Blending in with the locals is probably one of the most authentic ways to enjoy your trip and nothing like using their public transportation to see what that looks like. Taking a bus, subway, or train with the city people will help you understand their behavior, culture better, besides finding some very cool places you would skip on an Uber.
But one of the main reasons for using public transportation is to save money and keep your budget safe. It will be much cheaper than renting a car or taking a cab, but it requires some planning and attention. Here are 5 tips for you to survive a vacation using public transportation only:
1. Stay close to a stop or station
You do not want to walk an hour to get to a station, so it is very important to find accommodation that is within walking distance of it. Even if your goal is to take the subway and it is far away from you, you can look for a bus stop and commute to the station. That will make your day much easier and you will not be exhausted by unnecessary walks at the end of the day.
You can easily find out what is close to your accommodation using Google Maps, and also plan your itineraries while checking how long your commute will take.
2. Keep valuable objects safe
While you get to know the transportation routine and how safe it is, consider leaving objects such as laptops, tablets, and other valuables home -– well, your temporary home. Once you get to know when your transportation is more or less crowded, as well, and if you believe it is safe enough, you can pack all of that in your backpack if you need to.
But this serves not only for your commute, as a tourist you may not know or notice how safe the place you are visiting is, so it is a good idea to keep anything valuable at home until you find that out.
3. Pack wisely and keep your bags closed
There is a good chance you will be standing at stations and bus stops, and a seat is not guaranteed once you board your wagon. Keep that in mind when packing your backpack or bag for the day, you do not want to carry a heavyweight all day long.
Make sure you have all the essentials, a form of ID, some snacks and water, a notebook or pad with some important information such as your accommodation’s address, a phone number, and so on. Knowing what to pack for emergencies is very important and here is a video with 10 items for that moment.
4. Get the transportation schedule or use an app
Depending on your destination, their transportation can be very punctual or not. So keep a schedule with you. For subways you will find that information in every station, they will probably offer a booklet with the map for the stations and schedules. For buses, you may find their schedule at the bus stop and on the internet. Most big cities have an app that will offer both the city’s transportation map and schedule, which makes your life much easier; there are also apps like Transit which tracks that in different cities.
You will also find ways to use public transportation to get to or leave the airport, those apps will give you an idea of the time of commute, ticket price, and their schedule.
5. Dress wisely
It may seem silly but dress wisely. Here are a few reasons:
- You do not know how long exactly you will be on a bus, some cities do not have air conditioning for their public transportation and general delays can happen. Being stuck in traffic on a crowded bus in the heat can be a lot worse if you are wearing uncomfortable clothes. That can happen in any kind of public transportation.
- You may be walking and standing a lot, high heels or fancy shoes may not be the best choice.
- You do not want to call unnecessary attention to you, instead try to blend in with the locals. That may keep you out of pick pockets’ sights.
- Just to be comfy and adequate to the weather will make your trip easier.
For other tips on how to plan your trip here is a step-by-step guide to a perfect trip.
That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!