A Quickie in the City: Transportation to Help you Get the Most out of Your Stay
There’s a lot of hype surrounding certain global cities, cities that you “must see before you die”—London, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco. But oftentimes we find ourselves jetting in and out of these bustling metropolises in a matter of days due to scheduling or budget restraints. And getting around these places can be exceedingly difficult if you’re not familiar with them, leaving you unable to reap the rewards of having visited in the first place. We may spend hours scouring the streets by foot, only to find ourselves disappointed at day’s end with the amount of stuff we actually saw.
That’s why it’s best to plan ahead when traveling, and to pay particularly close attention to how you plan on getting around the cities you visit. Wandering by foot around a new environment may provide a certain type of enjoyment for the vagabond adventurer within us, but it’s not particularly efficient. If you’re intent on seeing as many sights as possible, you may have to consider a few of these more mobile alternatives.
If you are going to keep both feet planted on the ground, you would be wise to ensure that they are at least moving in the right direction. Walking tours have always been popular, and have only proliferated more in recent years due to their relative affordability and accessibility.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have to book a walking tour in advance—there are plenty of local tour guides in cities who would be happy to show you around. And if you’re really savvy and outgoing, you don’t even need to hire a professional—just walk into a local pub, order a few rounds, and find yourself some new friends to help get you from one landmark to the next.
This is an industry that is truly experiencing a revolutionary boon in the 21st century. Overall growth in government-funded public transportation is seen by many as a natural byproduct of increased global gas prices, from the development of high-speed rails to increased construction of inner-city transit.
This is good news for the traveler, looking to save a few bucks. Increased access to cheap public transportation will allow to significantly expand the amount of ground you can cover during your vacation stay without having to shell out for a rental car. London and New York City are prime examples of world-class tourist destinations with extremely reputable and convenient metro systems that can take any tourist with a map just about anywhere they would want to go.
Private Guided Tours
So now we understand all the merits of going public with your transportation plans—but there are certainly reasons to be skeptical as well. Trying to dual wield color-coded labyrinths in an effort to get on the train that takes you to right plaza can be difficult to say the least. Boat tours, bike tours, and bus tours are all solid options if you are in search of a carefree way to see the sights and learn the history of a city in a short amount of time. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone else take care of the logistics, giving you the free time to simply enjoy the ride and focus on absorbing as much of the city as you can. Trying to do it on your own may leave you standing in the middle of the crowded park, sweating and screaming, “Dónde está el aeropuerto?!” at the top of your lungs
Whether it’s London private tours with hospitable chauffeurs or a cruising the Mekong Delta in a riverboat sipping out of a coconut with a straw, a private guide can be the most refreshing of respites for the weary traveler.
Quick trips can be fun, affordable, and—if you play your cards right—fruitful. Getting the most possible out of the experience will take some extra effort invested in advanced, but the payoff makes it well worth it.
About the author: This is a guest-post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger interested in travel, food and health related topics. When she is not working she likes to travel and discover hidden places around the globe. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.