How to Travel on… (Part 2)
If you have not read Part 1 I have these blogs about how to travel on…, please take a few moments to do so. I do not suggest this because I automatically think I have included some insights or information that will be new or unknown to readers. In truth, I have only taken the time to suggest this because, well, if I’m being honest, I am probably just looking for ways to add a number of words to this blog post. I have stated unequivocally that I am by no means an authority on the subject of travel. I have done my share of traveling, perhaps even more than the average person in adulthood, but my travel has been pretty conventional. Still, as I have now found myself having inherited a travel blog and their responsibilities filling them with words of my own, I and using the space to discuss how to travel on various modes of transportation.
My previous post, how to travel on…, part 1, addressed walking and bicycling and driving a personally owned vehicle and writing the public transportation bus system and what makes them viable and reasonable and potentially preferred mode of transportation. This now leaves riding the public transportation train system and flying commercial airlines to be discussed.
The irony of the fact that, the my name is Trane, I had not really ridden a real train until my mid to late twenties, does not escape me. I felt very accomplished and a great deal of closure when I finally experienced a real live train. The first I recall was with my family–my wife, my son and my daughter, who were both fairly young, probably ages 3 and 1– and we’re on our way to the texas state fair in downtown dallas. We wanted to beat the traffic, plus we thought it would be and unique and special experience for our kids if we rode the train from North Dallas into downtown where the fairgrounds are and then back again when we were done at the fair. The experience did not disappoint. It saved time, gas money, the hassle of being stuck in traffic for who knows how long, allowed us to merely relax while we were chauffeured home, and prove to be a fun and exciting experience for the kids.
Since then, I have come to consider riding the train as an efficient option for travel, especially to and from and within metropolitan areas. These tend to be congested with personal vehicles and the streets can be difficult to navigate for travelers who are not familiar with them. If that is the case with you, consider this an endorsement to encourage you to consider the public train system an option.
If you are traveling long distances, you can’t beat the time efficiency of commercial airlines! It is true that they cab be pricey. An experienced traveler can find ways to score tickets for less money. Booking weeks or months in advance is a must to save money. Also, be flexible about what day(s) you fly on. Certain days, high travel days, tend to be much more expensive. Popular business travel days, around the holidays, during peak vacation seasons, for instance. Other days are significant less because there are not as many passengers. Also, flying to and from certain cities is less expensive than flying to or from other cities. If your departure airport or your destination are flexible, you can save a great deal of money.
Security screening can be and great annoyance and a deterrent from flying. However, with a few tips, you can breeze through this process more easily without it putting a damper on the whole travel experience. First, be sure to show up at the airport an hour and a half or more early. If traveling on a higher traffic day, earlier than an hour and a half is recommended. This way, you won’t feel so rushed and therefore so stressed about getting there quickly. Another tip is to pack light. think ahead about all items you’re carrying that could be flagged or raise alarms or slow down the process. Liquids, nail clippers, tools, strange items, these will call attention to your luggage, your carry on, and all but ensure that you will be screened more closely, possibly even searched. Next, wear shoes that can easily be slipped off without having to be untied and retied. Also, don’t wear a belt. If one is needed for the day, put it in your carry on until you are through security. Then put it on at the gate. Same for a belt or other jewelry. Lastly, know the procedures and be prepared when it is your turn to act. for instance, have your laptop already removed from your carry on and ready to be placed in its own bin.
Hopefully these tips help when you feel the urge to travel.