RVs, Trains and Busses: Alternatives for Your Vacation Transportation

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

When considering the many means of transportation available, it’s surprising that when we think vacation we immediately – and almost exclusively – think of only two options: flying to some far-off destination or loading up the car for a road trip. While airplanes can get us far away quickly and cars provide a sense of transportational autonomy, they needn’t be the only ways to get from Point A to Point B worth looking into when planning a summertime getaway.

It all depends, of course, upon your individual vision for your vacation. If you’re after an experience – rather than solely a destination – or looking to do something that’s different and perhaps even less expensive, there are alternatives to taking to the friendly skies or the family truckster. Let’s think outside the plane and car and consider three alternatives to the usual means of vacation transportation:

Recreational Vehicle

RVs are either motor homes which can be driven or trailers which are towed behind a motorized vehicle. They provide all the amenities of home so the vacation experience can take place inside and outside the RV. Recreational vehicles are expensive investments but can be rented if you’re not interested in purchasing.


  • Your lodging is with you, so you need not stay in motels
  • Campsite rates are inexpensive, compared to motel rates
  • You can prepare meals, alleviating the need to eat at restaurants
  • You have your own bathroom facilities
  • You can get to different destinations without needing to repack
  • You and your travel companions can enjoy privacy from others, if desired
  • You dictate your pace, schedule and stops
  • You have freedom to go precisely where you want
  • You can determine the “flavor” of your vacation: quiet and peaceful, adventurous and exciting (or a combination of both)


  • High fuel expense
  • You’ll be living in close quarters with your travel companions
  • Depending on your vacation plans, there’s a potential for lots of driving
  • You must stay at campsites, which may not be near where you want to visit
  • The disposal of waste from your RV is your job


There are transit trains, which are a convenient, inexpensive way to get around an urban area, and then there are long distance/sightseeing trains that traverse the nation.


  • You can purchase a ticket for either a comfortable, reclining seat or a sleeping compartment
  • It is climate-controlled
  • There will be no driving to reach your destination
  • Meals are available on long distance journeys
  • You can enjoy sightseeing from the windows


  • It’s slower than flying to your destination
  • A ticket often costs more than airfare or car travel-related expenses
  • You’re committed to the train’s itinerary for stops
  • There’s a limited choice of destinations compared to flying


Urban busses are a boon to those vacationing in metropolitan areas. In short, they go where you want to go – cheaply, ubiquitously and conveniently. Longer distance busses are a viable, affordable option if you’re going somewhere along their route.


  • You’ll enjoy comfortable seating and climate control
  • On-board restrooms are available
  • There will be no driving to reach your destination
  • Tickets are quite low-cost
  • You can enjoy sightseeing from the windows


  • They offer limited destinations without connecting with other busses or means of transportation
  • No food is available onboard
  • They are slower than air or train travel
  • There’s virtually no privacy

The important thing is to investigate your travel options to discover which means of transportation makes the most sense for your desired experience. By choosing wisely, you’ll enhance your enjoyment and your return on your vacation dollars.

Have you vacationed by a less-mainstream means of transportation?

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