Travel is unbelievably fun. Everything about packing up and setting out on a wild adventure sends excitement teeming through the bones. So why do travelers so often skip half of the exciting journey?
Of course, many distances are long and time-consuming so flying is often necessary for travel. But when offered the option to fly or use other forms of travel, always opt to take the long road.
Allow yourself to enjoy every moment of your trip, including the methods of transport. With buses, trains, cars, boats, motorbikes, shuttles, and so much more, there are so many forms of travel to utilize other than flights.
There are seriously so many reasons why you should travel by bus, train, bike, or boat over planes. The following are just eight legitimate reasons to skip the flights and take the long road.
The dreaded airport security is simply torturous. You wait in line for hours as you anxiously inch forward a step or two, checking your watch every other second to remind yourself that you only have 27.5 (oh no, now only 27.25!) minutes left to catch your flight.
You have to remove every coin from your pockets, take off your shoes, belt, and jewelry, and place your laptop in a separate tray. Then, if you’re lucky, a burly man or woman pats you down as the other security officers go through your belongings. Oh, the joy!
It comes as no great surprise that research suggests that people find it more stressful to navigate through airport security than to move homes.
So want to skip the hassle of arriving at the airport two hours early only to wait in line until the last minute to give you extra anxiety about missing your flight? Utilize other forms of travel!
Roll up at the bus stop or train station 10 minutes before departure and go along your merry way to keep the adventure rolling.
Airports are typically on the outskirts of cities. If you’re lucky, where you visit will have an airport within an hour’s travel. If you’re lucky.
But one of the best parts about taking other forms of travel is that most bus and train stations, ferry ports, etc. are typically located right in the heart of the city they serve.
You don’t need to spend extra time and money expensively commuting from the airport into the center of town. Instead, you can hop right off your preferred form of transport and be just moments (or even steps!) away from your hotel or hostel—or at the very least a short subway or cab ride away.
Or you can even drive your rental car straight up to your front door. You really can’t beat that kind of convenience.
Airplane seats seem to be exponentially shrinking. Seat sizes are actually decreasing. So rather than attempting to jam pack yourself into a tiny little seat with less and less leg room, why not enjoy a full train car to yourself?
Or sprawl out and lie down on the empty seat next to you on the bus or enjoy the open-air deck on the ferry. Using other forms of travel rather than airplanes opens the door to more comfort and more space. And why would you not want that as you travel?
There is certainly an old-fashioned, romantic charm to traveling by land or sea rather than air.
The ultimate in traditional charm, trains provide the most romantic backdrop to so many wonderful romance films. Cars are perfect for stopping along the way to take a moment to breathe the fresh country air or snap a panorama.
Watching the sun disappear beyond the horizon as you travel along the open sea is the epitome of romance. The old-world charm and beauty of different forms of travel is all part of the travel experience.
Trains are some of the most eco-friendly forms of travel. They are more energy-efficient per passenger miles than planes. Apparently one passenger would be responsible for 29 times more CO2 emissions by taking an average domestic flight rather than a high-speed electric train.
Furthermore, planes are extra harmful to the environment due to the fact that their emissions are released in the upper atmosphere, which creates a much greater impact than gases released on the ground.
So if you want to travel while also minimizing your carbon footprint, choose any other form of travel over a flight.
Airline tickets can be astronomical and particularly sensitive to the time frame in which you buy them.
However, using other forms of travel tends to save you quite a bit, which can, as an added bonus, help to elongate your travels.
If you’re willing to ride the local way, you can certainly save a lot more than just a few bucks. Particularly over shorter distances, utilizing other forms of travel (rather than airplanes) will save you much more in the long run.
Planes give you some pretty ethereal views of the skies. There’s no denying that. But if you’re traveling to a foreign land, you want to see that land itself.
Traveling by route of land or sea will open your eyes to a world that you would most certainly miss by traveling in the sky. Beautiful countryside, exotic city streets, vast rolling coastline, and snow-capped mountainous terrain are just the beginning of all the sites you can soak in by using other forms of travel.
Take the long road to truly get a feel for the country you are visiting and catch a glimpse of the parts of the country that are off the beaten path.
Far beyond just transportation, travel on a bus, train, boat, or car is a sightseeing experience.
More than just a trip from point A to point B, adventurous forms of travel can be destinations in and of themselves.
A beautiful journey across the Atlantic or a scenic train ride through the Alps will remind you that there is more to life than just reaching the destination—the journey is the true experience.
This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are so, so many reasons to skip the flights and take other forms of travel instead.
So save money and the planet. Experience the romance and the adventure. Soak in the sites and enjoy the journey! It’s highly unlikely that you’ll regret your travels off the beaten path.
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