Shoes off. Miniature liquids in clear plastic bags. Squeezing into uncomfortable seats. Overpriced, cardboard food. Luggage somewhere in Albania whilst you’re stuck, desperate for a change of clothes, in Canada. Flying: what’s not to love?
If you’re tired of it, you’re not alone.
Next time you’re stuck in a holding pattern, flying in endless loops over an airport that’s already so packed with passengers that there’s no place for your plane to land, you might find yourself seriously considering these five inspired alternatives!
Go on a Cruise
Think of a cruise, and you may picture a giant plastic city blaring party music into the ocean waves. And for some, that’s a type of paradise in itself. However, there are many different types of cruise available, and many get you up close and personal with some of the most remote and beautiful locations on the globe.
And if you’re worried about what visitations by giant boats might be doing to those unspoiled locations, there are dramatic changes afloat. New cruise-liners are already being designed with solar-powered sails, and a wide range of eco-cruises are already available.
Bring your car and go on a road trip
The road trip. Immortalized in classics such as The Motorcycle Diaries and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, road trips stand as beacons of self-discovery. And with newspapers reporting that the traveling choice is making a serious comeback amongst a new generation of intrepid explorers, many believe that road trips are one of the best ways to really get to understand a country.
However, before you grab the keys to the Cadillac and head off into the sunset, there are a few things to consider. If you’re buying a car from a private dealer, make sure that you go somewhere reputable such as One Sure Insurance. Basic car maintenance skills are also crucial, especially if you are traveling to remote areas.
Go on a scenic train ride crossing countries
Few images are more evocative than the international train. From the art-deco glamour of the Orient Express, the “bucket list” scenery of The Canadian, to the formidable wilderness of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, long distance sleeper trains have become as much a part of cultural history as they are a way to travel from A to B.
Whilst these historic trains still exist, it’s not necessary to splash out on a bespoke journey in order to enjoy the views that the railways offer. It’s perfectly possible to see the globe simply by hopping from one local train to another.
Cross country cycling
Most methods of traveling focus upon sitting back and relaxing, but long distance cycling offers a way to see the world whilst polishing your halo of health. Cycling is one of the best physical activities out there, and with everyone reminding us that the ideal way to get into peak shape is to train on multiple terrains, this option is health gold-dust.
Thomas Andersen, who spent six years cycling the globe, describes the experience of seeing the world by bicycle as “unparalleled”. Many other agree with him, and the web is rich with information about the ideal routes to use survival tips, and advice. If you’re interested in taking your pedals onto foreign soils, it’s a good idea to join one of the many ‘cycling the globe’ forums. Here, you’ll find a rich tapestry of cyclists sharing their tales of life on two wheels.
Travel using the bus
In many countries, busses are still one of the most familiar and reliable forms of transport. Europe has its own interconnected bus network, which is easily accessible through the GetByBus blog, a central hub for viewing timetables, booking tickets, and getting advice on exactly how to get from one far flung corner of the continent to another.
Busses are recognised as being one of the cheapest ways to travel. However, it helps to plan in advance, especially as you could save even more by opting for an all-in-one ticket that lets you hop on and off different transport networks. And, whilst there are many blogs out there detailing people who have covered the world by train and bicycle, there’s a significant shortage of bus-bloggers, so you could even turn your journey into a profit.
If waddling through a security scanner in your socks still sounds like the perfect way to travel, go and enjoy. If you’re starting to feel tempted by the pull of the wild, the great news is that off-piste adventuring has never been a more connected or informed experience. A vibrant community of alternative travellers awaits, all you need to do is pack your bags and follow the road.