Listen, I know everyone is excited about travel after two years of lockdown and a whole lot of uncertainty. But I’m here to remind you of something; your children have forgotten how to travel and maybe you have also forgotten what traveling with children really looks like. Road trips where the car starts to smell worse and worse and you can’t hear the GPS above your kids fighting in the back seat. Long queues at the airport, flights where people stare at you if your kids make noise. Trains, however, are an underrated way to get where you’re going, especially with kids. And especially right now when gas is comically expensive, airports are terrifying, but you still want to get out and travel with your kids. Need more conviction? Continue reading.
#1. You can also enjoy the ride.
As the person footing the bill for your vacation, it would be quite nice to be able to enjoy it yourself. Even the journey. And if you’re planning on traveling through Florida this year, there’s a new train connecting the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach called Brightline that will make you feel like you’re heading to Europe without heading to LA. Europe. I was recently invited to join Brightline on a tour, and let me tell you…it was a vacation in itself. Sipping on a mimosa, snuggled up in my oversized seat, not worrying about parking or checking luggage. A dream.
You can board a beautiful, modern and stylish train with your kids and just stare out the window. Cozy and relaxed as there is WiFi on board to keep the kids busy, and best of all, snacks. A premium ticket gets you free mimosas, free coffee, free snacks…you just might want to ride the tracks all day. And your children too.
#2. Getting around is so much easier.
Anyone who’s flown with their kids knows the struggle of trying to keep them strapped in and still while everyone around you curses you for whatever sound they make. Another great thing about traveling with Brightline? You sit face to face in your own little lounge compartment. Children can move around freely in complete safety.
#3. Flying is impossible right now.
You’ve heard the airport horror stories going on right now. Flight delays, cancellations, sitting on the plane on the tarmac waiting to disembark with angry, sweaty kids for entertainment. Why put yourself there?
#4. Two words: Children. Living room.
There are kids’ lounges when you’re at Brightline stations so they can stretch out a bit. Separate designated areas for children who want to run around and be free during a rest stop. Conveniently close to a nice bar where you might be able to cool off. Pure genius.
#5. Let’s talk about seats.
Airplane seats have become smaller and somewhat less comfortable over the past few decades. Go ahead and try stretching your legs or doing any work on a laptop and see if you can handle it for a while. The train seats are bigger, and on Brightline the space to stretch out and work, or in the case of a child, watch a show on your iPad, is much more manageable. You have a tray and plenty of room to stow your luggage above your head instead of shoving it under the seat in front of you.
#6. Have you seen the gas prices?
Gas prices are still higher than most families can afford, so traveling by train is also an economical choice. Kids 12 and under can ride for $5 on Brightline with the purchase of an adult Smartfare, which grants you free access to a host of family-friendly activities in the area.
#seven. You can create your own little all-inclusive getaway.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to literally walk through a cloud? Take your kids to the SuperBlue Museum for an interactive afternoon where they can actually walk through a cloud. Then take the train to Fort Lauderdale, where you can spend a sunny afternoon taking a family segway tour of the canals or if it’s raining you can visit the Museum of Discovery and Science and let the kids try out the flight simulators, interactive dinosaurs, and plenty of other STEM-level fun that should wear them out. What we all know is the sign of a good holiday with children. When you need a break, just hit the sands at West Palm Beach and stroll downtown for a quick bite and maybe even a cocktail for yourself.
This summer, Brightline is also offering a Trainee Passport for kids 12 and under on the tracks. They will receive an Activity Bag with their first Brightline Trainee Passport, where they will have the chance to win special prizes for collecting stickers as they travel to new destinations.
#8. Your kids will feel like they’re in a movie.
You know why kids will want to travel by train, right? Just like us, they’ve seen it in the movies. Whether they are Harry Potter fans or love polar express, trains are still touted as the coolest way to travel. In fact, for kids who love Christmas, Brightline offers a polar express– A themed train ride from Miami with Santa Claus himself, dancing waiters moving through the cars just like in the movie, delivering hot chocolate and cookies, and a special gift for the kids. This special train journey takes place during the Christmas holidays, but tickets will go on sale soon.
The last thing a parent needs this summer is a stressful family vacation. Why not get on the rails and make it easier for yourself?
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