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Laura aka Up4Travel
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How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

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  • How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

    Does Amtrak enforce its weight and size lmiits for carryon baggage? I'm really struggling -- never learned to pack light, have a long trip coming up, and don't want to check anything because I'm convinced that it will get lost.

  • #2
    Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

    I have not traveled much on Amtrak; however, for a short trip I made this summer, I saw a number of very large bags stowed in the luggage racks during both legs of the trip. Since you seem to be nervous about losing your luggage, you should know that though your carry-on luggage will be on the same car with you, it is unlikely that you will be seated near it or even where it is visible. The luggage racks are usually on the lowest level while much of the passenger seating is on the level above. People who travel frequently on Amtrak may have had a different experience from mine and the trains may differ in other areas of the country. My travel was in the Midwest.

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    • #3
      Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

      Thanks for the thoughts, Granny. Fortunately, we'll be traveling in a bedroom (actually, three bedrooms each way, as we'll be changing trains), so will have our carryon baggage with us. Even then, I usually take a bicycle lock type thing to attach the suitcases to something when we're out of the bedroom.

      Amtrak claims to be strict with carryon, but I wonder whether they're less strict with bedroom passengers, since they're not taking up anyone else's space. They did make a good suggestion -- a backpack -- which they said doesn't count toward the total allowance.

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      • #4
        Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

        If you get the right size/kind of backpack, you can carry a lot of stuff in it. I did two weeks in Italy with a rolling backpack and a backpack carried on my back (and I am not a particularly light packer either). As far as your other luggage is concerned, the worst that can happen is that they will tell you it must be checked. So I would say, carry on your luggage and see if anyone tries to stop you. I understand your concern about lost luggage since you will be changing trains.

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        • #5
          Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

          I'm going out today to look for a backpack. There are a lot of sales and no sales tax today. Will be looking for one that can hold a lot and still be able to be carried.

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          • #6
            Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

            The brand name of my backpack that holds so much is Point Zero which I was lucky enough to find marked down to an excellent price. However, I am sure that there are a number of different backpack makers who have bags that are equally roomy and sturdy. Good luck in your search.

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            • #7
              Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

              Granny,

              I ended up buying a Champion backpack. It's attractive and sturdy, not too heavy, and appears to have a lot of room in it. Also got a good price -- paid $19.99 (and no sales tax) for a $59.99 backpack. This packing light (or at least a lot lighter than usual) will be a whole new experience for me.

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              • #8
                Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

                Good luck with the packing. The challenge in packing light for me is the issue of shoes. I don't mind rewearing the same outfit several times, but I find it restful to change shoes often so I try to stuff them with things such as socks and underwear to economize on space. I think you have to take the things that are important to you without which you would not enjoy your travel so much. Have a great trip!!

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                • #9
                  Re: How strict is Amtrak with carryon baggage?

                  I didnt have an issue with a carry on and a suitcase when traveling by Amtrak. I was never hassled about having both items plus my purse.

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