Public Transportation: Fantastic Adventures, Misadventures and Tips

I love using public transportation. I love being able to take in the views, I love how much it supports the environment, how economical it is in many cases…. and I love being able to catch up on my sleep if it is a route I traveled many times before.

The view from the bus on the way from Esquel to Bariloche, Argentina

I used public transportation on my trips many times, yet everyone around me seems convinced cars are the way to go. Using cars, I’m told, makes life easier and commute faster.

While that is true many times, I was positive I’m not the only one who enjoys public transportation.

So I turned to the travel blogging community, expecting to find a couple of stories here and there. To my delight, the response was amazing. It turns out the travel blogging community loves public transportation! How fun!

Following are some pretty fantastic posts starring public transportation – adventures, misadventures, tips and some love. I included a few recent All Colores posts at the end of the tips category, so you can catch up in case you missed them and you’re planning a visit to Israel. However, the rest of the posts featured here are from other great travel blogs that you might want to check out.

If you love public transportation, you will love these posts!

 

Public Transportation Adventures

Art in the hallways of a subway station - Hollywood, California

The Train in Spain Stays Mainly on the Plain – Women on the Road

Leyla gives readers the two-sided story of a long train ride. You may accompany her on an ideal, magical train trip through Spain…. and you may listen to the realistic thoughts and feelings that often come up during long distance travel…. all in one post.

13 Random Experiences on Asian Trains – The Professional Hobo

Nora spends a few days on Asian trains and survives to share 13 hilarious, surprising experiences.

Experiencing a Honduran Chicken Bus – Family on Bikes

It takes them an hour to drive 10 miles, as the family is immersed in the local culture of vendors – and learns how to be reminded of God’s love while clipping their nails.

The Adventure that is Getting Around the Faroe Islands – Family Adventure Project

Kristi and Stuart take their kids to the Faroe Islands, where a plane ride is the equivalent of a bus – and cheaper, too! If that doesn’t convince you to use public transportation in the Faroes, their description of the Tunnel Chicken Game might. Here’s how it starts: “You drive along a tunnel in the dark with your lights on until you meet another car coming the other way along the single lane”.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round – Edgy June Travels

A bus journey from Cambodia to Thailand reveals the lives, people and places that add up to Cambodia.

Saying Sayonara to the Singapore Commute – The Dropout Diaries

Barbara takes her readers on a nostalgic walk to the bus, followed by a nostalgic bus ride…. a week before she drops out the career race for a life of adventure.

Border Run Weekend: 30+ Hours of Bus Rides, But am I Complaining? – Raising Miro on the Road of Life

Lainie enjoys the present moment all the way, even when she spends 30 hours on the bus with her son and a friend – or when she’s asked to pay extra for the bus fare due to a very unique reason.

Hong Kong with Kids: The Adventure in Transportation in Hong Kong – The Q Family Adventures

Travel through Hong Kong with Amy and her family by air, land and water – including the DingDing Hong Kong Train and…. an escalator!

How to Get from Rio Dulce, Guatemala, to San Cristobal, Mexico – Wanderlust and the Girl

Just another day of travel in the life of budget travelers…. who choose to avoid getting stuck in a mud slide.

Public Transportation: US vs. Kenya – One Trailing Spouse

Emily lists the similarities and differences between American and Kenyan public transportation. Check the post to find out what happens when it rains….

Bankok with Kids: Family Friendly Stops along BTS Skytrain – The Q Family Adventures

Amy lists great family-friendly spots to check out while using a sky-train day pass. Some adults could enjoy these spots too, I think!

 

Public Transportation Miadventures

More from the bus ride from Esquel to Bariloche, Argentina

How it Feels to Almost Be Robbed – One Trailing Spouse

Emily almost gets robbed while using public transportation in Kenya…. and then has to keep sitting next to the guys who tried to steal from her for the rest of the ride.

Seville’s Sevici: Efficient or Deadly? – Spanish Sabores

I didn’t include this post in the tips section you’ll find bellow, yet there are some great tips here about using Spain’s super-cheap bicycle service in Seville. Lauren learns to enjoy it…. the hard way.

Larissa Gets Toilet “Trained” in Malaysia – Changes in Longitude

All Larissa really wanted was to click the flush button. Instead, she ended up cleaning the floor.

Dear Tuk Tuk Driver, Leave Me Alone – Solo Female Traveler

Sabina writes a letter to the tuk tuk drivers that kept harassing her so that she’ll ride with them in Southeast Asia.

Train Madness: The Never Ending Voyage to Montreal – L’appel Du Vide

Liz’s train stops in the middle of a Canada-US commute. Will food and bathroom services remain available after a 12 hour delay in the middle of nowhere?

My First Intro to Honduras – 1 Dad, 1 Kid

Choosing first class instead of chicken bus in Honduras won’t necessarily provide you with fulfilled promises, food or bathroom breaks, yet, as Talon and his son discover, it will be an adventure you will likely remember for quite a while. Especially if it’s followed by a bumpy boat ride and a couchsurfing host that plays a no-show.

Our Epic Chicken Bus Journey from Ahuachapan, El Salvador to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – Wanderlust and the Girl

They could have gotten lost and they kinda went hungry – but they made it to their desired destination!

 

Public Transportation Tips

Art in the hallways of a subway station - New York City

How to Get Around East and South Africa – yTravel Blog

From expenses to safety to comfort levels to pros and cons, Caz details all your options for getting around East and South Africa – while spicing it up with memories of her African adventures.

How to Travel Without a Car in North America – Global Goose

North America is infamous for its car obsession. Many areas are not easily – or at all – accessible without a private vehicle. Check out Lee’s post for tips on how to travel through the US and Canada without a car.

The Complete Guide on How to Use Your Eurail Pass and Get the Most Out of it – GloboTreks

Norbert provides a thorough guide – from how to get the Eurail Pass through benefits and how to use it, to ways you can save money…. among other things.

How to Travel by Ferry from Egypt to Jordan – Solo Female Traveler

Sabina shares important information for those interesting in traveling by ferry between these two Middle Eastern countries.

How to Travel Overland from Jordan to Egypt – Solo Female Traveler

Sabina takes a short journey through Israel to make it from Jordan to Egypt relatively cheaply. She skips an encounter with the dolphins of Eilat (southern Israel), but gives detailed information on what to do, where to go and how much to pay.

Seoul Subway Guide – Farsickness

How to avoid evil looks, how not to miss your subway transfer, how to save money and the solution to a mystery of triangles…. For all this and more, check out Amanda’s insider tips.

Tokyo With Kids: Getting Around – The World is a Book

Whether you have kids or not, Mary’s post can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Among other things, she details public transportation costs and apps that helped her save 50% of the fees.

12 Tips for Navigating the London Underground – Bucket List Journey

Annette shares 12 practical tips to ease your experience in the London Underground.

Why We Chose to Work With Real Russia – Brooke vs. the World

Brooke profiles a company that helped her book a train trip in Russia in a budget-friendly, English-speaking, super patient and accommodating way.

Public Transportation Apps – The World is a Book

Mary’s post covers 3 very useful, very free apps to help you navigate around the world. Two of them even work offline!

How to Make it Through Long Distance Travel: 10 Thorough Tips – All Colores

While some of these tips are better used on planes, most of them can be used on public transportation on the ground and in the water as well. Tip #9? Daydream.

Your Guide to Public Transportation in Israel – Part 1 – All Colores

An abundance of Israeli bus companies’ information awaits you in this post.

Your Guide to Public Transportation in Israel – Part 2 – All Colores

Learn about train, service cabs and how to save money – and gain some insights into Israeli culture.

Nature Walk in Northern Israel Accessible via Public Transportation – All Colores

After many searches, my friends and I managed to get out of the city and enjoy some Israeli nature with the help of public transportation.

 

Public Transportation Love and Musings

Store decoration at the central bus station - Jerusalem, Israel

What Would Be the Perfect European Train? – GloboTreks

After taking 71 European trains in 3 months, Norbert adds his favorite train features and draws a word-picture of his dream train.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Public Transportation When You Travel – Ever in Transit

While cars make life easier, public transportation makes life way more interesting. Check out Cassie’s lists of 5 great benefits to using public transportation.

 

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had while using public transportation?
 

 

20 Comments

    • Thanks, Sabina! And it was interested reading about aspects of this region that I have yet to experience.

    • I’ve experienced more buses than trains in trips and daily life, but trains are always fun – and the stories from Asia are always surprising!

  1. Thanks so much for the mention! Great post- there’s a lot of stories I’m going to be checking out now!
    Amanda @ Farsickness recently posted..Scenes of TokyoMy Profile

    • You’re very welcome, and glad you found new reads here 🙂

  2. Wow! That’s a whole lot of transportation! Some of those titles are enough to make me click through on their own, even though I’m definitely on the side of the rental car. Looking forward to some fun reading sorting through all these.
    Steve recently posted..MKTS – Our Secret Musical PastMy Profile

    • Click away, Steve, these stories are fascinating! I do wonder what would happen if the More Kids than Suitcases family found itself on a bus, though! 🙂

  3. What a great collection of stories and tips! I’m bookmarking this for future travels. Thanks for including my tips too. We’ve only rented a car once overseas so we do love to use public transportation. Love that first picture from the bus in Argentina.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..Postcards from Santa Catalina IslandMy Profile

    • Thanks, Mary! I thought your posts are very useful too, glad you found tips for future travels here 🙂

  4. Wow, I love your blurbs about each article. It makes them very enticing!

    (Also, I feel like I have to take this time to admit that while I love using public transport while traveling because it’s cheap and an adventure, when I’m at home, I much prefer my car. I think I lose some of my street cred for that.)
    Emily McGee recently posted..Links for Entrepreneurs, Trailing Spouses, and Other Wonderful People (21)My Profile

    • Thanks, Emily 🙂 And maybe you can look at it the other way around, maybe you’re extra adventurous exactly because you do something so different than when you are at home!

    • Thanks for sharing – and I agree, writing about transportation is fun 🙂

    • So sorry I missed your comment, Cassie, and thanks for sharing your post. I had a lot of fun compiling this list :):)

  5. This is a great post and a very handy collection of information! Thanks for including our post on How to Travel North America without a car. 🙂
    Kelly Dunning recently posted..What is a Working Holiday Visa?My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing that info! When I planned my trip to the States, it was much easier to find information on traveling there WITH a car.

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