Ten Iconic Ways to Travel Around the World

Getting there is half the fun, and in some places the method of transport you use makes it even more exciting. Whether you’re travelling by road, rail or on the water – here are some iconic ways to get around. How many can you tick off?

1) Riding scooters through Rome

Whilst you’ll never do this as stylishly as Audrey Hepburn, a scooter ride through Rome has to be one of the best ways to see the city. OK, so the traffic’s manic, but if you don’t fancy tackling it yourself, how about taking a tour? Scooters are a great way to pack in a lot in a short space of time, just make sure you’re insured for your scooter adventure.

Scooter Parking in Rome
Scooter Parking in Rome

2) Taking tuk-tuks in Thailand

Anyone who’s visited Thailand, especially Bangkok, is bound to have ridden in a tuk-tuk. These three-wheeled taxis are designed for three (two passengers and a driver) although you’ll often see whole families piled in to one. Depending on your driver, the trip can be pleasant or downright hair-raising, but if you visit Thailand and don’t take a tuk-tuk, you’re really missing out.

3) Ride an airboat through the Florida Everglades

Whilst most visitors to Florida don’t leave Orlando, there are plenty of other things to discover here. Douse yourself with mosquito repellent and take an airboat tour of the world-famous Everglades. As well as the stunning scenery, there’s the chance you’ll see alligators and even manatees, if you’re lucky.

4) Going underground in London

The world’s first underground railway opened in London over 150 years ago. Whilst it may not be the most glamorous way to travel, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the tube. If you want to avoid the wrath (or mild irritation) of local users, avoid early morning and evening commuter times, and always stand on the right-hand side of the escalators!

5) Drive an original Beetle in Mexico

You’ll see plenty of Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico, as they were produced here until 2003. Sadly the iconic green and white taxicabs have been phased out in favour of four-door vehicles, but you can still rent a Beetle to drive yourself. Hire one in Cancun and discover the beaches to the south, or head west and check out the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá.

6) Let the train take the strain in India

No trip to India is complete without a train ride. Second class travel is where the real excitement lies. Here a three-seater row can comfortably seat six, or even eight, and the chai (spiced milky tea) and coffee sellers walk up and down the crowded carriages selling their wares. As you stop along the way, vendors hawk snacks and fruit through the open windows. It’s an unforgettable experience.

7) Float on a felucca in Egypt

There are plenty of ways to travel on the Nile these days, including 5-star luxury cruises, but surely nothing can be as relaxing as the peace and tranquillity of a felucca boat ride. These traditional wooden boats have sailed up and down the Nile for centuries, so taking one is a bit like stepping back in time to the age of the pharaohs.

8) Classic 50s cars in Cuba

Whilst not the most environmentally friendly vehicles in the world, the cars that left Detroit’s motor factories in the 50s were certainly some of the most gorgeous. If you’re a fan of fifties classics, then Havana, Cuba is the place for you. Beautifully maintained Cadillacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Chevrolets all cruise the streets, and a tour of Havana with the top down is a great way to discover the city.

Chevrolet Deluxe Styline Convertible 1951
Chevrolet Deluxe Styline Convertible 1951

9) Jump on a jeepney in the Philippines

Possibly the most pimped-up public transport in the world, Filipino jeepneys are larger than life and fabulously decorated. Originally made from US military jeeps that were left after WWII, there are two rows of seats at the back, and space on the roof for goods, or extra passengers – if necessary.

Jeepney overloaded
Jeepney overloaded

10) Flag down a yellow cab in New York

Whilst there are yellow cabs throughout the United States, where better to catch one than in New York City? Hailing one is the first challenge, and then it’s worth keeping an eye on the route you’re taking. Unlike black taxi drivers in London who pass the Knowledge before they get their licence, not all NYC cabbies are as clued up. I once tried taking a cab to the Empire State Building. “Sorry” replied the stressed driver “I don’t know where that is. It’s my first day in America.”

By Elsi H.

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