Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Being single allows you to make lifestyle choices you may not have been able to make otherwise. One of those choices, is the type of travel you’d like to undertake.
First of all, if you’re over 40 and don’t have a passport, shame on you.
they are easy to obtain, don’t cost a ridiculous amount, and can be used as a primary or secondary form of ID.
In fact, stop reading this and GET ON IT!
That being said, a passport isn’t really required for you to take a trip or even book a flight. Traveling within the 50 United States, and its territories, that is, domestically, is all passport free. If you want to really get your little passportless heart pumping, web search ‘U.S Territories’, and see how exotic these locations are.
However, If you have any desire for ventures outside of the above mentioned geography, and go International, then a passport it is.
Now in the past, passenger aircraft travel was prohibitively expensive, and remained the purview of mostly the rich and famous. We mere mortals were limited to buses, passenger trains, large cruise ships and the good old family station wagon. Until the advent of the World Wide Web, you were mostly at the mercy of Travel or Booking Agents.
Well, no mas!
Today, there are a plethora of methods and itineraries to help you get to just about anywhere you want to go.
Modern Passenger jet Airliner
While not always the cheapest, definitely the fastest way to get from one point to another is on a Jetliner. It’s become a relatively simple process to search for routes and book flights on your own. There are flight aggregator websites, like Skyscanner, that do the searching for you. Including foreign Airlines. What could be easier?
For the more well-heeled among us, you can also arrange a chartered flight. From full-sized Airliners, to small business jets, to two-seat propeller craft. There are sea planes with pontoons and ski planes with, you guessed it, skis. Oh, and lets not forget Helicopters.
Literally, the sky is the limit.
But maybe you (or your wallet) aren’t ready for all that jetsetting and airport hopping. Not to worry, I got you covered.
By far, the most common way for a person to traverse the seas today is the modern Passenger Ship. In days past, the Ocean liner, a type of Passenger Ship, was king. Or should I say queen, such as The Queen Elizabeth 2 or The Queen Mary. with its emphasis on speed, luxury and crossing great Oceans, like the Atlantic, they had a different design and mission.
Cruise ships, on the other hand, are primarily for shorter round-trips between coastal ports and islands. They focus on the on-board experiences and amenities, rather than the destination. River Cruising has also become a very popular past time.
Most beginning travelers’ first international foray, is usually by Cruise Ship. Besides the required overeating and partying, it’s a good way to see if you might like a country, before committing to fly there. Keep in mind though, you won’t get a true representation of the place, since most international Ports-O-Calls are usually very touristy.
These Passenger Vessels are the work horses of the industry. Besides people, ferries are also used to transport cargo, vehicles, livestock, just about anything that is required to go from point A to B, along a waterway. Ferries travel short distances generally, sometimes overnight, along navigable waterways. They can be seen on rivers, in lakes, crossing bays, traversing neighboring islands, crossing Channels, their uses are innumerable. In some Countries, they are the main method of movement.
Just like with private aircraft, those with the desire and the means, can charter a watercraft. Charters vary with use and type, from huge mega-yachts to tiny one-person sailors.
Although the train wasn’t the first land mass transit system, it was the most efficient. Even today, millions of people, and hundreds of millions of tons of stuff, still move by rail. The rail system can be a very economical, not to mention awe-inspiring, way to get from one destination to the other. And once again, thanks to our modern information mediums, schedules can be had, rooms can be reserved, seats can be booked, all from a little device in most of our back pockets.
Most Americans under 40 today have probably never taken a long distance bus ride anywhere. I don’t mean a city bus to work, or a school bus to school. I mean riding ‘The Dog’, across your State, or 3 States or even the Country. It’s an even better deal than train travel economically, goes more places than rail lines can, and allows you to see a Country like no other method. You will find more buses, going to more places, in developing countries, than you ever will in a developed one. Why do you think that is?
While driving a car long distances may be the simplest method to getting there, you will still have the hassle of sleeping somewhere once you do (car is doable, but not recommended). Enter the Recreational Vehicle or RV. Be it self-propelled or towed, a shell, popup or 5th wheeled, nothing beats them for self contained travel. For many people, especially retirees, RVing is a lifestyle. There are thousands of parks, campgrounds or just open spaces that accommodate these specialized vehicles. This affords you many options for destinations, regardless of weather or the time of year. There is even a sub-culture of RV’ers who live and travel in their vehicles full time.
If you own a fairly decent, or at least well maintained, automobile, and a couple of bucks for gas, the absolute easiest way to travel is to just gas up n go. No schedules to check, no screenings to pass and no strangers to avoid sitting by. Heard of Historic Route 66? It wetted American appetites for road travel in the 50’s, serving as the main byway for vacationers heading West to Southern California.
Though not for the faint of heart, the venerable motorcycle, has its own niche in the travel category.
Not as safe as a car, but much faster than a bike, it lends quite easily to small group travel. There are many types of motorcycles one could choose, but like most other things, there is one, the touring motorcycle, that is designed specifically for road travel.
In a lot of developing countries, especially in places like India and southeast Asia, a lot of families ONLY have a motorcycle, so for some, owning one becomes more pragmatic, than a mere luxury.
So whether it is as a club of many, a family of a few, or a loner of one, motorcycle travel has its place in the hearts of many.
Question: what has no motor or heartbeat, but can operate on food and water for hundreds of miles? A bike, with a rather determined rider on it, of course.
There are those who swear by bike travel. Not weekly riding about the city mind you, but 40, 50 or more miles per day towards a destination. You could bring your bike on an auto or RV trip, and put in some local riding in new and unfamiliar locales.
Though much rarer today, pack animals, such as horses, camels, mules and llamas, were once the freight trains of commerce. Even after the wheel was invented, some noted societies, continued the pack train, as it was a quicker, surer method of transport.
There is a recent resurgence of animal-back traveling in some parts of the world, so if you have an interest in trying something like that, go forth young man, go forth.
Long Before humans domesticated those animals, or figured out how to carve out a log and paddle, good ol’ left – right – left foot power, was the only travel method available. All things being equal, a fit walker can walk further than a marathoner can ever run and with a less expenditure of energy.
Traditionally, ancient infantry soldiers marched (walked) to wars, sometimes thousands of miles away. Only running those last hundred yards or so, for maximum impact.
Most modern Armed Forces today, still train their troops in marching drills, that is, how to travel by foot over long distances.
I may have missed a couple here or there, but you have the gist of it. You can also combine 2 or more methods to suit your particular needs.
With so many ways to do it, with or without a passport, you really run out of excuses why not, don’t you?
One step at a time..