Growing up I had the BEST sense of direction. I swear I could tell you where every McDonald’s was in a five mile radius… Lets just say, although I may have some sort of sense of direction to this day, I most definitely rely on my phone and GPS to get me EVERYWHERE. Even when I am in a familiar place, I find myself typing in my home address to see if there is a faster route available to get me home. THANK YOU TECHNOLOGY. For the past year, throughout my travels to different states and countries, I have become a HUGE fan of public transportation! Not only is it reliable, but it is also super cheap (for the most part) and literally can allow you to travel just about ANYWHERE, plus sometimes you get lucky and catch a free show from someone looking to gather some pennies. After being in Europe for almost three weeks this past February, I wish that the suburbs had trams or more than just busses as our public transportation… It would literally eliminate almost all of our traffic jams and allow us to get to our destination in a quick and timely manor. My biggest piece of advice that I can recommend when traveling, whether in your hometown or city, to another state in the United States, or to a different country is to become acquainted with what train line is used in each place and how they each work, as well as their other types of public transportation like buses, boats, trams, lines, etc. For instance, this past February when Len and I arrived in Amsterdam we were told to get on what we thought was “train 1”. After over two hours, about four train rides, almost some tears, and finally a big sigh of relief and a smile at the end, we realized we were told “tram 1”. Although I never became the expert on how public transportation worked while in Europe (I left that in Len’s hands) I know that we barely spent ANYTHING, and went literally everywhere. For those of you traveling to a different state; before you head to a new city google what is the main source of transportation in your destination. For example, New York. When we stayed in New York City last summer, we realized VERY quickly that trying to get an Uber in Times Square was a waste of our time and that we could easily use the Subway to get to just about anywhere. By downloading a simple app, we were able to get the schedule of the subways, a map, and even pay for our rides. Same thing for when you are traveling overseas. For those of you who do not sign up for a data plan when traveling overseas, make sure that you know how to read a map. I would totally suggest either buying the cheap data cards they have in different questions or paying for the daily data if your phone company allows it just for the means of transportation alone. Each public transportation that we used in the states and overseas had an app that allowed you to see schedules, maps, and pay for your rides.
Do not be one of the people to fear public transportation! Break out of your comfort zone and take an adventure of a lifetime. There were even times that we traveled by boat or ferry whole on vacation. Not only do you get to take the scenic route this way, but you also get to enjoy the weather (if it is nice out of course). Some of the best parts of our trips have been the actual traveling from place to place.