I hate driving. Actually, it’s not so much the act of driving that displeases me. It’s the cost of gas, the smog, the people who don’t use turn signals…. you get the point. During my regular, workaday life, I avoid spending time alone in my car by working from home once a week and using the bus. It makes sense then that when I go away for vacation I like to check out how to get about car-free.
I’m not alone. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2012 “Travel like a Local” Summer Travel Survey, 104 million people will be headed to a city for vacation this summer and 57% say they’ll use public transit.
If your getaway plans include transit, you’re in luck– you’ve got the chance to win a $100 gift card or a $500 travel voucher. Just share your photos and tips with Facebook/PublicTransit.
Whether navigating your favorite city’s transit system is old hat or a new skill, check out these tips from APTA on how to save yourself some money and stress with public transit:
10 Tips for City Visitors to “Travel like a Local” on Public Transportation
1) Visit www.publictransportation.org to find out information on the local public transit system in the city you will be visiting.
2) Use the system’s trip planner, or www.google.com/transit to plan your routes.
3) Choose a hotel near a public transit line; you can eliminate or significantly reduce your need for a car during your trip.
4) If arriving by plane or train, look for ways to use local public transit to get from the airport or train station into the heart of the city– this is usually significantly cheaper than a taxi and you can check out what’s going on in the city rather than worrying about which turn to make.
5) Consider buying a day or week pass rather than paying by the trip. These passes are often more affordable, and allow you to get to your destinations quicker since you won’t have to stop and pay a fare each time you ride.
6) Utilize that smart phone. Many systems have apps available that make using their systems even easier; helping you locate stops on a map, telling you when the next train or bus is coming- it’s like having a personal assistant.
7) Travel off-peak to avoid the crowds. You will also avoid making all the worker bees jealous of your care-free vacation mode demeanor.
8) Wear comfortable commuter shoes – fashionable ones of course. Remember you will be doing some walking and getting exercise as you visit the sites.
9) Don’t be afraid to ask. The drivers and staff are there to help you, and most fellow passengers are happy to help as well.
10) Have Fun! You’re on vacation after all. Use the time you are riding to your next destination to plan where to dine, what exhibit to see, or what to do next.