By foregoing flying when I travel, I expect to be able to save money. Sometimes I can, but accommodating a bus or train company’s schedule can find me waiting in some small town for the cheapest bus or rushing my weekend to catch the best priced train. There are ways around these pitfalls, and I’d like to explore some of them.
Overland Travel: Money Saving Tips – Hitchhiking
I know, I know. Hitchhiking gets such a bad rap these days! You’d think people were dying from it. However, in many parts of the world, such as Asia, parts of Europe and the US state of Hawai’i, hitchhiking is the preferred means of travel. While it does mean you’re working with someone else’s schedule, it also means that you’re riding for free, and are likely to see a part of your destination you wouldn’t have otherwise. Of course, keep your wits about you and exercise caution, but in all likelihood, the worst that will happen is that you’re delayed even further because your host has invited you home for dinner with the family.
Overland Travel: Money Saving Tips – Purchasing a Car
While shelling out a few thousand US dollars to purchase a car might not sound like an economical means of travel, when traveling in the US it can be. The United States does not offer a comprehensive method of traveling overland, thus train travel is expensive with limited destinations and bus travel outside of major cities is best avoided. However, by utilizing Craigslist or something similar, a reasonably priced car can be purchased for less than a plane ticket, in some cases. Register the car with the appropriate agency, purchase the minimum insurance, and explore to your heart’s content. In some cases, your car can double as your bed, saving even more money on lodging. When you are finished with it, simply place it for sale. You may lose some money in the end, but that amount will still be less than the cost of train and/or bus tickets.
Overland Travel: Money Saving Tips – Bus and Train
In many parts of the world, bus and train tickets can cost almost as much as air travel, and in some cases more. However, there are a few things to consider when debating between overland and air travel. These days, buses and trains typically have much more comfortable and roomy seats than airplanes, and often have free wifi and other amenities. Consider taking an overnight bus or train. Make use of the bedding that is usually provided, and lie back and sleep. Not only have you reached your destination refreshed and relaxed, but you’ve saved a night’s lodging.
Overland travel doesn’t have to be a hassle. Yes, it takes longer, but as the old adage goes, getting there is half the fun. Unless you’re trying to fit twenty countries into twenty days, utilizing slower means of travel practically guarantees you’ll have a more authentic and more relaxed experience. They don’t call it “slow travel” for nothing.