In last week’s post I talked about in city travel planning and how I did a lot of walking. Now depending on the city you may have multiple options for transportation. Many people have the option of walking. Then there could be buses, metros (tubes, subways, T lines, lots of names for those mainly underground trains), cabs, rental cars, trolleys, etc. How can you decide what’s right for you?
Well the obvious factors to take into account would be the weather, your health, time constraints & money constraints. If all of those are looking on the up and up, I personally suggest walking.
Not only is walking healthy for you it keeps you above ground at your own pace to check out things you could miss otherwise.
I especially do not recommend being underground as a tourist unless you have constraints. Granted they are usually efficient, air conditioned, and relatively inexpensive, you miss a lot.
Take for instance my trip to London I spoke about last week. I followed that itinerary of mine but walking afforded me the opportunity to stumble upon some sites I would have missed if I were underground and could possibly have missed if I were in a automobile.
And if you did happen to catch them while in an automobile and wanted to check them out, you’d have to get the bus to stop, hop out of the cab, or try to find parking. All of that is time, effort, and money wasted. And that’s only if you happened to spot it to begin with.
Also, it’s nice to feel a part of the city you are visiting. And if you get lost, talking to locals to get directions is a good way to immerse yourself in the culture. Being on the streets on foot it a good way to learn the city itself. Make friends with with locals. It will make your trip rich with memories and much more rewarding then sitting on the underground with your earbuds in.
Afraid of being on foot and getting lost and not knowing the local language? Well, next week we’ll talk about key phrases to learn in the local language. If you’re on a smartphone you should check out CityMaps2Go for Droid, Iphone, or Windows Phone which allows you to download maps that you can use offline. This becomes helpful for those of you who do not have wifi or data while traveling.
When you are traveling, what mode of transportation do you like best? And why?
Here’s a few photos from things I would have missed if I were on the underground during that first full day of mine in London. Click on any photo to enlarge: