Transportation Tips to Enjoy a Safe and Stress-Free Trip

Traveling to see a major sporting event – or catching one while you’re on vacation – is exciting; however, transport arrangements can make or break your trip. Not properly planning how you’ll get around the new city or researching the transport options to get to and from the event venue can cause huge problems. For example, assuming there are great public transport links without checking if this is the case could create a nightmare. As well as being late for the game, you may end up spending a tone of money on taxis.

Research and planning is key. Carefully checking the transport options in the country and city you’ll be visiting and weighing up what’s best for your specific needs and circumstances will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable time away.

General Transport Tips

Don’t Forget to Budget for Transport Costs

It’s so easy to do: we budget for every single element of our trip – but forget to account for transport expenses. And to make things worse, these costs can easily rack up. Start by establishing how far your accommodation is from the venue where the match, tournament, or game will take place and the transport options available. Research the likely cost of your chosen transport options to get an idea of the budget you’ll need for this.

Think Careful About the Location of Accommodation

It’s worth bearing in mind that choosing accommodation some distance from the venue or center of town may save you money, but weigh this up against the likely cost of transport to get about when deciding on your booking.

Downloads Maps onto Your Phone

Be prepared for a connection blackspot or running out of data by downloading maps you need onto your phone in advance. This is another of those tips that take just minutes to do, but will be hugely beneficial.

Consider Booking in Advance

Booking your transport in advance, such as coach or train tickets, could save you a significant amount of money. Take a look online before jetting off, to see if this would be a financially good option. As with the maps we mentioned above, be sure to download any tickets purchased onto your device, just in case.

Using Public Transport

Public transport could be the perfect way to get around while you’re away and to get to and from the venue. However, this will depend on a few key things, such as the transport options available, how near a stop is to your accommodation, and how efficient the system is. After all, the last thing you want is to be late for the start of a match.

It’s best to research the public transport options before you leave – you may even want to book your accommodation with a nearby bus or train stop in mind. Some countries are renowned for their reliable and efficient public transport systems. For example, if you’re heading to Germany for the Euro 2024 tournament, you’ll be well served in this regard. The country offers a variety of types of transportation, and its systems are notoriously comprehensive and efficient.

Here are some of the benefits of using public transport if you’re traveling to a sporting event – or in general.

  • It’s typically relatively cheap, and you’ll save a significant amount compared to taking taxis. Buying a day ticket could also equal even bigger savings.
  • You get to sit down and enjoy the view of the new country or city as you travel.
  • It’s environmentally friendly and can help reduce your tourist carbon footprint.
  • As you’re not driving, you can have a beer at the venue if you fancy it!

Tips for While Traveling on Public Transport

If you plan on traveling via public transport, there are some important safety considerations to take into account, no matter which country you’ll be visiting. Here are the main ones.

Keep Your Belongings Close

Keep a close eye on your belongings – it’s best to use a cross-body bag that can’t be opportunistically snatched. There are lots of options on the market designed specifically to keep your stuff safe while traveling, including bags with slash-proof straps or that incorporate RFID blockers to prevent your card details from being harvested by crooks.

Use a Travel Lock

Travel locks are handy little devices that can be used to secure your bag to your seat while you’re using public transport. They can also be used to keep your bag from being snatched while, for example, you’re dining out, and you can better protect your valuables in transit by putting one on your suitcase.

Know Where the Exits Are

Whether you’re on a bus, train, tram, or other form of public transport, it’s vital to identify the exits to use in case of an emergency. It’s usually a good idea to choose a spot away from the door to prevent an opportunistic thief from attempting to steal your bag or purse, as the doors momentarily open at a stop.

Get Familiar with Local Etiquette

Knowing the local etiquette around public transport is really important when it comes to enjoying the best travel experience possible. Doing some research regarding this before you set off is highly advisable. For example, in Japan, it’s considered rude to have a phone conversation while on board a train. Most phones in the country have a “manners” mode, which turns off ringtones and switches phones to vibrate to avoid disturbing other passengers. In Austria, meanwhile, eating food on a subway car is considered so distasteful that it’s recently been banned.

Keep the Volume Down

You may enjoy listening to music while you’re waiting at a bus-stop, or traveling on a train. While you’re in another country, it’s even more important to be aware of what’s going on around you, so be sure to keep the volume as low as possible. This also means you won’t risk missing out an important announcement over the loudspeaker.

Trust Your Instincts

Finally, stay alert, mindful of your surroundings, and trust your gut instincts. If your intuition is nudging you that something’s off, remove yourself from the situation or ask for assistance as soon as possible. If you enjoy listening to music while on the go, turn the volume down to low so you can be better aware of what’s going on around you. This means you’ll also be able to hear any announcements that are put out over the PA system.

Renting a Car

You may be considering renting a car for your travels. There are plenty of advantages to this option: the freedom to explore on your own schedule, easy trips to the venues, and all that storage space, so there’s no need to lug around a heavy bag or case. Not to mention the comfort factor.

There are some important transportation tips to be aware of if you’re considering renting a car while on your trip.

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Driving Licenses

In some countries, you’ll be able to drive with your existing driving license, while in others, you’ll be required to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)to legally get behind the wheel. An IDP is recognized in over one hundred countries and is basically a translation of your original license.

There are only two agencies in the US that are authorized to issue IDPs: the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. IDPs offered by any other websites are fake.

Parking Charges

One of the extra expenses that can be easily accrued when renting a car is that relating to parking. It’s a good idea to check out what parking is available at your accommodation and the venue beforehand to see the lay of the land.

A Checklist to Use Before Driving Off

If you decide to rent a car while you’re away, take care of these bits of housekeeping before driving off:

  • Read the contract carefully before signing it, and be sure to ask if there’s anything you don’t understand.
  • Check the insurance cover – you may think you’re fully covered but actually be liable for damage caused to, for example, the tires, windows, and undercarriage of the vehicle.
  • Check for any additional charges – be clear on exactly what you’re expected to pay for.
  • Build in enough time for the vehicle to be thoroughly checked over when you collect and drop it off.
  • Check for spare tires and safety equipment. Ensure everything required is present and the spare tire isn’t overly worn or otherwise damaged.
  • If the car has any damage when you collect it, take photos showing this, and make sure it’s noted by the rental company. When dropping the vehicle back, if it’s out of hours, take photos of its condition, should you need to prove this if it’s contested.

Getting Around by Bicycle

Hiring a bicycle can be a great way to see the sights of a new city, and – if bike parking is available – it can make for a cost-effective, sustainable way to travel to and from the sporting event’s venue.

An increasing number of cities worldwide now operate bicycle hire schemes. Typically, you’ll sign up for an app, which will show you where the nearest available bikes are available for rental. Even if you’re already a keen cyclist with your own bike at home, hiring still may be the better option. The latter takes away the hassle of transporting your bike and getting it to and from your accommodation – plus, the hiring company will ensure it’s in perfect working order for you.

Read Up on the Road Rules

Taking some time to check out the road rules in the country you’ll be visiting is important. As well as helping you to stay safe on the road, you’ll have more confidence as you explore. Even if you’re heading somewhere that you’re not legally required to wear a cycling helmet, it’s highly advisable to do so.

Buy a Bike Map

Many cities around the world now have bike maps available – even better, bike shops often offer them for free. Take a look at the map while relaxing in your accommodation to figure out some of the best routes around the city.

Take Note of Traffic Reactions

You may notice a significant difference in how the drivers in different countries react to bicycles. Be aware of this and be prepared to adapt your cycling behavior in response. For example, in cities where there are few cyclists, you may find vehicles are extra hesitant around you, so be extra sure to signal your intentions clearly and be mindful that drivers may try to pass at an inopportune moment.

Other Transportation Options

As well as the transport options above, the destination you’re jetting off to may offer other choices, too. Internal flights or coach travel could be a great idea if you’re planning on traveling from one part of the country to the other, or you may wish to hire a motorcycle or scooter to explore a city. For example, during Copa America 2024, you may need to transport from one side of the country to the other side to see all the matches.

Carsharing is also available in some cities – although be sure to only use a regulated and authorized platform to stay safe.

Plan Your Transport When Traveling for Sports Events

How you get about once you’ve arrived at your destination may seem like an afterthought, but it’s a crucial element of your overall experience. Being clear on the options available before setting off and properly budgeting and planning for your transport requirements will make a huge difference. Rather than having to spend time figuring out how best to explore a city and stressing about ways to get to and from the tournament venue, you can relax, be clear on your options, and know everything has all been planned.

Use the guide above to prepare for your exciting adventure and decide on the best transport options to use while you’re away. Taking the time to assess the best means of getting around – and the pros, cons, and risks of each – means you can simply get on with enjoying your trip and supporting your team.

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