Although traveling is one of the most fun parts of life, it can also be extremely stressful. From the flight, to navigating the roads in a foreign country, to hailing a taxi when you do not speak the language, there are many transportation related issues that can make travel stressful. However, transportation does not have to become a travel woe. With a little prior planning, getting around your destination can be a breeze. For this installation in Passport Health’s holiday travel tips countdown, we review how transportation in your destination can be made less stressful.
Option 1: Public Transport
Public transportation can be your best option depending on what you are doing and where you are. Larger metropolitan cities like Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo have amazing public transportation systems that really can negate the need to use anything else. However, smaller locations and newer cities (even in the US) have less than stellar public transit, meaning you will either have to wait longer to get to where you want to go or will need to choose a more convenient means of getting around.
One of the best ways of using public transit is to check ahead before you travel. If you have a map already on hand, you won’t have to waste time figuring out where to go or how to get there. Also, using Google Earth to scout out the area before you go can help immensely. You’ll be able to more easily identify areas where you want to go as well as those that look confusing or dangerous and should be avoided. If things start looking unfamiliar, it might be time to pull out a map or hail a cab to get you back to areas you are familiar with.
Option 2: Taxis
With services like Uber and Lyft becoming increasingly popular for both drivers and users around the world, there is now a much wider variety of taxi options than in the past. If you think you might use a driver provider service overseas, be sure to download whatever app(s) you might want or need before starting your trip.
Depending on where you are going there may (or may not) be certain services available to you. Once again, check ahead. Generally speaking, taxis are a safe and fairly economical form of transport, but you should still be careful! Long rides can lead to high fees and it is possible drivers will charge more if they assume you are a tourist. As a result, knowing which taxi companies are reputable in your destination and working out the fare in advance of the ride are good ideas.
Option 3: Rental Car
Getting a rental car offers you an unparalleled amount of freedom in your destination. However, rentals can be costly, and gas can be expensive in some overseas destinations, so be sure to take this into account during your planning.
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If you do decide on going the rental route, always be sure to map out your drive ahead of time. Although Apple Maps, Google Maps, and GPS will be great resources in your destination, you might consider having paper maps as a back-up in case you lose service or charge on a device. Remember that you may need to get an international driver’s license as well. Also, the rules of the road vary greatly in global destinations, so make sure that you are comfortable with these before committing yourself to a rental car.
Option 4: The Chauffeur
The chauffeur can be anything from an actual chauffeur to a friend who is willing to pick you up and show you around your destination. Having a local resource is a great way to get recommendations and see the “local” parts of the city that can be extremely fun but are not easily accessible to most tourists.
If you decide to hire a professional chauffeur, be sure to make your arrangements well in advance. Avoid chauffeurs looking for clients at airports or other high traffic areas, as these last minute hires can sometimes lead to muggings and other less savory experiences. Make plans ahead of time to avoid any problems, and be sure to check reviews to make sure that everything will go off without a hitch.
What form of in-city travel do you prefer on vacation? Comment below or on the Passport Health Facebook page to leave your thoughts.