I paid $500 extra to upgrade my room on a 30-hour Amtrak ride, and I thought the additional 20 square feet was worth every penny

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The author stayed in an Amtrak roomette on the way to Miami and in a bedroom on the way to New York. Joey Hadden/Insider
I spent 60 hours on Amtrak night trains traveling from New York City to Miami and back.
I stayed in a $500 roomette that was about the size of a twin bed and a $1,000 room that was about the size of a king bed.
While 20 square meters doesn't sound like much, for me the extra space in the bedroom - not to mention the private bathroom - was invaluable.
I traveled on Amtrak trains from NYC to Miami and back last year. The train journeys each took about 30 hours and I had a private room in a sleeper car on both journeys.
The author takes a selfie in front of an Amtrak sleeper in Miami.Joey Hadden/Insider
The ticket to Miami costs about $500 for a roomette on the Viewliner. The ticket back to New York costs about $1,000 for an overnight stay.
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For full disclosure, Insider paid for onboard accommodation in accordance with our reporting standards.
On my way to Miami, I booked a roomette, a 20-square-foot private cabin that cost about $500 and included two beds, a table, two chairs, and a toilet.
A view of a roomette opposite.Joey Hadden/Insider
A step up from sitting on the bus, where you get a seat among other passengers, a roomette is a private space with a door and blinds to cover the windows.
According to Amtrak's website, Roomettes are about 22.75 square feet, which, for reference, is slightly larger than a standard twin-size bed, Insiders reported, and they can sleep up to two adults.
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I booked a bedroom for the drive home which was double the price for twice the space, extra chair, shower and enclosed bathroom.
A view of the bedroom accommodation.Joey Hadden/Insider
According to Amtrak's website, the bedrooms are about 45.5 square feet, which, for reference, is slightly larger than a standard king-size bed, Insider reported, and they can also sleep up to two adults.
Both rooms offered complete privacy, came with free meals, and used smart storage hacks that reminded me of a tiny home.
The author's meal and an Amtrak sleeper.Joey Hadden/Insider
Privacy was the most important thing to me on this long train journey and both rooms offered it.
Both rooms also had some clever storage options, like a table that could be pulled out from between the chairs.
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And I think I woke up in the bedroom on my way home feeling more rested simply because I had chosen the bottom bunk where I swayed and bounced less from the draft. You can select this option in both rooms.
The author wakes up in a roomette and a bedroom. Joey Hadden/Insider
If, like me, you are bothered by the unevenness of the train during the day, I recommend sleeping on the bottom bunk in both accommodations.
But while I was impressed with the Roomette's use of space, having just 20 square feet of extra movement space in the bedroom was undoubtedly a better experience for me.
The author sits in the roomette and dances in the bedroom. Joey Hadden/Insider
As someone who struggles with travel anxiety, I found 30 hours on the train overwhelming.
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But staying in a bedroom felt more comfortable than staying in a roomette. I thought the bedroom had plenty of space to stretch out and move about which made all the difference for me.
Honestly, I don't feel comfortable sitting for 30 hours. In the bedroom I could get my body moving by dancing, while in the roomette I felt too cramped to move much.
The author attempts to dance in both rooms.Joey Hadden/Insider
To pass the time, get some exercise, and feel more at home, I often took breaks from dancing in my bedroom, where I closed the curtains and music blared into my earphones.
It felt liberating and satisfying, and I think I could have done some bodyweight exercises or practiced my karate moves if I wanted to.
It was also nice that I had a large sofa in the bedroom on which I could stretch out and put my feet up, while the roomette only had two individual seats.
The author lingers in both rooms. Joey Hadden/Insider
Being able to stay in the bedroom made me feel more relaxed throughout my trip.
All bedrooms have a vanity with three mirrors, a shower and above all a toilet behind a lockable door. In some roomettes (mine included) there is a side table that swings open to reveal a toilet. Above is a foldable sink and a single mirror.
The vanity can be seen in the bedroom and in the roomette. Joey Hadden/Insider
After spending the first half of my trip to Miami in a roomette with a toilet, I was moved to a different room without a toilet for the remainder due to roomettes being available when I booked my ticket. I had access to a bathroom at the end of the sleeper.
Driving home in one bedroom, I really appreciated that the toilet was separated from the rest of the room by a door.
I also thought the bedroom had a nicer vanity with three mirrors facing each other, making it easier to wash my face in the morning.
I really appreciated the private toilet in the bedroom and think it's a great convenience when traveling with others. With two seats and no privacy curtain around the toilet in the roomette, I was grateful to be a solo traveler.
The author poses in both toilets.Joey Hadden/Insider
There are few people I would precede as number two, but I prefer to be alone.
While you might feel sticker shock at the $500 price difference, for me the extra space was worth every penny and upgraded my 30 hour journey from scary to comfortable and homey.
The author relaxes in the bedroom.Joey Hadden/Insider
Read the original article on Insider

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