I decided to go by train from Vancouver to Seattle as I thought my daughter would enjoy it, we could relax and enjoy the scenery and it would make the border crossing into the US a lot easier. Indeed it was all true and she had a great time. Here are my tips for traveling with Amtrak.
Booking the train tickets
I didn’t find the website easy to use and after I input all my details the site crashed on several occasions!
As this is an international border crossing you need to include your passport details. I contacted my hotel in Vancouver http://www.sunsetinn.com/ and had the tickets delivered to them by courier
To clear immigration you need to arrive at the station at least an hour in advance so factor that into 6:40am Amtrak Cascades departure
Don’t forget to organize your ESTA (visa waiver program) documentation
I paid US$20 extra per seat to go business class. I think this was worth the little extra for more leg room and a comfier seat. My daughter loved being on the train and she happily watched her DVDs and stared out the window.
The journey is 4.5 hours and they do have a buffet car onboard. We stocked up the night before with food suppliers from a grocery store close to the hotel
As you pass into the US, the train stops briefly and immigration officials climb aboard and check your passports