I recently spent 30 hours on a train traveling from New York City to Miami.
While on the longest train journey I've ever taken, I found ways to keep comfy and pass the time.
I wore my coziest clothes, brought my own entertainment, and tried to make my room feel like home.
I've always loved traveling by train. So, instead of flying just under three hours from New York City to Miami for a reporting trip, I booked a 30-hour Amtrak journey - the longest train ride I've ever taken.
The longest I'd previously spent on a train was approximately 3.5 hours when traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, but the thought of spending 30 hours on a train appealed to me.
I imagined I'd have time to relax and look out of the window while listening to all the podcast episodes I'd been meaning to catch up on.
When I boarded the Amtrak train at Moynihan Train Hall in New York City's Penn Station, I settled into a Roomette, a tiny, private suite that sleeps two people.
A step up from sitting in coach, where you get a regular train seat, a Roomette is a private space with a door and blinds to cover up the windows.
Inside, there are two seats across from each other, a table that folds out in-between, and a bed above the seats that pulls down. The seats also pull out into a bed.
And in some Roomettes (mine included), there's a side table that swings open to reveal a toilet. Above, there's a folding sink and mirror.
Despite having my own room, I felt pretty uncomfortable during the ride and like the journey was taking forever. Thankfully, I had enough time to find ways to make it easier on myself.
I romanticized my overnight train trip to Miami until the moment I stepped on the train. I don't know what I expected exactly, but I found myself feeling antsy and anxious about the length of the trip and the constant motion.
Nevertheless, I adapted. Here's everything I did to make myself feel more comfortable and pass the time.
First off, I wore the comfiest clothes I own.
Does it look like I'm wearing pajamas? That's because I pretty much am. These are the most pajama-like trousers I own that I'd wear in public, although my own mother would argue that they should only be for sleeping.
But who cares? Once you get on the train, you'll be happy you're comfortable, no matter what you look like.
I went with the comfiest shoes that easily slip on and off.
After years of overpacking, I have a new rule: one pair of shoes per week of travel. That meant I could only bring the shoes on my feet for my six-day trip to Miami, so I picked the comfiest ones I have.
I picked up these memory-foam babies at T.J. Maxx for only $20, and they slip on and off very easily. This was great for being able to leave my room quickly with shoes on.
When I found myself getting motion sick, I made sure to sit in the seat that was facing the same direction the train was going. This helped a bit.
This is an old trick my mom taught me when I would get train sick during our weekend getaways from our home in Connecticut to NYC. Going against the motion of the train makes me feel sicker, so I stuck to one chair my whole trip.
Since I knew my bathroom would be right next to my sleeping quarters, I brought Poo Pourri with me to eliminate any odors.
A decade ago, I may have had a bigger problem with the toilet situation next to my bed in the Roomette. But thankfully I had packed some Poo Pourri, a spray that goes in the toilet just before you poop to eliminate odors.
I also adjusted the lights and the temperature to my liking.
Changing the lighting throughout the trip helped me feel like I was changing environments even though I wasn't.
Bringing my own snacks was a game changer, since my ride only came with meals that weren't that delicious, in my opinion.
Trail mix and granola bars kept me full in-between meals. My meals were included with my ticket purchase, which cost $557.
There were about five options for meals. I went with short ribs and mashed potatoes for dinner, and it was decent. The next day, however, I tried the salmon and rice for lunch, and I found the salmon tough and dry and the rice tasted like the salmon, which threw me off.
But going to the dining halls to eat my meals kept my room from getting messy and allowed me to get out of the same space for a few minutes.
Even though eating in my room was an option, I didn't want my bunk to smell like food all night.
So did getting out of the train for a short walk during longer stops.
Every few stops, the train took a little break, and passengers could walk around the platform for 10 minutes or so.
Getting up to stretch my legs and take in some fresh air made the next few hours of being crammed in a room with a window that didn't open a little more bearable.
To pass the time, get moving, and feel more at home, I took frequent dance breaks in my room where I closed the curtains and blasted music in my ears.
I tried to make the train feel like home, and at home, I dance pretty much all day.
I live alone and listen to music constantly, so shutting the curtains gave me a moment of privacy to just be my goofy self. This helped me keep moving, too.
I also brought my own entertainment, from video games to playlists.
I brought my own devices and didn't rely on the spotty internet connection to watch movies and listen to music and podcasts. Downloading these beforehand helped, and made the time go by a little faster.
In-between movies, shows, and video games, I looked out of the window and took in the views.
Looking out of the window was a constant reminder that I was on my way to somewhere new, and it helped me stay excited for my trip.
Read the original article on Insider