Travel is full of adventure. From scaling new heights on a mountain, to surfing in the ocean, to navigating a new city, we find our fun in all kinds of ways. Some vacations even have a combination of all those things! The question is, what’s the best and safest way to get around that won’t break the bank? As much as we’d all love to have a personal car chauffeur us around all day, the reality is, we need to make some concessions when it comes to travel.
Budgeting for a trip is tricky. The unexpected arises, and usually it costs some money. One of the hardest aspects to plan for is travel. How do you get around your new city? Some locations are more affordable than others, either because of public transportation, car rental rates, or the distance you need to travel in a vehicle. Here are some things to consider when looking for a ride on vacation.
This is by far the most shocking sticker price for most travelers. The price here really does vary. It really depends on how you travel.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to your destination is probably by train or bus. Almost every major airport has this option. It does take much longer and you have your luggage to contend with, but if you’re really pinching pennies, this is the way to go.
Even cheaper: check with your hotel. Many hotels offer free airport shuttle service, and a lot of people never utilize this great option, which is a shame. Always ask when you book! If they pick up, that means they drop off, too. Since this is typically a free service, it’s nice to tip the driver.
Those with no hotel shuttle are left with a third option, which is a shared shuttle service, available in just about every city around the globe. These are excellent options as you can make the reservation before you go, so when you arrive at the airport you know exactly how you’re getting to your destination. The driver puts your bag in the back and you share the shuttle with other passengers. Because each person gets door to door service, this means the ride might be longer, since other people are likely getting dropped off first. If you aren’t in a rush, this actually isn’t a bad way to get the lay of the land in a new city. Make sure to tip this driver, too.
The final option is to just take a taxi. Some city cabs charge a flat rate on airport transportation, others run on a meter. Still some drivers adjust their rate based on how touristy you look. When you hail the cab, ask the driver what it costs to go to your address. If they’re on a meter, the answer is going to be a price range. Just watch the meter, as a rare few are rigged! If so, make a comment and get out as soon as you find another cab.
Now that you’re on vacation, you need to get around. Once again, public transportation wins the least expensive method to get around a city, but what if it’s raining, or it’s late, or you just don’t know where on earth you are and it sounds so nice to ride with someone who can just take you where you want to go?
There’s the taxi option, or you could take an Uber or Lyft, depending on what’s available in your location. There may be another local car service, too. Before you leave, find out which services have ride shares integrated – sharing a cab is an excellent way to keep costs down. It works just like the shuttle service described above, but in a car that’s already driving in an approximately the same route. Who knows, maybe you even make some new friends while you’re at it.
Use Your Hotel
The best way to find out good deals is to ask your hotel concierge. These people live in the city you’re visiting, and know all the ins and outs. It’s their job to help with this sort of thing, so make sure you utilize them.
Some places have deals worked out with car services, too, or they might know an inexpensive but safe car company that you can call when you’re ready. That means no panicking when you can’t find a taxi, and no waiting around forever to get your app-based car service to arrive. With a car company, you can even set up the pick up time if you’d like. But be sure this is a good company – definitely get the hotel’s recommendation. Their job is on the line with each recommendation they make, so it’s rare that they ever lead you astray.
What are your ride tips? Have you ever shared a ride with someone really interesting?