All Articles Tagged "public transportation"

Easy Ways To Save Money When Traveling Internationally

June 13th, 2016 - By Alyssa Rachelle
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Image Source: Shutterstock

The many costs associated with traveling can deter people from taking their dream vacation. And for most people, the thought of traveling around the world can also seem incredibly daunting.

Fortunately, up-and-coming travel expert Jason Tolliver, also known as The Travel Wiz, has been to all seven continents and provides key tips on how you can travel internationally without breaking the bank.

Lean on friends and locals

When traveling, Tolliver said reaching out to friends who have traveled or who currently live in your destination is very beneficial since they can provide firsthand experience on the location. “Experiencing the local places and talking to the people who live there, is the more often than not, solid choice for a traveler.” He continued. “While traveling, I normally drift towards the markets, restaurants, pubs/bars, beaches, etc. where the locals tend to go.”

He added that such interactions are a great way to learn about the people, take in some history, and embrace the culture.

Join loyalty programs

After joining loyalty programs, Tolliver said you should go ahead and start collecting and redeeming points. “Perks can include anything from free breakfast and Wi-Fi to free stays. Besides, it’s free to join and has no additional cost.”

As for Joe Brancatelli, editor of JoeSentMe and a popular business travel columnist, he stresses the importance of a hotel loyalty membership. “In many cases, hotel programs are richer than most any airline program now,” he said. “That’s especially true because claiming an award is so much easier.”

Use local transportation

Tolliver explained that using local transportation is less expensive, even cheaper than renting a car, all while providing a more enriching travel experience. “My experience has taught me that I really don’t know a place until I have tasted the food, talked to the locals, or have taken local transportation.”

He mentioned that riding onboard a 50-seat bus while listening to a guide tell you about the city over a loudspeaker doesn’t count. “Try riding on a chicken bus in Latin America, a tuk-tuk in Asia, a train in Europe, an open-top jeep in the Outback, walking the streets in Africa or cruising on an ice-breaking vessel across the Drake Passage en route to Antarctica.”

Explore alternative lodging

Travelers often book hotels for their travel, but Tolliver suggested home sharing, such as Airbnb or VRBO, since it is often more cost effective. He gave two reasons as to why this is the better option: “First, I seek to understand culture, and an VRBO or Airbnb host can sometimes provide that a bit more than a hotel,” Tolliver said. “And second, I know the final price before checkout.”

He also mentioned that hotels have a habit of adding more fees and taxes than expected.

Do your research

Researching the location before you go can give you an idea of the country and local customs. “Understand local customs and read up on local etiquette before you arrive,” Tolliver said. “Anything from greetings and gestures to clothing and photography can help ensure a smoother journey and can help you negotiate with vendors.”

Use local currency

Tolliver said that using credit cards could create currency exchange fees. “Keep local (your destination) currency at least equivalent to 20 dollars USD for transportation, a bottle of water, snacks, airport departure fees, etc.”

He added that having local currency on hand could be a huge convenience during your travel. “Your flight could be delayed and arrive after the currency exchange booth is closed or the local merchants may not take credit cards or USD.” The more prepared you are, the better off you will be.

Allow time to get lost

Many tourists pre-book or plan a specific itinerary, but Tolliver said sometimes that type of planning can limit exposure. “I normally try reserving one to two days for getting lost and discovering a hidden gem or two off the beaten path,” Tolliver said. “Of course, I like to relax by the beach with an adult beverage, but I also enjoy a bit of spontaneity. Exploration is a part of our makeup as humans.”

Travel with a friend

According to Tolliver, when traveling with a companion, you’re able to split the cost of many things, including lodging. “Additionally, it’s a great way to keep your cost down and enjoy some of your best moments with good company.”

Going My Way? How To Flirt On Public Transit

May 24th, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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Taking public transportation for the most part is a downer: it’s smelly, crowded, takes too long and you have to deal with all sorts of characters. But, what makes any situation a little more pleasant? Flirting! And it’s not off limits on a bus/train/subway/trolley you name it. You just have to know how to do it so you don’t creep anybody out, or ruin the ride.

Hide Your Wallet, Hide Your Kindle: 11 People You’ll Find On Public Transportation (And A Few To Avoid At All Costs)

February 19th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Ah, the every day rat race. If it isn’t bad enough to have to pull yourself out of bed to get to work, it might be worse when you have to hop on public transportation and deal with funk, funky attitudes, sweaty and confined spaces and suspicious looking characters all around. But for anybody who rides these forms of transportation on a regular basis, it’s nothing new. For those that don’t, be warned. Here are just a few people you will probably see acting a fool on public transportation, and chances are, they might end up sitting right. Next. To. You.



The Dancer

Nothing amuses me more on public transportation then the individual, headphones in and music player on, busting a move while standing in front of one of the exit doors. Maybe they’re part of a dance troupe, maybe they’re a choreographer for a living, but the person pop locking and sliding like Usher in 1997 during his My Way days and then abruptly stopping when the doors open keep everybody entertained on the low. I don’t know what they’re listening to, but they need to start asking for donations with all the side eyes and confused faces they receive.

Serious Question: So…Who Should Give Up Their Seat On Public Transportation For The Elderly And Pregnant?

November 14th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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So I was just asked this the other day, but before I answer the question, let me set a scene for you.

Picture this:

So it’s 6 p.m. and the post-work rush is still going pretty hard on your preferred mode of transportation. You’ve had a pretty long day, and after clinging on to a high bar for dear life because the jerk in front of you has their body wrapped around the convenient long bar like they’re about to put on a Magic City show, you get excited when the seat in front of you opens up. You plop down and get ready to pull out a book/magazine/whatever and enjoy the ride home. That is until you notice a woman with a belly the size of a beach ball waddle on the train looking tired and in need of a seat. So what do you do?

I can’t tell you how many times this scenario has played out in my everyday life. The moment I reach into my bag and grab my book of the moment, someone pregnant, with a bunch of tiny kids, or seasoned (aka, OLD) comes on the train with a helpless look in their eye that is searching the car for relief in the form of a seat. When this happens, I often look around my damn self, hoping someone else will for once step up and help this passenger out. Instead, the Oscar contenders come out. Just the other day this happened and a man with his eyes glued to his iPhone kept his head down so he didn’t have to be bothered, people pretended to be asleep or too glued to their books, newspapers and magazines to notice, and another man looked straight ahead, not giving a damn. Sometimes a guy will hop up quickly and ask the woman to sit, but these days, and in this particular story, that’s not the case. So there I was, bags on my forearm and a book in my hand, taking a deep sigh, standing up, and motioning for this particular person (an elderly woman) to take my seat. With a “thank you” and a “no problem” exchanged,  I was back to the high bar, waiting impatiently for my stop so I could sit my behind down at home.

When this scene comes to life in front of you, how do you respond? Are you the first to jump out of your seat, the last to reluctantly do so, or the mug who plays crazy in the hopes that someone else will step up? I can often look in the faces of many women and see that they hope that a man will pull a chivalrous one and offer his seat, but these days, you’ll be lucky to get a seat before a man boxes your a**  out for it like you’re on the court together playing basketball. I’ve seen a man viciously brush past a woman looking to get to the same seat, so hard that a back and forth of snark and vitrol ensued. And I’ve also heard some people talk about how irritated they get at teenagers with two good legs and young lungs taking seats from those who could use them. The test to see who will be the one to do something nice for someone else now been narrowed down to gender, age, and whoever can be made to feel bad enough to stand up first by stares from strangers.

But that’s not to say that the answer to the question I posed in the title is “Men,” or “Teenagers.”  They aren’t the only ones who should be helping folks out who need a seat because they might be more physically fit to do so. In the same vein as being charitable, if you want to give up your seat, you should, because in reality, it’s more about doing what’s right for you as opposed to doing what others expect you to. And if you want to give up your seat, more power to you, and if you always fail to do so, I hope people are more giving to you when you get pregnant, have kids, age, or get hurt than you were to those before you. I just know for myself, as a woman, I often feel for those carrying a child and having to deal with all the horrid smells and attitudes on public transportation, so I’ll give up my seat. Seeing an elderly person hunched over and looking like they might fall over at the next stop always makes me sad, so if no one has done so already, I’ll give up my seat. And the sight of a child with their parent licking the public poles just grosses me out, so I’ll give up my seat (uh, but that baby has to be three years old and under, and barely three feet tall or they’re just going to have to stand like everybody else). But hey, like everyone else, there are days when I just don’t feel like being the good Samaritan and I’d rather sit because a headache is on its way or my feet are just tired. So I try my best not to fault other people for feeling the same way and staying put. So I guess, when asked who should give up their seat on public transportation for others, I’d say, “whoever wants to.” If it’s not you voluntarily, then you probably shouldn’t start pointing fingers, because you shouldn’t be expecting anybody else to do what you’re not even willing to yourself.

Enjoy the Ride! 6 Incredible Tales of Ratchetness on Public Transportation

July 11th, 2012 - By Kendra Koger
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If there’s one thing that unites all people, it’s that when we need to get from Point A  to Point B (and occasionally point c) we have to seek out ways of transportation.  If you have your own transportation, or live in a neighborhood that you can walk to your destination, then you are very lucky.  But if you have to take public transportation you’re just as lucky.  Not only are you saving the environment with mass carpooling, but when else can you get people from so many different walks of life and see some of the most bizarre things you will ever witness?

Personally, I’ve witnessed a conversation of old men on the Greyhound debating which of their former prisons were the best, and then begin to threaten to stab each other.  How about the guy who, when I was in college, would take advantage of crowded buses to grope the women and sing “Falsetto” in our ears… creepy.  Or the guy who was rolling a blunt on the train, and then whenever people started looking started brandishing a knife and mouthing obscenities at people.  You can’t get these types of stories while you’re driving in your safe car!

Some stories are crazy, and others you really just need to see to believe.  Therefore, I’m going to share six tales of craziness that happened on public transportation, courtesy of the posters of YouTube and one vid from Worldstarhiphop.  If I missed something, let me know.  Hope you enjoy the clips, and if you’re playing the clips at work, beware, because some people like to let the expletives fly!!

Bright Lights, Brownstones & Big Dreams: How to Make Your Move to a Big City

April 13th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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By Erica RivaFlowz Buddington

I’ve been there. I’ve walked through my suburban town agitated by it’s smallness and thought, “I need to get the heck up out of here.” Sidney Shaw taunted me with her brownstone in “Brown Sugar” and the depiction of rain and passion mixed in Chicago’s urban terrain had me yearning to get my “Love Jones” on.  Tapas bars, jazz clubs, underground hip-hop shows, networking, after work mixers; I knew there was a wanna-be-socialite heaven in one of United States’ big cities waiting for me.

I was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t raised there. I was uprooted at nine for a chance at better schools. My family and I moved to Long Island, NYC’s suburban area. Immersed in small town gossip and quiet, I yearned for the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Two nights ago, I finally moved back. After tenure at a college in silent Virginia and a bout back home with the parental units, I finally have something within New York City to call my own.

While flipping through the blogs of friends of friends, I’ve noticed a common yearning amongst us. It seems I’m not the only one who wants bright lights, skyscrapers and the metro. I witnessed a multitude of womanly words yearning for their day in Atlanta, Houston, L.A., Chi-town and many other resemblances of the big city. So here’s how:

1. You should start saving. Some people have this illusion that the minute you step on the pavement of the big city, fame and fortune will come to you and record labels, publishers or their new corporate job will take care of the rest. Nope, not at all. Create a budget projecting how much you’ll need to spend each month, make each month and save each month. Start off with a savings of about $3,000-5,000; this will help when fending off rental broker fees, hunger pains and tips for overeager food deliverymen.

2. You’ll need a secured gig. This economy is no joke and even if we were still in the Clinton era, you’d still need a job the minute you get here. Unless you have family/friends that are willing to let you sleep on their couch or in the guest bedroom; don’t speed here to start looking for a job the next morning. Even with a start off fund, you’ll need a gig to keep your head above water. Shoot freelance queries to blogs/publications for some extra side money, apply for certification if you’re taking the substitute/teacher route, find internships and/or find something that’ll keep the lights on until you’re discovered.

3. Don’t wait to be discovered. While keeping the lights on, make serious connections. There are plenty of conferences, events, rare bookstores, open mic spots and more in metropolitan areas. Your kind dwells here. Just look for someone with your attire, a Starbucks cup in hand and goals written all over their face. Networking and surrounding yourself with positive ambition oriented persons is the one of the fastest routes to the top.

4. Pick your borough. I have a friend from Iowa who loves Fat Joe and decided, from a few rap lyrics, she was going to move to the Bronx, New York for her big move. The problem is, she works in Queens. Regretfully, she does a 2-4 hour commute back and forth to work everyday. Use Google maps to find the distance from your desired borough, check out the train/car routes to get there and make sure it’s conducive to your agenda. Come visit before you sign any leases or make any promises! Make sure the spot you’ve chosen is right for you.

5. Go get your spot. Ha! Rentals in big cities can go anywhere from $1,500 to a cool hundred grand. I don’t think so. Unless you’ve got some secret trust fund or just won the lotto, I’ve got some other suggestions for you. Search Craigslist or other real estate related websites for sweet deals. You can rent anything, from a $1,500 cute studio, to a $1,200 ground floor of a two-family residence. Make sure you can envision your writing, painting, planning, meditation etc. area before you say, “I’ll take it!”

Mind Your Manners! Behavior That Will Get You the Side Eye in Public and Private

October 13th, 2011 - By IndigoBlack
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In your everyday moving and shaking, how many times do you see people do things they should know better not to do? If you were to tap them on the shoulder and say “COVER YOUR MOUTH” or “STOP SCRATCHING YOUR PRIVATES IN PUBLIC!” you would probably look uber bitchy, so instead, you just put your head down and give them a shake of it. We can all behave a little ratchet from time to time when it comes to having good manners, but on this list are just a few manners people are lacking that personally drive me up the wall. Whether they are happening to me or people around me, I can’t go for it, and you might catch me giving you the death face if you do these things and I’m around. Feel free to chime in below with the things you can’t stand.

A Mixed Bag for Monday Commute

August 29th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — Commuters in New York City and on Long Island can take trains to work Monday morning. Those in the northern suburbs and New Jersey, by and large, cannot.  Subway service had resumed across the system by 6 a.m., according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Trains will be less frequent and more crowded than on a normal Monday morning, but they will come, the agency said. The Staten Island Railway is also running.  Subways were running better than the MTA had expected as late as Sunday night, a spokesman said. Trains were running to the Rockaways, the A and 7 were running express and the 6 was running express in the Bronx.

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Ga. Gets $4.8 Million for Transportation Projects

August 18th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(AJC) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced more than $4.8 million in grants for Georgia to fund projects ranging from a bike and pedestrian bridge in Atlanta to a highway project in Winder.  LaHood said in a statement Wednesday that the projects will create jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.

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Plan Paves Way for Bus Rapid Transit System

August 17th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Chicago Tribune) — Conditions are ripe in Chicago to try launching the first true bus rapid transit system in the U.S., according to advocates who will unveil their blueprint Wednesday.  The proposal being introduced by theMetropolitan Planning Council calls for starting with a network of 10 CTA bus rapid transit routes covering about 95 miles of mostly bus-only lanes, with buses making stops every half mile at special stations where passenger prepay their fares just like at rail stations.  The service is aimed at producing major travel time savings by doubling average speeds compared to regular buses stuck in traffic, as well as connecting with nearby CTA and Metra rail stations.

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