Planes, Trains or Automobiles: How Do You Prefer to Travel?
Traveling is the greatest thing I have ever experienced and one of my favorite things about traveling is that it’s never, ever the exact experience. I’ve been to numerous places more than once and each time it’s completely different. Thinking about differences in trips got me thinking about the different ways to travel. These days there are so many different way to travel: Air Travel, Bus Travel, Cruises, Cycling, Hitchhiking, Road Tripping, RVs and Train Travel. Of course there are pros and cons to all of these, but it’s interesting to think about.
- It’s very quick, and allows for more time at your destination, instead of on the way
- It’s a very safe way to travel
- It’s especially easy for long distances, and allows you to be able to relax and multi-task on the way
- No car to get around when you arrive at your destination
- Air travel isn’t always cheap- unless you know how to book flights
- It can be really uncomfortable to sit in those seats next to a stranger (unless that stranger is insanely interesting)
- Outrageous baggage fees!
There are some cases where airfare can’t be helped, such as international trips. I, personally, have mixed feelings about flying. If I’m traveling in the U.S. or in Canada I prefer not to fly, but when I’ve been to Europe and Mexico I’ve had no choice but to fly, and it’s really not that bad, and I’ve had really good, and not been stuck sitting next to anyone annoying (*knock on wood*).
- Bus tickets are often inexpensive (especially when you use buses like MegaBus)
- Some buses offer discounts (student, senior, military, etc)
- You don’t have to be the driver, like flying, you can multi-task
- Having bus stops in sketchy areas late at night
- There is little to no food or bathroom availability
- Buses can be crowded and uncomfortable
- Some buses stop in every little town, making for a long journey
I’ve never traveled a long distance on a bus that wasn’t a very accommodating tour bus, so I can’t really speak from personal experience on this one.
- Set cost
- Food and entertainment are included
- You only have to unpack once
- You can have surprise fees
- Although the food is free, you might not enjoy it
- There is limited exposure when you stop in different locations due to time restrictions
The only “Cruise” I’ve been on was a day cruise to a couple of Greek Islands and it is my least favorite way of traveling I’ve experienced so far. I enjoyed the live entertainment, but hated the limited time, the food and I was seasick… No thank you!
- Lower cost
- It’s environmentally friendly
- Great exercise
- You travel at your own pace, and really get to take in scenery
- Although the exercise is great, it’s hard work
- Breakdowns and bad weather put a wrench in travels
- You have limited space for storage
- You can’t control all the crazy drivers out there
I’ve never been biking on a trip, but one blog that I follow, Travel Destination Bucket List by the wonderful blogger Anita Mac is a pro, and I know you could look to her blog for a lot more information. I do hope to cycle the Pacific Coast Highway sometime in the near future… Plans, plans, plans…
- I imagine this a the truest of adventures, and I can only imagine the stories you would acquire
- There’s little to no cost as far as transportation goes
- It’s a fantastic way to meet new people
- Safety- everyone seems to think this is super unsafe, but the fact is people do it everyday
- Weather doesn’t always cooperate
- You’re never guaranteed a ride
This is something that I felt was really glamorized in folk music and “On the Road”, but wasn’t something that I felt I could realistically do. That is until I started following The Lost Art of Hitchhiking by the hitchhiking duo Shawn & Suzanne. They hitchhiked to Alaska and now I day dream about doing the same everyday.
You get your choice of how to eat, be it on the cheap or in restaurants, but the thing is *you decide*
- You get to see the real world: not fly over it, and not train tracks.
- There are no baggage fees
- If there’s a group of you it can save money
- Your car can even be used as lodging (there’s no shame in this )
- It does take time to get to where you’re going
- You’re in charge of whether or not you take a wrong turn or you get a flat tire. It can be a little less relaxing
- There can be wear and tear on your car
Road trips are my absolute favorite way to travel! I love hitting the open road with nothing but possibilities ahead of me. There’s something so freeing about it, but you still have a little control because you have your safe spot. Packing a cooler, a backpack, a road map and having an amazing soundtrack are all that you need to make an awesome road trip!
- You have endless possibilities: you can tow a car or strap your bike onto the back
- You’re in charge of when and where you stop, which allows you more time to explore
- There are rooms built in
- You only unpack once
- It can save you a lot of money when it comes to food because the kitchen is built right in
- I hear RVs can be pretty difficult to drive
- With rising gas prices it could get a little costly
- Like road trips, it takes longer to arrive at your destination
I went on a weekend trip with my grandparents in their RV when I was a little girl and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I would love to buy a vintage RV and take an entire year road tripping across the US and Canada.
- It’s a very safe method of traveling and there’s no traffic to deal with
- It doesn’t have too many stops
- It can be relaxing because you can multi-task
- It’s actually really easy to buy tickets
- It can be inexpensive, and often times rail passes are available
- It’s a fantastic way to meet locals
- It can be hard to schedule perfectly within your trip and trains are often late
- If there are smaller towns or archaeological sites you want to visit you’ll still have to take a bus
- It’s not always the most comfortable form of travel
- Food isn’t always available
This last November I took my first real train trips (I don’t think the Grand Canyon Railroad when I was 10 really counts). I thought they were a really great way to travel. If you’re staying in one city and taking day trips from there, like I was in Italy, I would highly recommend using the train. It was great fun and I did meet a lot of really interesting people, caught up on some journaling, and did a little reading!
I would love to hear what you guys think the best way to travel is! Are there any that I forgot? What about your favorite form of traveling makes it your favorite?