Every traveler has the same question when going between locations: what method is the best to use? From trains to cars to buses to planes, it can be difficult to figure out which transportation method gives the best bang per buck. This article will break down the different transportation options and the best times to use each one. Luckily, if there are multiple options for going from city to city, there are websites that can break down the different methods to make choosing easy.
Travel by train is entirely determined by the infrastructure of the country traveled to. Train systems are especially prevalent throughout Europe, where it is one of the more efficient methods of transportation. Going from city to city by train is appealing due to the options for watching the scenery, sleeping train cars, and a relatively relaxing and direct journey. They aren’t as fast as planes but are significantly faster than cars and buses because they don’t deal with traffic or tolls. A downside is that they only operate on certain time schedules so it isn’t possible to just hop on a train and go without taking the schedule into account. Overall, a train is a good choice as long as a good price and time can be found.
Another option is renting a car or taking a car you already own on a road trip. Part of it is the beauty of the freedom of the open road. If taking your own car, the downside is wear and tear. When renting a car for a trip, the varying hoops the rental company makes you go through before driving off are also something to consider. Typically a car is a good option for those traveling through the United States, where mass transit is underdeveloped and cheap online car insurance is easy to find. In other parts of the world where mass transit is more common, traveling by car may not be the best choice.
In many countries where trains aren’t as prevalent, especially in South America, buses might be used. While the bus journey is certainly not elegant, it can be one of the cheapest methods from point A to point B. Try to book through an accommodation for a reliable journey and look at reviews before traveling. Also be sure to exercise caution on long bus journeys and night bus journeys, especially in developing countries. Usually, they’re safe, but having things stolen while napping is an easy way to ruin a vacation. To avoid this try to plan bus trips by day and look into other forms of transportation if the bus ride is over 10 hours. A delay on top of that could take too much time out of a precious vacation.
Oftentimes planes are overlooked for domestic transport and considered only for overseas travel when they become absolutely critical. However, planes provide a fast and elegant solution for traveling between cities, and with the rise of low-cost budget airlines, plane travel is more accessible than ever. The problems with plane travel are of course the limited baggage requirements (which should be looked into prior to booking), the airport security precautions, and the time waiting in the airport. Regardless of how short the flight is, expect to be at the airport two hours prior and spend an hour afterward. That means a one hour flight will actually take about four hours. That means a three-hour train ride might be more enjoyable and potentially cheaper!
When deciding between different types of travel it isn’t a game of train vs. car vs. plane. Rather it’s selecting the right method that works for the journey and weighing the pros and cons of each.