My husband and I are big fans of Rick Steves’ travel guides. Steves is a big proponent of maximizing your travel time by “sleeping on the move,” meaning taking an overnight train or boat between destinations so that you spend your waking hours at the places you want to see.
On our 2011 trip to Scandinavia, we took his advice and took the overnight DFDS Seaways cruise from Oslo to Copenhagen.
It was a reasonably good experience, though we wouldn’t do DFDS again, I could see us taking an overnight train. What we liked about it: our cute little room with twin bunks (why does stuff always seem cooler when it’s smaller?); and having a night’s accommodation and transportation cost in one package.
What we didn’t like was mostly specific to this particular cruise. Their website lacked details we wanted to know about amenities on the ship. There were a number of drunk and rowdy young people on board. Everything was super-expensive (except the cold beer in the duty-free but it ran out pretty early in the evening; see prior comment about drunk and rowdy). And, the biggest complaint – the person at the concierge desk gave us inaccurate information about where the ship would land in Copenhagen and didn’t tell us about the shuttle that would take us to city center, which we therefore missed. We were really mad about that customer service oversight (and this blog post has been good for venting).
Back in our road trip days, sleeping on the move meant catching a few hours in the backseat while the other person drives. For a while we road-tripped in an old Cadillac, driving for 20 hours at a stretch (switching back and forth), which was pretty good, and really my ’96 Taurus had a good backseat too for getting a little sleep on the move. I’m afraid we might be too old for that strategy now though.
I’d really like to try sleeping on a train. We’re discussing taking an Amtrak trip this summer and may have an opportunity for an overnight route then. What are your sleeping on the move experiences?