Get Around: Using Public Transit like a Local

    Bulgarian Transit

    Confused? You’re not alone. Use these apps to navigate unfamiliar public transportation systems.

    When most people plan a trip they think about all of the new and exciting things they’ll be doing and places they’ll be seeing once they arrive.  You might be asking, what’s wrong with that?  The answer is nothing, as long as you have a way to get to all of your dream vacation locales.  The reality is that regardless of where you go, your plane or train is probably not going to drop you off at your attraction of choice.  Sure, cabs and private cars are an option, but if you’re vacationing on a budget, this extra expense can be a deal breaker.

    When traveling within the US or abroad, public transportation is usually the most economical way to get from place to place.  The problem is that the public transit systems of unfamiliar cities or countries can often seem byzantine and overwhelming to newcomers.  A recent article in the Guardian gives a thorough rundown on the best travel companions to help you navigate new public transportation systems.

    The most well known app on the list is the now Apple-owned HopStop.  HopStop.com provides door to door directions using the subways, buses, and other forms of public transportation depending on the city.  It will also adjust your route to find the fastest way depending on timing, traffic, and out of service trains.  HopStop is widely available in the US and Canada and they are rapidly expanding.  Cities around the globe that HopStop can help you navigate include Sydney, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Moscow.  More are coming soon.

    MetrO is another interesting transit app.  The service is similar to HopStop albeit slightly less reliable.  The advantage with this option is that is has a much wider net of coverage.  Many parts of South America and Asia are included unlike HopStop and other popular services.

    For those unconcerned about the cost of cabs or private cars, Uber is your best bet.  This on-demand car service allows you to call a private Uber car or a yellow cab.  You can pay through the app and track your driver on your phone as he drives to your location.  Other amenities include the ability to play your own music through an auxiliary jack, friendly and knowledgable drivers, and reasonable prices.

    Thanks for reading.  Stop by soon for more news and advice for traveling.