A Definitive Ranking of Transportation
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Politics and Activism

A Definitive Ranking of Transportation

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A Definitive Ranking of Transportation

This past summer I have ridden on my fair share of transportation: planes, trains, buses, boats, cars, and motorcycles. I like to think I have developed a pretty good idea of which of these is the worst, depending on your voyage.

Let me start by saying this: all public transportation sucks a little. It’s just in its nature. 

People are rude, the spaces are cramped, and there’s always the risk of being forgotten at a bus stop or having the doors closed on you before you board your flight/train/boat. It’s going to smell funny, people will sneeze on you, and you won’t be able to find that perfect position in which to sleep.

With that being said though, public transportation can also be a godsend. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and you know that everyone is suffering right along with you. 

Plus - the people watching is phenomenal. If you have never gotten to the terminal early to just sit and watch, you are missing out on half the fun of traveling. People are so interesting and so weird. 

If you are going a short distance, anywhere up to an hour, in my (not so) professional opinion a motorbike is the way to go. Tearing down the road in the sun, completely in control, no phones or radio to distract you — it’s absolutely wonderful.      

If you are going more than an hour, but less than half a day’s journey, or if it’s rainy or cold, take the car. Make a great playlist, bring some Diet Coke and chips, and ask a friend to come along if you can. A road trip is the perfect time to bond with friends over the long drive.      

Buses can make for a heck of an interesting ride, but they are almost never the preferred type of transportation. The weirdest bus ride I have ever had lasted 24 hours through Vietnam and Laos, but there’s no way I could explain all the reasons it was strange in one paragraph. Buses can be cheap, but you have to know what you are paying for. And even then, remember that people like to exaggerate, and it won’t be half as nice as you think it will be.        

If you’re going between states or countries, take the train. But not if it’s going to be more than eight hours…from personal experience, more than eight hours on a train is really miserable. It will inevitably take longer than that and next thing you know, you feel like you've been trapped for ten days. 

Trains can be fun, though — no checked bags, big seats that don’t need a reservation, you can walk around and chat, and there is no better people watching in the world. Seriously, go sit in a train station for an hour and be amazed.    

For longer distances, you should take a flight. Ah, but which flight you might ask? If you can, definitely take Qatar Air; they are the best. We got a menu for our meals. A menu! The food was real and actually tasted good, which was so unusual and wonderful. 

Wixair is usually cheap, but for good reason. You’ll have to pay so many hidden fees by the time you are done that it won’t even be worth it. 

Delta can take a hike. You have to pay for all of your snacks, food, drinks, and entertainment, which is just shady. 

United? Yes please. British Air? Even better! Pretty much all the foreign airlines are going to be better than the US ones…they just get it.     

Near water? Boats for days. No discussion on that one. Boats are awesome, boats are fast, boats make me think of summer and therefore I am happy. Try to get a seat up top if you can — way better sunshine access plus you can sing, “I’m On A Boat” where no one else can hear you. 

Moral of the story is that you should experience all kinds of transportation if you have the opportunity, and spice it up when you can. It makes the journey all the more exciting.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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