Planes will get you far but travelling by land will get your budget even further. Not always the case as some budget airlines have made it so cheap it actually makes sense to hit the skies but for the most part, land travel is a great money saver and also hosts a whole array of other travel benefits such as getting to see the actual country and the rural parts you may not get to see otherwise. Farms, forests, canyons and gorges all await you as you speed by.
Travel by train
- Getting a sleeper class bus or train means you’re not spending money on a nights accommodation
- There is generally no luggage fees so load up that case
- You can arrive pretty close to departure so no need to spend 2-3 hours wandering around a terminal with Duty Free goods being shoved in your face
- No check in lines or security questions/checks
- Feel free to bring as much food and drinks with you as you like
- Generally you arrive quite central to whatever location you are going to meaning there’s no need for airport shuttles or rail to get to your location
- There’s usually room on board so planning months in advance isn’t necessary
- No need to worry about massive hikes in price for last minute travel
- No turbulence and sometimes bigger tables make the journey more comfortable. Some trains/buses even have more leg room.
Travel by bus
- Generally the cheapest possible way to get around but it can be harder to map out. Head along to a travel agent, book at your hostel or use an online booking system. If all that fails, pop along to the train station and work your magic at the ticket desk, be patient and speak up.
- Keep your valuables by your side at all times and have the essentials like wallet, passport and cash strapped to your body under your shirt if possible.
- Have a day pack with other valuables like cameras, laptops and gadgets looped around your body as you sleep
- Don’t drink too much as toilets aren’t always around and you don’t want to lug all your goodies into that cubicle with you
- Put your bag in first in the undercarriage. This means that is someone nabs a bag at a stop, they are less likely to get yours and rather one form the top of the pile.
- Roads are bumpy and sleep can be tricky in some countries so if you need a good rest before a trek or climb, then a bus may to be the best option for you
- When getting to remote locations, bus is really your best option over train. It will definitely get you closer at least before you’ll need to take a car/bike the rest of the way.
Travel by private car
- When bus nor train is going your way. This can often be the only solution available to you.
- Can work out pretty cheap if you can fill the car with travellers looking to go to the same direction.
- You can get to the exact location, not just a station or stop nearby
- You can stop when ever you like for toilet breaks, a quick photo and you get to know the driver personally. Some might even let you put your own music on and make a real road trip of it.
- When strikes are on or there is industrial action, this is a good option. Many places in South America and Europe have regular strikes. Also useful on public holidays when services are suspended or limited.
- You avoid commission based strategic stops. Many drivers stop off at truck stops and eateries to earn a commission from the owners. With a private car, you stop where you want to.
- Haggle down to the last but be polite. Shop around and be patient. Some may get offended but there is never any harm in going back to our original guy if he had the best deal. Walking away is never really walking away