Travellers just love a good debate. Is the real France to be found in Paris, or one of the tiny villages of the south? Which restaurant really is the home of the best margherita pizza in Rome? Do Australians or New Zealanders make the better Pavlova?
These are the real questions of our lifetime.
And here’s one more classic – which mode of transport is best? We all have our favourites, and we also have the types you’d only book at the last minute if it’s cheap as chips and everything else is fully booked, cancelled or imaginary. Here are our pros and cons for the main types:
Pros: For starters, you’re going to have a hard time getting far from Australia without a plane. But there are plenty of other benefits too. Jules Verne would have had a fit – or potentially just a very different classic novel – had he known planes would easily take you around the world in a couple of days. So the speed is a big factor. Then there’s in flight-movies, that view you get when you skim atop cotton-ball clouds and, let’s not forget, in-flight meals.
Cons: Murphy’s law dictates that if there’s going to be a teething baby on the flight, then it will be next to you. A man who reclines his seat from just after take-off til just before landing – right in front of you. And the seat-kicking 10-year-old? Directly behind. For the most part, this is all pretty unlikely, but it is the lottery you essentially roll on a flight. That, and aeroplane bathrooms.
Pros: Tunnels, mostly. But also, viewing carts, where you get to hang out on a moving trolley and watch the world whip by; massive, comfortable seats where you can play cards and relax; the soothing gentle rock and tick of the wheels going over the tracks, and the ability to get up and wander around as you please. No one has to worry about driving, and it’s a great way to sight-see as you go. Some trains, such as Japanese bullet trains or the French TGV, are super quick, reaching speeds of up to 320km/h. Put one of those between Sydney and Brisbane (a trip of about 1,000km) and it would only take you just over three hours, compared with almost 11 hours by car.
Cons: There is the slight problem that trains can’t cross water, so if you’re trying to get out of the country you’ll be out of luck. Unless, of course, you’re crossing from France to England or vice versa, where the Eurostar will actually take you under water.
Pros: Hire a car or campervan and travel wherever you want, whenever you want, eating all the car snacks you can handle and listening to those guilty pleasures (90s girl bands are just so catchy, right?) as loud as your speakers go. Of the transport modes on this list, travelling by car is the easiest to change at the last minute – a day at the beach can easily turn into an adventure to the snow, or if you suddenly don’t feel like visiting North Dakota anymore, why not drive to South Dakota instead?
Cons: You really, really need someone with a good sense of direction in the car. Getting lost is only a shortcut to stony silences and road trips that never get spoken about again. While you might end up somewhere new and exciting and it all becomes part of the adventure, it’s not so fun when you had plans and bookings in an entirely different city.
Whatever floats your boat
Pros: Getting around by cruise ship is the ultimate in luxury. There are often numerous restaurants and bars on board, a pool and spa or two and the sea views are second to none. You holiday not just between travel, but as you travel, meaning your holiday starts the second you set foot aboard the ship – not just once you reach your destination.
Cons: As a method of travel, cruising is pretty pricey. Remember this does include what you would usually pay for your accommodation as well, however.
There you have it – the pros and cons of the main modes of transport.
Whatever your next chosen journey, consider the need for travel insurance to keep you covered on train, plane, boat or automobile. Virgin Travel Insurance have a few different travel insurance product products you might want to check out.
What’s your favourite mode of transport (and you can’t say De Lorean!)