Steps You Should Know Before Your Travels

By LJ Velez


Picture this: you just get off of the plane in a brand new country with a new language and you think to yourself, “Should I get a taxi, take a metro or just hop on a bus?” Sure you can just grab a taxi, but will it be too expensive? What if the metro or bus doesn’t go directly to my hotel? This is something we must all face as travelers. It can be quite overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are on a time crunch to get somewhere. But fear not, we have all gone through this and I am going to give you some personal tips on how you can make this process easy and efficient!

The most important thing you can do when determining the best route of public transportation is to PLAN IN ADVANCE! My biggest mistake when traveling abroad was trying to pick a route for me while being exhausted and jet lagged from flying. I became frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed a taxi, but later found out I could have saved so much money if I just took one metro.

HOT TIP: this method not only displays trains, but also buses, metros and trams. That way you can pick the best route for you, depending on if you are looking for the least amount of transfers or walking distance between stops. Trust me when I tell you this is the most important thing you can do when looking for transportation in a new country for which you are unfamiliar. 

The second most important thing you can do when using public transportation is BRINGING CASH. Most of us travelers carry credit cards with us because it’s easy and convenient, but that does not mean easy and convenient for public transport systems. I’ve gone on numerous buses that only accept cash and I had to miss them and find an ATM. Some buses are updated to accept contactless cards, but you cannot always rely on that.

HOT TIP: Speaking of contactless cards, before you travel abroad, check with your credit card company if they can update your credit card to contain contactless payments. This will allow you to simply tap and pay. This is another reason why cash is highly recommended.

Last but not least, I recommend DOING RESEARCH on the country’s different methods of transportation. Although that country may have taxis, metros, buses or trams available, it may actually be cheaper to just rent a car yourself. I’ve been to countries where the price of a car rental is as little as $9 a day! You honestly cannot beat a price like that if you’re trying to save on public transportation.

HOT TIP: If you are planning on renting a car in another country, make sure you have an International Driving Permit. Car rental companies will not allow you to rent a car if you do not have one, even if you’ve already paid for the rental online. You can pick one up at your local DMV or AAA center for only $20. 

I’ve been traveling for two and a half months now and trust me, if you follow these three steps when choosing public transportation methods, you will have the easiest experience traveling abroad! Happy Travels! 


About The Writer

If you knew LJ last year, you’d say he was the type of guy who was focused on his career. Getting an education and moving up the corporate ladder was his biggest priority. This year he is a completely different person.

After his wife was laid off from her job three days after their wedding, he realized that no job in the world would bring him the happiness he gets from traveling. So he decided to do what makes him happy. He traded in his high paying job for a backpack and decided to travel the world. 2 1/2 months later, he knows he made the right decision. He started living off less, appreciating more and even started vlogging his adventures on YouTube and sharing beautiful pictures from his travels on Instagram with his wife as a personal diary: Crazed Ambitions.

From the looks of it, it seems LJ is much happier with his life now!


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