My friend told me I could never make a car out of spaghetti; you should’ve seen the look on her face when I drove pasta!
The whole idea of travelling is to move from one place to another so here’s a guide to some methods that I’ve used to get around the place.
The most basic form of transportation is by foot. Now, this is a great method as its exercise while travelling, it’s also good for getting around in general but I wouldn’t exactly recommend it if you’re trying to go over long distances as this can be very unsafe. Not many routes are accessible by foot, although there some hiking trails and pilgrimages that are very popular with travellers. I haven’t done any of these personally but I know of the journey between Bratislava and Vienna is very popular, and so is the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain.
For those times when the distance is too great or unsafe, many of those who want to walk instead rely on the kindness of others, and hitchhike. I’m not the best person to give advice on sticking a thumb out as I’ve only done it successfully on one occasion while I was trying to get back to Vama Veche from Varna and I have to say that it was a terrifying yet exhilarating experience. However, I do have a very good friend of mine who has done quite a lot of hitchhiking and can offer a lot more advice on that subject, check out Footsteps To Nowhere for his site, tell him Nick sent you.
Next on our list of transportation is the car. There are two ways to start travelling via car, either begin with a vehicle and journey around, or to rent a car when you arrive in your chosen destination and travel around the country. If you choose the first option, this means that ideally you already own the vehicle so you would be used to the controls and how it operates but the downside is that each country tends to have their own laws regarding private vehicles and it might be hassle getting certain certifications and ultimately, it could be lot more costly than originally considered. The other option is to arrive at a chosen destination, and then rent a car for a few days and travel around a particular country. This can be a better option if you want to get off the beaten track, or see somewhere that public transport doesn’t essentially allow. The negative side of this coin is that usually car rental companies don’t tend to like younger or inexperienced drivers so they may hike the price up if you’re under a certain age. Rental companies also rarely allow for cross border travel and so you are restricted to the same country you rented from and another is that if you were intending to rent the car from one city and drop it off in another, this can raise the prices dramatically.
If you want to travel by car but don’t want to be the one driving, a good preference is to use a website called BlaBlaCar. With this carpooling service, you find someone who is also going in the direction you want and for a minimal fee they will take you. This is a good way to socialise with locals and keep costs low. One particular downside, for me at least, is that when I have to travel long distances, I prefer to zone out and not really talk to anyone else and if I’m a passenger with another person, they might expect me to keep them company; or that it may be difficult to find people going in the direction you want. Ultimately, a car is good if you want full and total control of your travel, but only if you’re willing to spend that little extra.
The long distance coach is probably my most utilised means of transport. Throughout most of Europe, using the buses and coaches is probably the best option due to the low prices and high frequency of journeys. There are some great multinational organisations that operate including but not limited to Flixbus, RegioJet, and Eurolines. The most universal company I’ve found is Flixbus due to their boundless lines they operate on, plus the fact that they are in league with other national companies such as PolskiBus. The best thing about using buses to get around is that you can put headphones in and not have to worry about the journey, but on the other hand, there is the possibility that you may be seated next to someone you don’t particularly want to be sat next to. When it comes to overnight travel, I sincerely recommend using the long distance coaches as this provides a night’s sleep coupled with the ability to wake up in another city or even country; the only obstacle to this, is that on some journeys it can be challenging to actually get a good night’s sleep.
As I explained in the financial planning article/video, it’s always a good idea to shop around to find the best prices and sites like Rome2Rio and GoEuro offer comparisons between journeys and can show all the options available including train, plane and BlaBlaCar.
To coincide with my video releases, I will be uploading another article in a few days with some more transport options, so stay tuned for that.