Using Public Transportation and More
I like to travel like the locals do, using public transportation most of the time. It's a lot more fun, cheaper, and a great introduction to the local life. This includes trains, buses, subways, and ferries. If not, I find vehicles to rent, such as cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.
Click to find my secrets on great Train Travel through a foreign country.
Always check the introduction to each country in your guidebooks for specific details. Study it and remember the particulars.
Click to find out more about Bus Travel through foreign cities and regions.
- Buy city public transportation passes or three day/one week/10 ticket passes when possible.
- Taxis can be great values to save time. Time is more important than money when negotiating big cities.
- Ask the locals for public transportation options such as special trains, boats or gondola rides. Go where the locals go. Also, ask them about cheap/good hotels, restaurants, and food.
- I try to avoid tourist traps.
- I venture into tourist areas occasionally. After all they do have interesting places to see. I try and get in and out as soon as possible or better yet go off season.
For instance, I visited London during the Easter break and stayed at the London School of Economics dormitory for a fraction of the price of a hotel. It included a massive English breakfast that I split in two. I ate one half for breakfast and saved the other half for a good lunch.
I bought a London Pass called the Oyster Card - Public Transportation that got me on underground, buses and even the ferries that go up and down the Thames River.
I got a London Museum Pass to get me into the museums.
- Ask the open question, "What's a good way of seeing your wonderful city?" Maybe you'll get a quick tour of a neighborhood. Remember to be a good guest.
- I like renting cars/motorcycles. Cars can be expensive for one person, but cheaper than train tickets, if a little crowded, for four.
Renting cars, however, can move the journey along, maybe too fast. I can visit three towns in a day, no problem. With public transportation it's hard to negotiate two towns. But that could be the real point.
Just drive/ride for the pleasure of driving. Europe is a blast to drive in. In New Zealand, it's the only way to get around within a limited time, say two to three weeks.
- Try sailing or boating. Crewing in the Mediterranean or off the coast of Vietnam.
- Try barging in France or Great Britain. Or in Laos…There you can hire a whole boat with cook and pilot for next to nothing.
- Try ski or skating tours, downhill and cross-country. Go skiing across parts of Europe as I did, town to town or resort to resort. Stay within safety limits. For a real interesting trip, try ice skating from village to village on frozen canals in Holland.
Your imagination is the limit. One's travel objectives should lead the way
. Note: the objectives will change as one relaxes and get into things…
For example, I go very fast in the first part of my trip to get rid of old psychological baggage and to calm down. It takes care of my need to do something.
Then I realize that it really doesn't matter what I do, it's all small stuff. Then I slow down to stop on some forgotten beach, say, in Portugal.
Then when I get bored and if I have time, I go on some big adventure, such as visiting Tunisia.
Relax and learn to use both public and other forms of ground transportation. It's a trip in itself...
Here are a list of important transportation topics:
Go to the Page on Airline Flights
International Traffic Signs