Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Transport choice provides diverse travel experiences, rating transport options

Travel is not just about the places we see, the countries we visit the people we meet, but it's also about th journey we make to get there, finding ways to enhance the moment you leave home to the moment you return. You might choose experience, cost, or comfort, and we all have our own choices and preferences.
Here I look at the different ways to travel between places and how to rate them, what do you think? And have I missed any?
Car - it's personal, you're in control. It's your journey, you have time, you can stop, you can ramp up the music. But petrol and car hire is getting expensive. Best known as The Roadtrip there are many movies and American inspire dreams following Route 66, my journey took us north from London to the Lake District, half way there the clutch broke in the fast lane of the motorway first the Police rescued us then the AA pulled us to Lake Wimdermere.
Comfort factor - 4
Experience factor - 4
Cost: 3
Bike/cycling - it's tough, it's a challenge, your hairs in the open air, you're free, but you're exhausted. You can tell everyone your achievement. My trip took us from London to Brighton, a planned 4.5 hour cycle took 8 hours on the hottest day of the year! 
Comfort factor - 2
Experience factor - 5
Cost: 1

Boat/ferry - you're stuck, you're not going anywhere accept where they say. You can choose to watch the waves or hide in the cabin. Time can pass freely, time can escape you. Limited with destinations. I've never taken a luxury weeks cruise but does a booze cruise count? Poole to Calais in France when it still ran, overnight trip and the journey was actually quite blissful! 
Comfort factor - 5
Experience factor - 2
Cost: 3
Plane - it's a one way stop, straight there no fussing, just be careful who you choose to fly with - budget will be the influence, you're crammed in and don't expect much leg room. I always hope for the best and the worst journeys have involved snow delays or being stuck next to the toilets for 10 hours.
Comfort factor - 4
Experience factor - 1
Cost: 4
Motorbike - the best road journeys come from those on the back of a motorbike. You're cool, you can cross country, you and weave in and out of traffic, you can stop when you want, you can wear leather with pride. The farthest I've gone in 5 miles, does that count?
Comfort factor 3
Experience factor - 5
Cost: 3
Hiking - any terrain, low or high near nothing is impossible. The days travel is long, and the distance short, a map and a compass a necessity, as you're own guide you are responsible for destination point in the wilderness. I was a Boy Scout throughout my teenage summers this was our holiday experiences, and the blisters were always immense.
Comfort factor 1
Experience Factor - 5
Cost: 1
Train - networked across Europe, directs across Asia, near nonexistent in the Americas, when there's an opportunity to go by train take it. Full of a cross section of people and classes. The views are amazing as you cut through the countryside. The worst journey has to be Los Angeles to San Feancisco, it took 15 hours and we barely moved most of the time, apparently it's a 3 hour drive. While the most exciting trip was a top a bunk heading through Vietnam. Of course there's the easy and flexible Eurostar!
Comfort factor - 5
Experience factor - 3 
Cost: 2
Hitch-hiking - the age old travellers life is beginning to become extinct, not as popular nor considered as safe as it once was thanks to horror movies, hitch hiking is best in South America, Africa and Asia. We were stuck a top a hill In the middle of a thunder storm with lightning crashing to the ground around us, our only hope was a hitchhike, thumbing in pouring rain for 30minutes a small van pulled up and 7 of us piled in the back.
Comfort factor - 2
Experience factor - 4
Cost: 1
Swimming - you're crazy! I want to swim the English Channel. 
Comfort factor -2
Experience factor +8
Cost N/A
Coach - popular with pensioners and the retired these journeys are often packaged with a full trip at incredible rates. The coach takes you from A-B, for Europe this is cross country, and for South American and Asia and Africa they take the place of the train. Find the right coach in the right destination and first class is cheap. My first experience was a long journey for a German language exchange trip to Osnabruck, my worse was an incredibly bumpy ride through Cambodia, the most surprising was a chat with a young lad heading to University in India, and the best was the several trips through Argentina.
Comfort factor - 3
Experience factor - 2
Cost: 2
So what are your favourite travel experiences to recount by transport?