What are the Different Ways to Travel the World?
There are several ways to travel the world. Travelers can circle the globe either on water, on land, or in the air. Any one of these ways to travel the world can be used, or a combination may be needed depending on a traveler's wants and needs. Also, other accommodations for overnight stays in certain destinations may be necessary.
Cruise travel is one of the most recognized ways to travel the world. There are a few types of cruises available. Vacation cruises are the most popular, but these cruise ships may not necessarily go all the way around the world, in the true sense. Many times they will stop at a few ports in one geographical region.
A world cruise ship is a little different. Unlike a vacation cruise, travelers are given the option to purchase a cabin aboard a cruise ship. This ship then slowly circles the globe, stopping at ports every few days. Each cabin usually comes complete with a kitchen and bathroom, and there are also stores, spas, gyms, restaurants, and anything else that a world traveler might need. These cruises may be a nice comfortable way to travel the world, but they are typically very expensive to buy and maintain.
On the other end of the spectrum, freighter cruises are another way to travel the world. Cabins are usually onboard a cargo ship headed for a certain port across the world. The atmosphere is considered to be very casual and simple. Travelers are not given the luxuries of other types of cruises, and they may also be expected to help the crew with various tasks.
On land, trains are the main way to travel the world. Accommodations on a train are usually much more comfortable than on a bus, and some trains allow passengers to reserve a private room. Travelers can purchase rail passes that allow passengers to get on and off certain trains when they please, and these trains travel across most of the continents on the globe.
Air travel is another option when traveling the world. Since purchasing individual tickets to cities all around the globe can get expensive, some airlines offer around-the-world tickets. These flight plans usually include several stops in countries before coming back to their original destinations.
When not aboard a boat, train, or plane, travelers may need a place to stay overnight. Hotels and hostels are the more common options, but they can get expensive. Some convents and monasteries, however, will also put up travelers for a much smaller fee, often in exchange for a small amount of labor. There are also other programs and websites that can help travelers find places to stay in exchange for services.
There are quite a few articles around these days claiming to be a way to travel the world for free. Most of them seem to be methods of trying to build up points from airlines so that you can get free flights and other freebies.
To me, the best thing to do is to try and find organizations like WWOOF, which places people on farms to do work in exchange for food and shelter, or Couch-surfing, which organizes people around the world to lend a couch to each other when they need one. There are plenty of places that organize ride sharing as well.
It won't end up being completely free, but your experience will be much richer for having met more people.
@pastanaga - If you are looking for something inexpensive I would have a talk to travel agency that specializes in arranging trips for students. They are almost always really good at finding all the bargains and will generally know the cheapest and the best way to get from place to place.
I've even had them recommend places that they didn't deal with, because they knew it would be cheaper for me.
I've always wanted to travel by freighter. Apparently they have quite a few benefits over a cruise ship. The cabins are much bigger and they have more facilities available inside them. They don't have the wide variety of food and activities, but the pace is supposed to be much slower and more contemplative.
They generally aren't all that much cheaper than a cruise either, but I think being able to take the time to really unwind would be worth it.
And you could probably go to more places than traditional cruises. It would be a way to really travel around the world, instead of just going to a handful of typical cities.
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