 100% recycled paper, we can help play our part in protecting the environment.

Last update on 2023-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Life On The Train

INUI Portable Charger

Ok, so you bring a lot of electronics with you on the train. We do too! We also carry a larger charger that will charge two USB devices at once. Great for a tablet, phone or computer. This one doesn’t need an outlet to charger your devices so it really helps out when your battery is running low.

INIU Portable Charger, 22.5W 20000mAh USB C in & Out Power Bank Fast Charging, PD 3.0+QC 4.0 LED Display Phone Battery Pack Compatible with iPhone 14 13 12 Pro Samsung S21 Google LG iPad Tablet, etc.
  • ✅【From INIU–the SAFE Fast Charge Pro】Experience the safest charging with over 38 million global users. At INIU, we use only the highest-grade materials, so we do have the confidence to provide an industry-leading 3 years warranty.

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Billabong Flip Flop

We bought these for Rob to use on the train. They are perfect. Easy to slip on at night when he crawls out of the top bunk to go down the hallway to the bathroom, but also stylish enough to wear during the day. You’ll definitely want a nice pair of flip flops to take to the shower and bathroom, but why not get ones you can wear out too.

Some of the fresh air breaks are quick, and you don’t want to waste 2-3 minutes of the 7 minute break to find and put on socks and shoes. This is a big deal when your next stop isn’t for another 4 hours!

Billabong Men’s Offshore Impact Sandal Flip-Flop
  • Vegan nubuck upper strap with sbr padding
  • Boat friendly non scuff outsole

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Woman’s Pashmina

Allie gets cold on the train, and brings this to the dining car and observation car to use as needed. It is also great to throw on quickly when stepping off the train at a quick fresh air break.

FURTALK Women’s Pashmina Blanket Scarf Shawl Wrap Cashmere Feel Scarves Bridal Christmas Gift (One Size, Z-Sliver Grey)
  • CASHMERE FEEL WEDDING SCARF SHAWL is super silky, soft and luxurious; Furtalk scarves have passed the test of color fastness, which is important for your family health; If you plan to wash the scarve, it is crucial to know how your scarf fabric will reacts to the product you are going to use; It will also prevent a possible disaster in the washing machine when colors from the scarf can bleed onto all the other clothes in the same load;

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ginger Chews

If you think you might have a problem with motion sickness on the train, these could help. Allie uses them and says they do help to settle her stomach if she is experiencing any type of motion sickness.

Prince of Peace Original Ginger Chews, 4 oz. – Candied Ginger – Candy Pack – Ginger Chews Candy – Natural Candy – 2 Pack
  • SWEET & SPICY. Prince of Peace Original Ginger Chews are an easy and tasty way for you to enjoy ginger on the go.

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hanging Toiletries Bag

There isn’t much counter space in the bathrooms on Amtrak and if there is counter space, it could be wet. That water is hard to control on a moving train. For that reason we suggest a hanging toiletries bag. There is usually a hook to hang it up on the back of the door.

SaleBestseller No. 1
BAGSMART Large Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full Sized Container, Toiletries
  • Large Capacity – 12.6 x 9.1 x 4.3 inch (rolled); 12.6 x 33.5 inch(open) 4 separate compartments with zip and back open pocket for great organization. Suitable for your family trip to pack all men, women and kids toiletries.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Relavel Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag for Men Women Travel Kit Shaving Bag Waterproof Large Makeup Bag Wash Bag Makeup Organizer Cosmetic Case for Bathroom Shower Black
  • Waterproof Material: This travel toiletry bag is made of attractive Nylon material, water resistant and durable. The interior of the bag is securely lined with a special material that can handle accidental toiletry spills and can be easily cleaned.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Narwey Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag Cosmetic Make up Organizer for Women and Men (Medium, Orange Leopard)
  • ✅ PRACTICAL 25cm TALL – The main compartment has a practical height of 25cm (9.12″) which could easily fit travel-size shampoo & conditioner, lotion, face wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brush and daily makeups. Medium size is suitable for overnight or short trips.

Last update on 2023-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lysol Disinfectant Wipes

There are so many uses for these, especially if you are in a Viewliner I Roomette (with toilet). Just plan to bring some and you’ll be glad to have them if you need them.

Lysol Disinfectant Wipes, Multi-Surface Antibacterial Cleaning Wipes, For Disinfecting and Cleaning, Lemon and Lime Blossom, 80 Count (Pack of 1)
  • DISINFECTING WIPES KILLS 99.9% OF VIRUSES AND BACTERIA: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes are tested and proven to clean and kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including 8 cold and flu viruses* (when used as directed)​.

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Metal Travel Straw

We use these in a variety of situations, and they come in real handy. They are easy to clip on your backpack.

Vantic Reusable Metal Straws, Collapsible Reusable Straws with Case, Portable Travel Stainless Steel Drinking Straws with Keychain and Cleaning Brush, 2 Pack(Rainbow)
  • 【Food-Grade Material】Vantic telescopic reusable straws made of food-grade 304 stainless steel that safe and durable to against scratch, rust and crash. Reusable and environmental friendly.

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Water Bottle

Amtrak provides water for you, but sometimes you just want your own bottle.

Bestseller No. 1
Nestle Pure Life 8 Oz. Purified Water, 48 Per Carton
  • Nestle Pure Life – Sold as 48 Case.
SaleBestseller No. 2
MIRA 12 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle – Double Walled Cola Shape Thermos – 24 Hours Cold, 12 Hours Hot – Reusable Metal Water Bottle – Kids Leak-Proof Sports Flask – Pearl Blue
  • Innovative Vacuum Insulation: Keep drinks ice cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours with a Mira insulated water bottle. Our thermos water bottle uses MiraGuard Technology to keep drinks hot or cold for hours and ensures a sweat-free exterior.

Last update on 2023-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Electronics on the Train

We carry an extensive amount of Cameras and accessories on the train. If you’d like to see all of our photo and video equipment, and how we use it, see our Amtrak photography post.

GoPro Hero 11 Black

The best way to capture video on the train is with a GoPro. The newest version out as of this writing is the Hero 11 Black. We each have one while we are on the train.

GoPro HERO11 Black – Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, 1/1.9″ Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • Revolutionary New Image Sensor: expansive field of view ever on a HERO camera out of the box. This gives you an extra-large canvas for your creativity by capturing more of the sky and horizon in every shot. Zoom in, crop your shots, change digital lenses, adjust aspect ratios and more while keeping the rich textures and sharpness of your footage.

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Allie loves to read on a train as she enjoys the passing scenery. She’s tried most of the Kindle’s and this one is her favorite. It is easy to hold and easy on the eyes.

Kindle Oasis – With 7” display and page turn buttons
  • Our best 7″, 300 ppi flush-front Paperwhite display.
  • Adjustable warm light to shift screen shade from white to amber.
  • Waterproof (IPX8) so you can read in the bath or by the pool. Your Kindle has been tested to withstand accidental immersion in water.

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Rob has a Samsung tablet and Allie carries an iPad with her on the train. It is good to download a few movies because on the long distance trains you won’t have WiFi or cell service in some places.

SaleBestseller No. 1
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4″ 64GB Android Tablet w/ Long Lasting Battery, S Pen Included, Slim Metal Design, AKG Dual Speakers, US Version, Oxford Gray
  • The included S Pen makes it easier than ever to write notes and personalize photos and videos, all without needing to charge. The S Pen attaches magnetically right to your tablet so you can quickly put it down and pick it back up without losing it
Bestseller No. 2
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7 11-inch Android Tablet 128GB Wi-Fi Bluetooth S Pen Fast Charging USB-C Port, Mystic Black
  • PC PERFORMANCE. TABLET PORTABILITY: Transform your tablet into a PC experience with DeX mode and the optional keyboard¹ with expanded trackpad. (Keyboard sold separately)

Last update on 2023-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Apple 2022 iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) – Purple (5th Generation)
  • 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone, P3 wide color, and an antireflective coating

Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Snacks are important if you stay up late, as dinner and the cafe will close long before you go to sleep. Bring enough snacks to make it through your trip as the snacks in the cafe are expensive and only available until around 10pm.

Orange Smoothie Protein Bar

This is Rob’s go to snack on the train. It tastes great and provides enough protein to feel like a meal. We’ve only seen the Orange Smoothie flavor at one local store in New York, so we just order them now. They are not messy, so they can be easily eaten on the top berth overnight. We also sometimes get the Caramel Bars.

NuGo Protein Bar, Orange Smoothie, 11g Protein, 170 Calories, Gluten Free, 15 Count
  • Families love NuGo Protein bars! Keep your whole family healthy and strong with NuGo Bars. Packed with delicious gluten free ingredients, vitamins and minerals and the taste of real milk chocolate or delicious yogurt, this snack bar will have you and your family hooked and energized to take on the day.

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Sugar Candy Bar, 12 Count (Pack of 1)
  • CARAMEL CHAOS: A thick caramel layer covers this protein bar and crispy crunchies give Grenade’s Caramel Chaos the perfect texture! A triple-layered, high protein bar that is the perfect guilt-free snack! Go ahead, and indulge, our Carb Killa bars will keep you on track with your health and fitness goals

Last update on 2023-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 5 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 1 million images in the last 20 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.