9 Car-Less Travel Tips: The Art of Taking a Trip When You Don’t Drive CheapOair Staff March 26, 2021 Travel Tips It’s one thing to book flights and hotels when you’re traveling, but another if you won’t be renting a car. While it may cut down on costs like parking and gas, not having the option to drive yourself can often be cumbersome when you need to get around. If you’re not careful, it can even be more expensive with taxis, ridesharing apps, and hopping on whatever public transit options you come across. However, it doesn’t have to be cumbersome and expensive to travel when you’re car-less. Here are 9 tips for making things easier on trips when you won’t be driving. Avoid Getting in on Early or Late Flights Without a car, you are likely going to need to lean on public transportation options to get around. Keep in mind that many of these options stop running after a certain point in the night. This means that you would be wise to avoid early or late flights. The last thing that you want is to be stuck at the airport after a long flight with no affordable or convenient options to get you to your lodging for the night. You should also plan this leg of the ground transportation before your trip so that you are not scrambling when your flight lands. Having a plan in place will give you peace of mind when you set off on your journey. Think About Staying at an Airport Hotel One of the main perks of staying at most airport hotels is that you have free transportation at least to and from the airport, if not to other nearby places as well. While some hotels only offer an airport shuttle, others offer a free shuttle to nearby places that are within a few miles. If you need to get across town, you may consider having the shuttle drop you off at the nearest train or bus station, rather than just taking a cab. Pick a City with a Bike-Share Program One of the best ways to see any new destination is by bike. Not only will you avoid having to navigate traffic, but you will also get some exercise in the process. A bike is a great way to explore those hidden alleyways, trails, and other areas of a city not accessible by a traditional vehicle. The good news is that many major tourist destinations are now equipped with bike-share programs that make it easy to cycle without bringing along your own bike. Prior to taking off on your trip, be sure to familiarize yourself with the closest stations to your hotel and other top spots on your itinerary. Because the bikes are usually brightly colored and distinctive, they are easy to spot when you are looking for your next ride. Consider Staying in the City Center or Close to Local Attractions If you’ll be spending most of your time in the center of the city or going to a group of attractions that are close to one another, you should think about booking your hotel nearby. While you may be paying more for the hotel itself (although you can find hotel deals for those locations), you’ll be saving money and time if you’re close to most of the things you’ll want to do. That way, you’ll be able to walk most of the time and only use public transportation or a cab when you have to. And if the city has a good public transportation system, then it should only be a short walk to a major stop. RELATED: 12 Ways to Be Less of a Tourist When You Travel Set Up Your Phone with Apps & Roaming Protection If you are not going to have a personal car for use during your trip, you are going to need your smartphone to assist with getting around. Before you even think about leaving your home, be sure that you have researched the different roaming options so that you are not slapped with hefty fees when you need to use your phone to navigate. You should also make sure that you downloaded the appropriate apps to make getting around easier. For example, downloading the public transportation apps for your destination will make it easier to pull up maps, schedules, and other types of information that you will need to get from point A to point B. Moovit is a great choice for all of your public transportation needs. Take Advantage of Hotel Shuttle Service Airport hotels aren’t the only hotels that offer shuttle service. Do your research to find other hotels that offer nearby transportation. This typically means transportation within a five-mile radius of the hotel. Many of these are complimentary, but some hotels may charge a fee for using their shuttle service. Look for Scenic Train Trips Particularly in Europe and Asia, the train is the single best way to get around between destinations. You can kill two birds with one stone by booking scenic train trips to get you where you need to be for the next leg of your trip. Not only will this satisfy the actual transportation, but many of the most popular train routes also traverse through some of the world’s most scenic byways. What could be better than trading in the stress of navigating strange roads behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle with a relaxing train ride through beautiful landscapes? As a bonus, train travel is economical and environmentally friendly. Understand the Public Transit System Before You Go As you’re planning your trip, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the public transportation of that area. Many major destinations, such as New York City, make public transportation easy and accessible enough that you won’t have to take a cab if you don’t want to. But there’s more to know than just being able to read a subway. How to calculate the fares, buy tickets, navigate stations to the right platform, and so on are all the kinds of things that you should look up and try to know before you get there. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with figuring it all out the first time you need to get somewhere. Travel by Bus to Stay Within Budget Taking a bus is a classic way to see the world. Traveling by bus is one of the most value-driven ways to explore your surroundings. You will also be afforded the opportunity to meet and connect with people from all over the world, enhancing your overall trip experience. Bus travel is more comfortable than ever before. Some of the most premium bus companies even offer free Wi-fi, snacks, and more. It is also nice to have a bathroom at your disposal when you need it so that you are not on the hunt for a rest area.