The popularity of air travel has led to the formulation of a series of misconceptions related to overland travel. These misconceptions, mainly relating to the complexity and cost of flightless travel have historically stunted the growth of more sustainable travel alternatives, but recently we have seen a shift towards flightless travel.
The reason I first became passionate about overland travel was because of the experience that you get when avoiding airplanes. The overland experience is not limited to scenery either; with flightless journeys enabling you to soak up the different cultures first-hand, reducing the stress of travel, and allowing you to step away from our pro-air cultural norms. There are also a significant number of practical benefits to grounded travel. The first, and most important, benefit relates to the environment. For example, traveling by train between London and Paris has been proven to generate ten times less Carbon Dioxide than the equivalent plane journey. When you consider the number of air passengers traveling throughout the world daily, and the percentage of those journeys that could be made by more sustainable modes, you realize the extent of the environmental damage that could potentially be avoided by embracing overland travel.
The hidden costs associated with air travel can make air travel more expensive than grounded alternatives. When you buy a cheap air ticket, how often do you forget the cost of travel between the airport and city center? Traveling overland removes this cost, taking you straight to the heart of your destination, with time spared and avoiding further environmental impacts. Journey time differences between air and overland travel are not as bad as one might think either. Once you factor in the amount of time spent waiting at airports for security clearance and check-in, and the travel time between airport and city center, the time difference really isn’t that great. Some journeys are actually quicker by train than by short-haul flight.
Planning and booking an overland journey can be just as simple as booking an air ticket. My advice is to find out the operator for a specific route, and try to book directly through them if possible. This often leads to cheaper fares, and you can be sure that you are booking the right service. There are plenty of useful resources on the internet, such as http://www.groundedtravel.com, for researching your own overland travel journeys. So next time you are thinking of taking a trip, think twice about flying, and consider what benefits you and the environment could gain from traveling overland.
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.