So my travels for 2013 are almost over. Despite having a good few months of the year left to go I have plowed through pretty much the entirety of my annual leave already. All that remains is a trip to Turkey in September to see my sister get married and then maybe a mystery trip somewhere else … maybe. Perhaps I should visit Idaho or somewhere else just as gorgeous.
Whilst looking back over my travels from 2013 and brainstorming a few post ideas so that this site doesn’t become useless and utterly boring (don’t worry, I have a few ideas) I noticed that mode of transport seem to feature pretty heavily in my posts and can often play a huge role in affecting my opinion of a destination. I know I should be able to keep the journey and the destination separate, but it always helps in forming a positive opinion of a town/city having had a smooth journey rather than a torturous one.
Anyway, I digress. As per the title of this post, herein you shall find my top 5 modes of transport … along with a few honorable mentions at the end. Let the countdown being!
I’m sure I’m not alone in finding coach travel, at times, utterly unbearable. Rarely am I able to fit into coach seating comfortably, and after a hour of two I’m endlessly squirming and changing position in my seat whilst simultaneously annoying the person unfortunate enough to be sitting next to be. Sleep is near impossible as head rests usually reach the upper half of my back at best. In short its just a nightmare for me, I am not a fan and that feeling was compounded when I when spent 26 grueling, agonising hours on one of those wretched contraptions getting home from Prague (to London).
That all said, coach travel is usually cheap and readily available hence its inclusion at number 5.
Long haul flights I pretty much love, owing in no surprise to the host of movies and beers now available on board. Its the shorter flights I experience that drag air travel down to number 4. Leg room aside, the fact you spend more time queuing, dropping bags, picking up bags, having your bags scanned, being scanned yourself and then following the Mrs around duty free hoping she doesn’t rinse the joint card for all its worth, than actually flying just doesn’t always seem to add up.
I love me a roadtrip. Don’t get me wrong, sitting in traffic on the M25 is pants, but winding through the roads of the Scottish Highlands or along the Donegal coastline is the stuff driving dreams a made of. I implore you get some mates together, hire a car, create an epic soundtrack, press play and then get driving … just make sure you read up on the road rules of the area you are choosing to get your motors running . Remember some countries such as Russia operate a zero tolerance on booze consumption whilst behind the wheel. Croatia is zero tolerance for those under 24 years of age. Do your research!
What other method on this list allows you to find those little secrets tucked away down anonymous looking alleys? I love walking tours or just waling on my lonesome in equal measure. I understand that city bus tours are great for utilising time and for those travellers that aren’t always comfortable walking streets that are unknown to them, but not me. Converse on, food and water in bag and I’m ready to walk.
Also, when you think about it walking is good for the environment, is pretty healthy and saves you money. Whats not to like?
Much like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, I have a little thing for trains. Admittedly I don’t go spotting or built great models of them, but train travel is by far my favourite mode of transport. To be honest I don’t even mind using the London underground … in fact I quite enjoy it.
I find train travel value for money, comfortable and for the most part beautiful in terms of the scenery you can see whizzing past the windows. Whilst you might get stuck at a red light, there are no traffic jams. Whilst you have a seat you can get up and stretch your legs with a walk to the food carriage. Its pretty much the best of all modes of transport rolled into one with the exception of you not being able to see the clouds from above. Ah well, I’ll take that one on the chin as living in England I get to see plenty of clouds anyway.
Train travel stories:
Conclusion and honorable mentions
So there you have it, my most common methods of travel ranked. I do really try to avoid coach travel where necessary, that 26 hour jaunt from Prague to London really has scared me. Air travel wise I find I enjoy the longer flights more enjoyable, usually because they are more comfortable and have better facilities i.e. a great whopping selection of movies. I love driving so as long as my bad knee holds up I’m happy driving for hours at a time, especially if the scenery is beautiful and the roads are fun. All that said, nothing beats train travel. I love having the opportunity to sit back and watch the world go by. You easily can get up and move around if your uncomfortable, eat, drink, take a nap and all whilst someone else drives, lovely stuff. I especially loved my train travels in Sri Lanka where you could hang out the side of the carriages or watch nutty sword swallowers perform mid journey.
All that said, I did once get on the same train as a 300 strong group of Polish football hooligans, spending a rather unpleasant and nervous 4 hours in their company. ‘Squeaky bum time‘ it most certainly was!
Honorable mentions go to …
Bike – I dont cycle often anymore, but I have taken the odd cycling tour, and really enjoyed cycling through rural Cambodia, just outside of Siem Reap.
Tuk Tuk – I kind love and loath tuk tuks. I love the journies, but hate the bartering over price that inevitably takes place before hand.
Boat – Not too much sailing experience here either. I’ve never been on a cruise (that moved) and whilst I loved my Whitsundays sailing adventure, I did feel a little sick at points.
Board – Ah snowboarding, a fairly recent discovery, but a mode of (tran)sport that really do love!