Planning how to get from location A to location B while abroad can be time-consuming and stressful, and not to mention expensive. However, a little research can go a long way. When planning your next trip, consider the following transportation options. Not only will you save money, but likely time as well.
Buses: Next time you go to grab a taxi, determine if taking a bus is a possible option. Buses are usually much cheaper, quite comfortable, and sometimes safer. (It seems that in Europe, many taxi drivers are notorious for driving like maniacs!) Not sure you can navigate the bus process? No worries. There is usually an attendant nearby, either at a bus station or tourism office,who is willing to help you figure out where you need to go and if a bus can get you there. Buses are not only a great way to get around town, but also as a transportation option from the airport. For example, you can spend €80-€100 on a cab ride from Nice airport to Monaco or hop on the bus instead for €13!
Trains: Flying may be the only way to get from the United States to Italy (for now at least), but you shouldn't consider it as the only option when trying to travel from one country or city to another. Rather, you should research trains as a viable travel option before booking a flight to a neighboring country or area. For example, you can obviously fly from Venice to Naples, but taking a train can be much simpler and even more affordable. While flying may be quicker in some cases (if you're lucky enough to not have a layover), the whole process of getting to the airport, checking your luggage, going through security, waiting at the gate, flying, and collecting your luggage once again can be exhausting and unnecessary. Train rides are comfortable, quick, and you don't have to check luggage. The best part: Many trains are now equipped with WiFi so you can research your destination and places to visit while you are on your way there!
Flights: If you're European destinations are too far to complete by train, utilize the resources Europeans do to book a flight! Instead of searching Orbitz, try EasyJet or RyanAir. These budget airlines are well-known and widely used throughout Europe. Flexibility is also a top priority with these airlines. For example, EasyJet has a flexible fare that includes speedy boarding, upfront seats, and the ability to change the date of your flight (because you never know if you will end up needing a few extra days in London!)
Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tours: Visiting cities like Paris, Rome, and London can be exhausting if you're trying to catch all the sites in a matter of days. Luckily, companies have created Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tours. For a very low price, you can take the sightseeing bus around town. Want to hop off and check out the Vatican City in Rome? You can do that. The bus will be back around to get you in a half hour or hour, and then you can catch a ride to Trevi Fountain in a matter of minutes. The Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tours are offered around the world and really take the guesswork out of deciding how to get from location to location and how to do it affordably.
Metros: If your destination has a strong metro system, consider using it! Again, a metro pass can be much cheaper than a taxi in any city. Metro maps can be easily deciphered and if questions do arise, an attendant (or kind citizen) is usually there to help. Metros are also a great option if you cannot afford accommodations right near city center. For example, staying within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower isn't cheap. However, chances are there are affordable places to stay that are located close to a metro station, so you will be able to get to the Eiffel Tower in just a matter of minutes.
Traveling from location to location within a city or from one destination to another within Europe doesn't have to be overwhelming. With a little research, and possibly some advice from the locals, you will be well on your way to exploring the area. You might even save some money in the process!