Utilizing Modes of Transportation while Traveling
Every traveler knows how important transportation is when you’re traveling. Transportation looks different across the world. Depending on where you travel to, you’ll need to figure out the mode of transportation that’s best for you. Therefore, it’s important to do some research beforehand to see the modes of transportation available in that location.
Not only do you have to do research on the types of transportation but how much they cost, which one is the most efficient, which one works best for your travels, and so on. It can be a bit overwhelming when looking at it. However, when you do your research and list the pros and cons for each mode of transportation, the process becomes a little easier.
The Three General Modes of Transportation
When we’re talking about the three general modes of transportation, we’re talking about traveling by water, land or air. Whether you talking about flying, taking a ferry or a train, they all fall under the three general modes of transportation.
Picking a Mode of Transportation – Initial Transportation
After you’ve picked your desired location, you have to figure out the mode of transportation to get to the location. This will depend on where you are in the world and where you’re traveling to. It could mean flying from one location to the next, driving, taking the train or a ferry.
Is it easier to fly to that location or is it easier to take the train? Are you traveling to a place that’s only accessible by boats or ferries? Either way, you’re probably going to have at least one mode of transportation, by land, sea, or air, that’ll take you to your destination.
I’ve driven 10+ hours from Pennsylvania down to Myrtle Beach. My family has driven to Florida over the span of 2 days. People even drive across the country from coast to coast, which may take up to a week. So, land travel is doable in the states but depending on where you’re going, that may take a lot of time. Time that some people don’t have as they have limited time for their vacations.
Which Way is Right for You?
Now that you’ve figured out how to get to your destination, you have to figure out how you’re going to travel about while there. This varies place by place. In some areas, things are more accessible to you by public transportation. Or, maybe renting a car or a bike is the way to go.
Picking a Mode of Transportation – During your Trip
Even after you figure out what’s accessible in that destination, you have to factor in time, money, and your type of trip overall. Maybe a location has public transportation. But if you’re only going to be in that area for a short amount of time, and you have a ton of things you want to do, maybe that mode of transportation isn’t right for you.
For example, when I visited Utah for 3 days, I did some research on transportation and how I wanted to get around to two national parks. I stayed in Salt Lake City but had to go to the Moab and Springdale areas of Utah. This meant traveling through most of the state. While SLC does have a public transportation system, I really wasn’t going to be in SLC for most of my trip other than when I went to sleep in my Airbnb. Plus, getting a tour bus from SLC to the national parks would have cost money and time when I wanted to create my own itinerary.
So, public transportation was out and tour buses were out. My one last option was to rent a car and drive to the national parks. This gave me a lot of freedom and flexibility to go where I wanted, when I wanted, without possible delays or shortcomings. And while it was expensive, I preferred driving because I didn’t have a whole lot of time in Utah (only 3 days to explore SLC and 2 NATIONAL PARKS).
Pros and Cons
As you can see from my personal experience, you have to do your research and list the pros and cons to each mode of transportation. This can be a difficult processes and can look different depending on the traveler, their budget, length of stay, and overall motivation to take varying modes of transportation.
With each mode of transportation, there are going to be pros and cons. At the end of the day, you have to weigh the pros and cons and see what’s right for you and your trip.
Modes of Transportation
Of course, planes are a very common form of transportation. Especially when you’re traveling long distances or around the world, you’re going to be hopping on a plane. It is one of the fastest modes of transportation, because you can cover so much ground in a shorter period of time.
However, the one down side to planes is that they can be quite expensive. Despite the fact that there are budget airlines all over, which is amazing if you’re on a budge and need something inexpensive, they still cost a lot of money. Plus, if you’re checking in luggage or paying for seats, the cost adds up.
Cars are an awesome form of transportation because they allow you that freedom and flexibility of traveling where you want, when you want. When you have a car on hand, or if you rent one, you can go almost anywhere.
Yet, with cars, there are some cons. If it’s your own personal car, you have to factor in regular maintenance, gas, car insurance, and more. Or, if you’re renting, you still have to pay a daily rate to use the car, car insurance, plus gas as well. If you’re going through areas with tolls, that’s another expensive added to the list.
Trains are a lovely and environmentally friendly way of traveling. You can go across states lines, even countries, with trains. Not to mention the beautiful scenery you can see while on a train ride, it makes for a perfect way of traveling. Plus, if you have work, blogging, editing, or anything that needs to be done, you can do it all on the train! You don’t have to stress because you’re not the one driving.
On the flip side, trains can be a con as well. Trains can be very unreliable, crowded, and impractical in certain situations or areas. Forget about transferring trains in a foreign place with very confusing or little written directions, inaccessibility to certain areas, and pricey at times, it can be a hassle.
Boats or Ferries
Boats and ferries are a common, sometimes the only mode, of transportation in certain areas. If the destination you’re traveling to is an area with a lot of islands and water, taking the boat or ferry is going to be common place. Maybe you’re taking a trip to the Philippines but want to go from one island to another. While flying is definitely an option, taking a boat or ferry may be cheaper and easily available to you.
On the other hand, taking boats and ferries can be a pain sometimes. They can be very unreliable, take a long time (depending on the location you’re going to), and may be rough under certain weather conditions. Although it may be a cheaper option, it may not be the quickest or smoothest option out there.
Walking is probably the cheapest option, being that it is free! Unless you pay for a walking tour of a location, you can freely walk and explore your destination at no extra cost to you. Not only that, you can gain health benefits and can even turn it into exercise if you change the pace or elevation (depending on if you’re in an area with varying elevation).
But sometimes walking doesn’t seem like a good option if you’re trying to travel very long distances. Maybe you’re up for the challenge of walking miles to get to a place. If the location is going to take hours just by walking, then you may not want to choose that mode of transportation.
Walking is great for theme parks, areas around your accommodation, trails and hiking, even wandering around cities. However, if you’re trying to get a lot further than your immediate area, walking isn’t the best option.
Bicycling around a city, a trail, or a path along the beach is such a fun way of getting around and exploring. Depending on the type of trip you take, you can either bring your own bike or rent them. It’s such a cool and convenient way of traveling around an area at a quicker pace.
A few issues with bicycling around is not necessarily the bike itself. Rather, it’s other factors around you that can impede on your safety. Anything, from horrible drivers to weather, hazardous roads/sidewalks, and no bicycle paths can create risks.
Mopeds are another way of transporting yourself from place to place. If you’re able to get a moped, similar to that of a car, you’re able to have more freedom and flexibility while traveling. In some areas, mopeds are a bit more common to use for traveling. Especially if you’re trying to get to hidden gem areas where normal sized cars/vehicles can’t get to, a moped will do the job!
Although, you do need to be careful as well when riding a moped. The roads may not be ideal for riding a moped, even more so when you’re just learning how to ride one. You’re more exposed to the elements so if some bad weather came your way, you’re in trouble. If you’re trying to go long distances, a moped may be uncomfortable, limit the routes you can take, all with very little storage space.
Subways, the underground, the metro, whatever you want to call them, are a good option for traveling as well. More often than not, you’ll see subways in bigger cities with underground systems and networks. It can be a very fast, inexpensive way of skipping the traffic up above and getting to your destination quickly. You can cover a lot of ground with subways.
Because you’ll find subways in more urban, crowded areas, this comes with a price. The cost of taking the subway can be very expensive. They aren’t the most reliable mode of transportation either. You can be packed like a sardine can in a train car, with cars that have broken ACs or heating systems, next to numerous people. Just dealing with subways during the morning or evening rush is horrible. Coupled with the fact that you’re underground, this can cause some people to feel uncomfortable.
Finally, buses are another option for travelers when they’re traveling. Tour buses are great for arranged day trips, driving over long distances, sight seeing, and convenience as well. If you’re lucky, you can get a comfy and luxurious bus that makes your trip better.
Or you can utilize buses as a form of public transportation. This is great, because they get you where you need to go in a fast and cheap manner. Buses are awesome for showcasing lovely views and how locals travel.
Of course, buses can be unreliable, crowded, in bad shape, with unpleasant people. I have countless stories and memories from my time in New York and being on buses. Not to mention that taking a bus, in some cases, can take a very long time to get from one area to another.
As you can see, there’s options to choose from when traveling and you’re in need of transportation. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Modes of transportation, such as Tuk Tuks or rickshaws (common in Thailand), horses, and other ones didn’t make the list.
That’s not to say that they’re not important or not seen as a mode of transportation. They definitely are and can be found in certain places in the world. Even in the state I live in, the Amish community use horse and buggies as their mode of transportation for traveling.
The options are out there, all with their individual pros and cons. But it’s up to you to determine the right mode of transportation for you. Different trips will call for different modes of transportation. In the end, as long as it gets you from start to finish in a safe manner, that’s all that matters.