How to Do Public Transport like a Pro
To tell a story, you need characters. And nothing gives you a better chance of finding these ‘characters’ than public transport. It’s truly the best way to discover places and people while travelling abroad. Besides, travelling by public transport lets you save money and time. But, you must do some basic research about the public transport system in your destination. Before you catch your flight, here are some tips to follow:
Don’t get lost in the Tube maze
First-timers may find the London Tube bewildering. You can get the map of the 12 lines online or at any Tube station, and Heathrow airport, among others. Every colour on the map denotes a different line. Where they intersect are the interchange stations. To reach your destination, you may have to switch lines more than once. Buying tickets as and when you need them can prove expensive. If you plan to explore London for a few days, take a London Pass. You can also buy an Oyster Card. It is a pay-as-you-go card. You can use it on buses, the Tube, and above-ground trains.
Beat Bangkok traffic with the Skytrain, Metro, and Subway
These are the best options to get around quickly in Bangkok. All three are well connected to each other with interchanges at various stations. But you cannot use the tickets of one mode for the other. So, if you have to switch from a Skytrain to Metro, get a new ticket. Save the THB 5 and THB 10 coins to buy the tokens. There are counters to exchange higher-denomination currency. But, these always have a long queue. You can also ask for a tourist pass at the counters. It allows you several hassle-free journeys.
Tuk-tuks? Not worth it
No, we have not forgotten about the tuk-tuk. Surprising as it may sound, this is the most expensive option in Bangkok. They have no standard rate card. The drivers demand fares as per their whims and fancies. You can bargain, of course. But, by the end of the ride, you may feel it was not worth it.
Save money with the Singapore Metro and the Kuala Lumpur Monorail
All the areas in both cities are well-connected by their respective railway systems. A single ticket can help you change between the lines. In Singapore, you can get back the deposit of this card on your third and sixth trips. You can buy the tickets from the vending machines placed before the entry gates. The nine Metro lines of Singapore and the 12 lines of Kuala Lumpur’s Monorail allow cheap commute.
In Venice and no Water Taxi ride? No way!
A ride in the ‘limousine of Venice’ is an experience you must have. But, it is expensive. The price varies according to the distance, the time of day, and where you hire the taxi from. If you are in a group, the cost per head works out cheaper. Before you book the taxi, ask for a fare quotation. Yellow stripes and a licence number differentiate the authorized taxis. Differently-abled travellers enjoy a 20% discount on the fare.
Keep these in mind
- Know your transport: Understand the basic functioning of the transport system of your destination. The Subway or the Tube may not connect some remote locations. You may have to take more than one mode to reach there.
- Blend in: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Learn a few words in the local language and the local etiquette. Words like ‘excuse me’, ‘thank you’, and ‘sorry’ can help.
- Think of plan-B: What if you get late at a night club and the Subway closes at 11.55pm? Always keep an alternative option ready. If close by, you can walk to your hotel or take a taxi.
- Be aware, beware: The crowd in public transport makes way for criminal activities. It could range from pick-pockets to drug peddling to kidnaps and thefts. Always keep your bags in front of you. Divide the money and other valuables, and keep them in different places.
- Keep travel insurance details ready: This is an important part of your travel plan. If anything untoward happens, contact your insurer at once. Tata AIG General Insurance company limited Travel Guard provides 24/7 helpline services for their travel insurance customers.
Public transportation is the heart of a destination. It gives you insight into the lives of the locals. Follow these tips on your journey and enjoy your vacation like never before.
Knowledge is power so find out as much as you can before your trip. Plan and research to know exactly what to expect. And for those unexpected moments, protect yourself with a fool proof travel insurance plan.
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Disclaimer: The above mentioned list is indicative and for information purpose only. We assume no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use or misuse of any of the above information.”