We traveled 26 hours on Amtrak from KS to AZ with a 9 and 6 year old. It was a wonderful way to see the beautiful off-road scenery along the way and faster and less wearing than driving! We did not get a sleeping car, but that is all I would want to do without a sleeping car. So I would recommend you get one. The chairs are big and roomy, but if you are not a 6 foot plus size, the headrest, etc. do not fit smaller people for sleeping. Do expect delays, and departures and arrivals to not be timely. If your destination is a small town and your estimated arrival is in the middle of the night, I recommend lining up someone to pick you up in advance of your trip. I would also recommend loading up on movies and packing a cooler, but it was a unique experience to eat one meal in the dining car! I would also load up on movies, electronics, books, and toys to take to keep them entertained. We took kiddie card games like Go Fish or Old Maid and played games at the table in the snack car which was fun family time. We rented a car in AZ for the duration of our vacation and then flew home and were glad we did it that way!