Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Ed Povey of Grounded Travel. How are you traveling this holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments. (As for us, we’ll be celebrating Warren’s 39th birthday here in Seattle, traveling from grill to table with our own two feet.)
When you remember a great journey that you’ve made in the past, what do you remember? For me, it’s the people I was with, the experiences I’ve had, and the anticipation of what was going to happen once I reached my destination. Perhaps this is a slightly romanticised view of travel, but it is one that I believe is becoming increasingly achievable through better, faster and cheaper overland travel.
The reason I first became passionate about overland travel was because of the experiences that you can have as a result, whether it be the scenery you witness, the different cultures you are able to soak-up, the reduced stress of travel, and knowledge that you are stepping away from the beaten track. For me, being able to enjoy a journey adds as much to the trip as the destination itself, whether it is for a short holiday or a more permanent move.
Besides the social and personal benefits, there are also a significant number of practical benefits to grounded travel. The first, and most significant, relates to the environment. Travelling by train instead of flying has been proven to generate ten times less Carbon Dioxide for some routes. When you consider the number of air passengers travelling throughout the world daily, and the percentage of those journeys that could be made by more sustainable modes, you realise the extent of the environmental damage that could potentially be avoided by embracing overland travel.
The hidden costs associated with air travel can also make air travel more expensive than grounded alternatives. When you buy a cheap air ticket, how often do you forget the cost of onward travel once you land, or additional luggage? Travelling by train removes these costs, allowing you to get straight to your destination with ease, and with time and money spared. Overland journeys don’t have to take too long either, with some train journeys such as the Eurostar between London and Paris actually being quicker than the same journey made by plane. Indeed, night services operate on various routes, which can help you to save money by removing the need for a hotel, and allowing you to arrive at your destination much earlier in the morning to maximise the time you have once you arrive at your destination.
Some of my greatest holiday and travel memories have been made on the journey itself, and I can honestly say that none of them have involved an airplane. Once you understand that overland travel doesn’t have to take longer or cost more money than an air fare, you realise the true benefits that grounded travel can bring in allowing you to truly enjoy life’s journeys.
About the Author:
Ed is the founder of GroundedTravel.com, a website dedicated to providing accurate and detailed information on a wide variety of overland travel routes. Ed started the website in 2008 with an aim to help promote a large-scale shift towards sustainable travel alternatives.