Roaming around the globe for a living means that I’ve spent hundreds of hours on trains, planes, and buses over the last three years. Each one of these modes of travel has their own advantages and disadvantages. However, many times, if I can help it,
I choose buses and trains over planes. There are a few reasons why I tend to choose spending hours on a bus or train instead of another mode of transportation.
For one, it carves out a good chunk of my day and lets me focus on the blog content, edit photos, and read up on my destination.
The internet is a great source to find cheap train and bus tickets. One helpful site when traveling the around the USA is https://www.goticket.io. They combine both bus and train routes letting you find the cheapest option. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First let’s talk about 5 advantages to taking a bus or train
5 Advantages of Taking Trains and Buses
Nowadays, most Airlines make passengers pay for luggage. The reasoning for this is that over the years plane tickets have relatively stayed the same price. However, inflation has depreciated the value of money.
The dollars airlines are making aren’t worth as much and charging passengers for luggage is a way to make up some of the lost cash.
However, it can be expensive. The amount passengers have to pay for luggage varies by airline, but a good base price is right around $30. Adding luggage is usually one of the last things that is asked when booking a ticket.
Many times I get pumped about an insanely cheap flights only to get to the last page and have to tack on an extra $30. It is a major bummer.
One advantage of taking trains and buses, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for luggage. 99% of the time the price paid when booking your ticket includes luggage.
It seems funny to mention saving time when talking about taking trains and buses but wait, hear me out. Yes, both of these modes or travel are notoriously famous for being the slow was to get from A to B. However, I honestly believe that sometimes it is faster taking these slower methods of travel than flying.
Here is an example, let’s say we have a 6-hour train journey. Well, is it quicker to take the one hour flight or the train.
In this example, I would opt to take the train every time because it equals out at almost the same amount of time, and the train is a lot less go go go.
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s break it down.
Most airports are at least a forty-five minute to an hour journey from the city center. To the airport and then into the destination city is already adding one and a half to two hours to your overall time.
Plus with airports you have to arrive a couple of hours before your flight. With trains and buses all your need is to get there about ten to fifteen minutes before.
Oh yeah, we also have to add on the one hour flight. Now that one hour flight has turned into about 5 to 6 hours of travel/wait time.
If the flight is international, then you have to go through customs which can take ages. While international trains and buses have immigration as well many times, they are factored into the overall time.
With flights, you are always rushing. A train is smooth and a perfect place to relax and catch up on a good book. Right about now that 6-hour train is look in lot better isn’t it.
Overall prices for trains and buses are significantly less than planes. Let’s say I am in Chiang Mai, Thailand (One of my personal favorite cities).
A budget flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok cost anywhere from 1000 Baht to 2000 Baht ($30 – $60)
However, a bus cost around 500 baths ($15) and an overnight train around 700 ($21).
Plus on the overnight train, everyone gets their own bed, so you are saving on a night of accommodation as well. Train and buses are just cheaper and can save you a lot of money over time.
Trains and buses let you see parts of the world up close that you could never see out of a plane window. Buses and trains go through all but forgotten villages, past rushing rivers, and down into mountain valleys
Trains can go where no roads exist and let you see the untouched landscape of a country. This way of traveling lets you see off the beaten path towns, and untouched landscapes. It is one of my favorite advantages of traveling by bus and train.
Another reason to go by train and bus is because you get to meet local people.
Many locals use trains and buses as their main transport. It is an excellent way to strike up a conversation and talk to some locals about what life is like in their country.
Of course, they are locals on airplanes as well. However, I always feel rushed on planes and usually prefer not to talk.
Trains and buses have many advantages over flying. There are one of my favorite ways to travel and a modes of transit that I use almost weekly with my lifestyle.