TIME FOR VACATION PLANNING: PLANE, TRAIN OR BUS?

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Travel

When it comes to planning your next vacation, there is so much to consider. After you choose a destination, is how do I get there? We’re all about cars here, of course. Some of us don’t want the hassle that comes with automoble travel. Depending on where you want to go, there are several modes of transport for you to consider, including trains, planes, and buses.

Travelling by bus

First up, buses. Truthfully, travelling by bus is often far more affordable than the other options available, which does make it more accessible for most people. Depending on where you are going, you are likely to find a regular bus which leaves several times a day and anywhere that there is a road, a bus is likely to go there.

Bus travel is also an incredibly safe option; statistically, there tend to be fewer accidents by bus travel than other modes of transport. It also often offers a smoother ride, unlike the turbulence you might experience when flying or potholes that your car could hit. Buses are also often less hassle than travelling by train or plane.

However, buses do often have fewer mod cons, there aren’t any refreshments served, and a lot of buses don’t even have Wi-Fi. They have similar luggage regulations to planes in that there is typically only room for one bag to go under the bus and one small bag beneath your seat. Finally, travelling by bus is not the quickest option, so depending on how far you are travelling, you might find that choosing to go by bus will really eat into your vacation time.

Image: Shutterstock

Travelling by train

Travelling via train is another option. Depending on where you are planning to travel, train travel can be faster than other options. It also allows for more movement during the journey. Where getting up and moving about is frowned upon in planes and on buses, it is perfectly acceptable to get up and move about on a train which is advantageous on long journeys. Trains also tend to have more amenities than other options; even for shorter journeys, you will still have access to a power outlet and Wi-Fi. You can also often enjoy stunning views when travelling by train. Trains are also not subject to traffic which increases their reliability. They are also more environmentally friendly, and you can often bring more luggage with you.

On the other hand, train tickets are often more expensive than bus tickets, and if you are going to travel long distances or spring for a sleeper train, then you might find that the tickets are even more expensive than a plane ticket. Trains do hit major cities, but there might not be a station at your desired location if it is particularly rural. Trains can also be loud, especially if the train track or train itself is older. Finally, while trains do regularly run the timings themselves throughout the day are more limited than buses, this is why you should book train tickets in advance using a service like Wanderu.

Image: Shutterstock

Travelling by plane

The last major option when it comes to travel is planes. Obviously, there are several big advantages to planes over other options, like their speed and convenience. Travelling via plane is usually the quickest, so if you are in a hurry or if you only have a limited amount of time for your vacation and you don’t want to waste time travelling, a plane is the best choice. Flying is also one of your only options if you want to travel overseas. The airport is also a draw for a lot of people; duty-free shopping is truly a perk in itself. Flying can be more cost-effective if you plan to travel long distances.

However, while plane tickets can be affordable, they do tend to be pricey when in comparison to the other options on the list. In order to get the best deal, you really need to book in advance, which can make spontaneity difficult. There are also obviously far more regulations and restrictions that need to be adhered to when travelling by plane, which can be cumbersome. The restrictions also include luggage. Checked baggage does provide you with a bigger allowance, but there are still weight restrictions. The weight for carry-on luggage is even more strict. Finally, unless you have the money to spring for first class, plane seats can be pretty tight, which can make them somewhat uncomfortable, especially for longer journeys.

Photo by Paul Lucaci on Unsplash

The final verdict

There are several factors which will impact your choice, like your budget, your timescale, and your personal preference too. The best thing that you can do is to look at all of the options available and carry out your own research. You will need to consider your itinerary; it will inform your choices. You could even choose to make more out of the journey itself.

You could choose to travel by train or by bus and make stops along the way to take advantage of other destinations and tourist traps that are along your journey. Trains and buses can essentially help you to create a road trip-like experience, except without the need for a vehicle of your own. Obviously, a plane is still going to be your best option if you want to maximize your time in a specific destination or if you are looking for the shortest, most convenient journey possible.

Ideally, whatever option you choose, you should really book the ticket in advance in order to ensure that you get the best price and can plan your trip accordingly. Regardless of whether you are looking to explore domestically or internationally, there is a great choice in travel out there for you. It really depends on whether you consider the journey to be a part of the experience or you simply see it as a bridge to the experience.

Top image by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash 

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