Fun, Affordable Daycations by Train, Public Transit Jackie Lam
You don't have to travel far — or spend a lot of money — to enjoy vacation time or a weekend. You can even leave the car at home. By taking public transit, you can experience local cultures, sights, restaurants and nightlife without having to worry about the hassle of parking, filling up your gas tank, or picking a designated driver for an evening out.
Here are four easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy the summer by way of bus, train or commuter rail.
1. Plan a Day Trip Around Routes
Check the routes and schedules for buses or commuter trains near your home. Then plan a day trip around them. Some commuter rail or bus systems feature weekend day trips for local residents. Check their website for travel tips and suggested itineraries.
Or you can create a DIY itinerary by taking the bus or train to a walkable neighborhood or town with restaurants, shops and cultural attractions.
Check community Facebook groups and scour Yelp reviews to get the inside track on local spots and attractions.
2. Hop Off at Random Stops
Turn your public transit experience into an adventure-filled trip with an element of surprise. You can randomly pick a number, for example, then get on the train or bus and stay on board for that number of minutes. Then get off at the nearest stop after a half-an-hour.
I used to do this in Los Angeles, and some days I'd find myself at the beach. On other days, I'd stumble upon a neighborhood market.
Wherever you get off the bus or train, commit to exploration. Think of it as an opportunity to transform the every day into points of curiosity.
3. Hunt for Deals
Besides saving money by taking public transit, you can stretch your dollar even further by stacking deals and discounts. For instance, Amtrak might offer 2-for-1 deals or discounted rates during the week. Commuter rails might feature discounted fares over the weekend, when fewer people ride. You might also save by booking tickets in advance, or by riding certain train routes during specific times of the year.
What's more, Amtrak and bus lines want your loyalty and offer incentives, such as frequent-traveler programs. Before purchasing your tickets, scour the web to see what current deals exist.
4. Create a Staycation Around a Theme
Think of the bus or train as a tool around which you can build a staycation. If you're an art lover, pick a handful of museums or exhibitions to check out. Foodies can sign up for a class on cheese, wine or chocolate, or plan their own restaurant crawl where they sample a different course at three or four spots. (This works best if they sit at the bar.)
Sports fans might want to get to the game early to watch batting practice, take a tour of the venue or hang out with other fans during the pre-game festivities. Or if you'd like to be more in tune with nature, check to see if any transitaccessible nature paths are nearby.
You can certainly enjoy your downtime without venturing far or spending too much money. By thinking out of the box, and doing a bit of research, you can go on a budget-friendly daycation by train, bus or rail.
Community question: What's your favorite way to enjoy an adventure in your stomping grounds via public transit?
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Jackie Lam and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.