With so many options in the world today, thanks to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, transportation while traveling can be much easier than it used to be.
There is no longer a need to rely on the word of locals or maps. An app or navigation system can take care of many transportation worries.
But, with all these options it can also be hard to tell which is the best for you. The answer to that question can largely depend upon where you’re traveling; for example, if you’re in a rural setting, public transportation may not be an option at all. This can narrow down your choices, but it still remains a tricky choice for travelers when they are planning trips abroad.
Here are the different transportation options while abroad and the pros and cons for each:
Ride-sharing apps are growing in popularity for travelers and could become their main mode of transportation. Cash is rarely necessary and tourists can get directly to their destination.
Even in countries where apps such as Lyft and Uber are not available, most countries have moved their taxi services into an app platform. Before you travel to different countries, check to see what ride-sharing apps are the most commonly used in that country. Download the app before you leave so you can assure that you will get to where you need to go.
One of the greatest worries with these apps is safety. These concerns will grow when visiting a foreign country with a driver that might speak another language.
Planes and Trains
Visiting multiple parts of a region while on your trip? Driving might not be the best option for a long-distance trip.
The best choice will likely depend on your timeline.
For those with limited time and many sights to see, flights from country-to-country might be the best option. Due to the short amount of distance you will be traveling, flights are not only fast from one location to another, but also cheaper. The larger the city you’re traveling to, the cheaper the prices will be. If you’re looking for a budget vacation, it would be wise to travel to larger airports in Europe such as Frankfurt, Paris, and London.
If you have a little more time, train travel can be a more fulfilling method. Of course traveling by train takes longer than traveling by plane, but it can be easy on your wallet.
The train can also provide a quick tour of the country. Places like India, Japan and South Africa earn praise for their scenic train rides. Snowy mountains turn into rainforests followed by deserts, all from the view of your cabin.
Public transportation can be a great, easy, and consistent option to use, especially while in Europe.
As far as general public transportation, check to see if the city you’re traveling to has a subway, train or bus system. Not everywhere is guaranteed to have these options, especially if you’re traveling to a rural area.
Find out how to buy passes or tickets for public transportation before visiting the country. Some countries have serious consequences for travel without a ticket.
Also, if you’re using public transportation, it’s important to always keep an eye on your belongings. If you’re traveling with a bag or purse, always keep the bag in front of you or hold it to your body. Don’t put any valuables such as your wallet or passport in your pockets, as that is easy access to pickpockets.
This can be both the most convenient and expensive option.
Rental cars may be the best option for anyone that needs freedom in their travel plans. Whether you want a carefree trip or freedom to make last-second plans, the rental might be the way to go.
Keep in mind that driving laws will also differ in every country. If you’re renting a car, research these laws to make sure you don’t end up driving on the wrong side of the road. There may also be a need for an international driver’s permit or additional insurance.
Some countries also do not offer cars with automatic transmission, opting for manual instead.
Written for Passport Health by Kaitlyn Luckow. Kaitlyn is a freelance writer, photographer and English teacher in Milwaukee. She has a passion for capturing and writing other people’s stories. You can find her at sayhellostory.com.