Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Use Public (or Local) Transport

On a tractor in Sark

Monday’s Money Saving Tips – use public transport! On the back of a tractor here – the ONLY public transport in Sark, Channel Islands.

If you remember my recent post on how I hate taxis and rarely use them, now it’s time for a “sister” post in my series of Monday’s Money Saving Tips, and that is to use local transport!! There are benefits that stretch beyond just saving money (the obvious one):

– You save money (the only exception to this is that walking is cheaper)

– You get new travel experiences

– You meet new people

– You meet new local people

– You get great views of life from the bus/train/tuk tuk etc.

– You become immersed in the local culture

– You get there faster than walking

Now for 5 of my favourite types of local or public transport over the years with a few videos I made:

1. Trains

I love train travel and local trains are always the best. The most recent local trains I got were in China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Hop on with the locals, mingle with them and enjoy the views. And if you’re thirsty, take a tip from a travelling Northern Irishman and bring a beer! 😉

Negombo to Colombo train Sri Lanka

Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Use Public Transport: on a train from Negombo to Colombo in Sri Lanka

A Video of me on a local train in Taiwan:

2. Buses

You can’t avoid local buses when you travel – they are quite simply an epic part of your journey! I love them and have been on a local bus in almost every city I’ve been in.

Local bus in Colombia

Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Use Public Transport – my view from a bus in Bogota, COLOMBIA

A video of me on a local bus in Paraguay:

3. Use Public Transport: Local People’s Cars

OK so strictly speaking this isn’t “public” transport, more local transport but hey ho, this is my blog! The most hilarious transport instances I’ve had have undoubtedly come from hitch-hiking, or just getting in some local person’s car! Here is a story from Belarus:

Lada in Belarus

Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Use Public Transport: My view of Belarus from a Lada!

Bobruisk, Belarus, 2007 – I arrived off a train in the eastern Belarussian city of Bobruisk all alone in 2007. I had a hotel booked (the Hotel Tourist) but I had no idea where to find it and even my Lonely Planet guide didn’t have a map of Bobruisk. So I started chatting to the locals and eventually one of them understood and drove me all alone in their vintage Lada to my hotel which was 4kilometres away, quite outside the town. I couldn’t have found it without them so I slipped them a bit of cash! It was a rickety rocky ride!

A video of me in a car in Hong Kong:

4. Use Public Transport: Tractors

I still love places like Sark as they don’t allow any kind of public transport except for tractors. A tractor ride in Sark takes you up the steep hill from the immigration entrance (no passport or document needed! 😉 ) right up to the main street. Travel bliss and less than $2.

Riding a tractor in Sark Channel Islands

Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Use Public Transport: On the island of Sark the only public transport available is tractor so go with the flow…

Me on the tractor in Sark:

5. Use Public Transport: Tuk tuks/three wheelers

These are one of my favourites, but only for short distances as any further feels like a waste of money. To be honest I haven’t really seen them outside of Asia, which is odd. I have travelled to every continent and yet places like Australia and Uruguay don’t seem to have them.

tuk tuk in Bangkok Thailand

Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Tuk tuks – here I am in Bangkok in Thailand getting a tuk tuk!

Me on a tuk tuk in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

Other selected types of public transport that I have used include trams, rickshaws, ferries, metros, trucks, horse and cart.

Jonny Blair in Laos 4000 islands

On a local boat near Si Phan Don or 4,000 Islands, Laos

Happy saving on this another edition of Monday’s Money Saving Tips on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel for the nomadic Northern Irishman!

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