Tips for the ground.htm assignment É


I was surprised to find that the rail pass had gone up since I looked at it last, the exchange rate has gone down (only 92 yen to the dollar) so itŐs to be expected. Either way the JR rail pass is the way to go in Japan, with unlimited travel on trains and busses its hard to beat.



I found quite a bit of helpful information on the web for this assignment, the only hitch was that so many of the local transportation costs are determined by bartering. Taxis, boats, bike rentals- all can be changed by who you rent from and how good you are at negotiating. Granted I'm horrible at bartering, but others might do quite well and get by rather cheaply in Laos.



For those that are looking for cheap modes of transportation around Europe consider Ryanair. It is often cheaper then the train and renting a car. It can be less convenient then the other two modes but it does add a little adventure to the trip. It comes in handy when traveling long distances between countries in Europe.



I had to do extensive research to find reliable websites that worked and could give me the ticket information I needed. It took a while but I found one very interesting bus tour for backpackers that I am interested in for my own traveling experience in Chile. Often while searching for websites, the links would no longer work or the countries did not have the transportation I was looking for. This assignment was time consuming but I eventually found enough information for what I needed and this research will help me for the next assignment and future travels.



This feels like the most productive assignment I've done so far. The past assignments were extremely helpful in giving me an idea about what transportation to use as well as where to go, and I was constantly referring to my old pages to look at maps or links. But finding the cost of travel seems like the biggest step towards planning the trip because it finally started putting it into perspective.



Overall, I think this assignment was by far the most interesting for me. Perhaps because it helps to alleviate all the worries about the costs of traveling around and even in deciding which ones are available. The travel guide definitely helps a lot. Although, I sort of did the opposite; I searched around first before I bought the book. After buying it, it has made my life so much easier.

Different countries have different ways of transporting, with one possibly being cheaper than the other. In my area, Quebec, bus and train transportation was by far the cheapest way to travel routinely. For frequent travelers, they have passes that can be used which is helpful in reducing the costs. Contrary to what I thought at first, biking is actually pretty expensive if it was the main mode of transportation. Renting a car is even MORE expensive. But either of these would definitely be useful in gaining more freedom to travel around. Biking is also fun too, for recreation, because the region has many bike paths that run throughout the cities.



The websites recommended in the travel guide were a good resource to ground travel costs.  The web is great.  Having the travel guide to narrow the search is very beneficial.   We hired a driver when we were in Thailand.  It was less expensive than renting a car and finding our own way.  A friend just got back from Argentina and they found a taxi driver who devoted his time to take them around and charged by the day.  It was less expensive than a taxifare, less expensive than renting a car, and he would help them find an English-speaking guide when they got to their destinations. 

I have no idea how to find opportunities like that on-line.  Both of those drivers were arranged through a personal contact during travel. 



This ground.htm assignment took much more time than I thought.

I just found those travel guide websites are really useful, they always point out all the possible transport options, then tell you which one is recommanded. It's somewhat like a travel book, since I haven't found any yet.I almost posted every transportation that I could find, although some of them are not quite appropriate. 

Renting cars is not a good way at all in Asia, because the public transportation is well developed. My three destinations are all islands, so ship is widelt used. There are also some local transport options, like the scooters in Taiwan. I 'd like to suggest using more locally typical transportations, not only because it's usually cheap, but also you will experience the culture deeply.

 Most cities have a certain time period pass of the public transportation, it saves a lot of money if you plan stay there for several days. I chose it all the time when travelling. Using public transportation is much cheaper since the living costs is cheaper in Asian countries.

The only problem is it's kind of hard to estimate the transportation costs accurately, since I haven't had a detailed plan for everyday travelling.



I chose to travel to Ireland, UK, and Scandinavia for my trip.  I found this to be challenging when finding cheap transportation throughout these destinations.  However, I found that a cheap way to travel throughout Ireland would be to rent a bicycle.  I found a website where there were great trails and stops along the way. 

My expenses didn't end up being too expensive for the destinations I chose, however I am going when it is considered a high seasoned month, therefore prices are a bit higher.



I had a hard time finding prices on travel options when I first started looking. Some sites and previous travelers were saying how much it was from one particular city to the next, but not much else. The bus line companies were mainly the International fares and nothing domestic. Until I happened upon my golden egg. It laid out prices for each leg of a journey, had estimated travel time, and a brief description of road condition (Nicaragua's roads aren't much to be excited about). You could hover the mouse over each road connecting a city to another and keep moving until you reached your destination. If a city isn't reachable by a road on the map, switch over to the boat ferries, or if need be, check the flight routes. This site was incredibly valuable and cheap! If you didn't use a plane for any portion, you could travel from the Northwestern most point to the Southeastern most point for under $25 US! 



Greece is not as cheap as it used to be.  I keep reading that.  I also am coming to the conclusion that the recent economic turmoil may make travel in the next year a bit more affordable.  Finding bus and boat information for the ground assignment was a challenge.  I would get to the link I was looking for, find a schedule, and then the rest was not available in English so I had to start over.  The closer I got to an actual area and pinpointing what I was looking for, the more often I was then given a phone number or specific email address for additional details.  The trip between Athens and Thessaloniki that I was trying to arrange was going to be cheaper by air than train.  The train is still my choice.  I want to see the countryside.  I am also thinking more seriously about the bicycle and back roads.



This assignment was the best one so far I think it made me learn a lot about how to get around in Italy and how much more work it is to travel to another country.  I found that the train was the cheapest route to go with adding in a few days of renting a bike.  The car was the most expensive along with flying.  I wanted to avoid flying because of the amount of time wasted going through security and not getting the time of being in the country if flying from city to city.  This was a fun assignment and the more i do it i cannot wait to take the trip jsut wish i had the funds to do so.



I thought the grounds assignment was fun and interesting to see all the ways of traveling around a country.  I had a little trouble though finding bus fares for some of the bus stations I preferred. 




For this assignment my travel guide was very helpful. It was my overall guide for how to find the info I needed for this assignment. It had great websites and tips for finding fares, except when it came to the buses. My biggest problem was finding the bus fares. Apparently Greece is very well connected, and public transportation is widespread even to rural areas, but since 2008, the bus fares and itineraries have been pulled from the website and instead, you have to call a number from a Greek-based phone. Obviously that is not an option for me, so I had to rely on an uploaded scanned bus itinerary someone posted from January 2013 and my travel guide's estimate of how much it costs per 100 kilometers.

Another problem I had was running into websites that were only in Greek. Many sites you could flip back and forth between Greek and English (I'm assuming Greece being in the EU has something to do with this), but some were only in Greek and thus of no help to me. Still, I was able to find enough other sites to make enough sense of things. But, if you do run into a website that is only in another language, always look for a link or symbol or even a flag that you can click on to switch it to English; don't disregard it right away.

Also, since Greece has such an extensive and comprehensive public transport system, I found that it was actually much cheaper to use public transportation than to rent a car. Part of this was due to the price of gas in Greece (they have a 58% tax on fuel that makes it between $8 and $10 per gallon!). So, in the case of Greece, though having your own car may be convenient and desirable, it probably is not a very good option for a person trying to keep costs down.



I am finishing up my page now! My travel book The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget has been wonderfully helpful so far. In particular, for Laos since so little exists online for this country. I could not even find any possible car rentals. The book mentions that they rund about $80-100 a day though, so it really isn't an option. From what I can tell, the best travel options are either by rail or by air. Boats are another possible option, but they are quite slow and I am not too keen for a long boat ride. One surprising fact was how cheap air travel was within the region. A flight from Kuala Lumpur (on peninsular Malaysia) to Kuching (on Borneo) is only $33 round trip via AirAsia! That definitely beats a boat ride. Originally, I was planning to go from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur by train, but I forgot (and as my travel book reminded me) that sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims make that route unsafe. People are not advised to travel through the region at the moment, so I will have to see how much a flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur will be. 

As far as traveling within each country is concerned, car or motorcycle seem to be the best options. Renting cars is not outrageously expensive in Malaysia or Thailand, but it is in Laos. Motorcycle licenses are not required in Laos and the cost is between $6-10 for a 250 cc dirt bike, so that seems to be the way to go. Overall, there seems to be a lot of options available for regional transport. 



I found that my 'Lonely Planet' travel guide was very useful for this assignment, it had links to websites for taxi companies, bus lines, and trains for the Santiago Chile region. It was interesting to see how accurate the travel guide is when it comes to how much things cost, I new I wasn't getting cheated on the prices I was finding on travel arrangements, because the guide already told me about how much the various forms of transportation would cost. The greatest challenge is being unable to read spanish; I find myself using the bing or google translator, but even that doesn't work every time. This caused a problem, because it is difficult for me to determine if I am reading the name of a terminal, bus line, or city. 





This is assignment was fun I thought also.  One thing that I found interesting was the immense amount of ways to travel inside the country.  Many people inside the large cities travel by train, just as they do in the United States.  They also find many ways to travel that are not by auto.  However, when you reach the rural areas of Spain, it is much more difficult to find public transportation and renting a car is necessary.  It is all a very expensive necessity.




During this assignment, I chose the rental vehicle as the cheapest overall option for ground transporation in Costa Rica.  From my research; however, a first-time traveler to Costa Rica should consider options other than renting a vehicle, as driving in that area can be intimidating to say the least.  But, overall cost and flexibility of having a vehicle whenever you want, really makes the rental car stand out.  Other options for ground transportation in Costa Rica include shuttle buses, domestic flights, mopeds, and private pick-ups.

Previously, I ran into an issue with the maps.htm assignment, as I was saving a .docx file as a .htm, and it would remove the pictures from the webpage.  With a little help, I now know to save the file as a .doc and resave later to a .htm.  This allows the pictures to properly transfer and show up on the webpage.