Transportation options are the most important decisions you’ll make both before and on your vacation. A transportation decision can make or break a vacation, so it is essential to carefully consider every possible mode of transit. Think about it: Do you want to spend your vacation trying to read French road signs in a rental car? Do you want to rely on cabs and suffer the notorious “foreigner’s tax”? What about public transportation—do you think you have the skills to figure out a new city’s subway in a few days? This facet of your vacation is important because it is inexplicably tied to both time and stress. The easier your transportation is, the better your vacation will be.
So, let’s go through the options. You’ll likely decide between a rental car, public transportation, rideshare/taxi, and shuttle services. Each comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. Rental cars, for example, will provide the most mobility and flexibility, but they require you to navigate unknown roads, pay for gas, and find parking—all of which can be incredibly stressful on their own, let alone while on vacation. Rental cars are also, in most cases, the most expensive option, and you may want to save as much money as possible while on your trip.
Conversely, public transportation allows vacationers to save money. This is often the least expensive transit option and allows for some flexibility. However, it requires individuals to research bus routes and subway maps. Though this is perfectly suitable for some vacationers, others might find it to be too stressful. Plus, some destinations might not have a developed public transportation option, eliminating the possibility entirely.
Rideshare and taxi service use is the most popular among vacationers. If you choose to rely on this option, you’ll likely spend a lot of money, but not as much as it might cost to rent a car (depending on distance traveled). However, do some research regarding rideshare and taxi availability; apps like Uber and Lyft are not available in all countries, and some destinations may have unfamiliar taxi rules and protocol.
Of course, your transportation decisions will rely almost entirely on your destination. If you’re taking a road trip as a vacation, you won’t have to worry about anything but your personal vehicle. If you’re heading to Aruba, you’ll likely only need a shuttle service from the resort to the airport. Reflect on the amount of mobility you’ll need on your trip, then factor in your budget to decide accordingly. Additionally, whenever possible, book your transportation in advance—whether that means reserving a rental car, calling a taxi service, or pre-arranging a shuttle.
I am a lifelong explorer and travel enthusiast. I've never been a certified travel agent, but I have multiple family members who were. I'm not necessarily plugged in to the latest travel vendors and exclusive packages, and I've never cared for the label "life coach," but I do think I have some wisdom to offer about how people can get the most of your their vacation time.
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