Holiday Transportation Ideas to Help You Embrace the Journey Itself

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”     – Robert Louis Stevenson

As globetrotters, we’re often focused on reaching our destination with too little appreciation for how we get there. We take planes, trains, and automobiles to get to our destination, eager to arrive so we can then begin our adventure. But what if the transportation itself is the true adventure? On the world’s most spectacular trains, boats, and vehicles, travellers can absorb all that a place and its people have to offer, while sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Travelling by train is an alluring way to explore a destination, hearkening back to an era of romance and sophistication. In Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, it’s one of my favourite ways to travel. Certain classic trains, like the Blue Train, the Shongololo Express, and the Shanghai Maglev Train go above and beyond the average train-riding experience, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Shanghai Maglev Train is the first and only commercially-operated magnetic levitation train in the world! Connecting the Pudong International Airport to the Shanghai Metro, the Maglev travels at an astonishing 480 km per hour. The incredible speed and technological sophistication of the Maglev makes a ride on this train more than a means to arrive in downtown Shanghai, it is a futuristic journey.

Suggested Itinerary:
3-Day Legendary Shanghai

Maglev train, Shanghai, China
Maglev train, Shanghai

The Blue Train in South Africa is one of the most luxurious trains in the entire world. The train primarily makes a 1,600 km journey from Cape Town to Pretoria, but also follows the scenic “Garden Route” from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Known for its total luxury, the Blue Train features butler service, gold tinted windows, and fully carpeted compartments with ensuites. The train has been described as a “moving five star hotel”, and over the years it’s hosted kings, presidents, and celebrities. The Blue Train covers the best of South Africa as it passes through spectacular mountain ranges, vast open desert, and lush savannah, offering travellers a breathtaking and unforgettable view of magnificent landscapes and wildlife. Look out the window at the right time and you can see giraffes and elephants dotting South Africa’s incredible vistas. It’s an experience to last a lifetime.

Suggested Itinerary:
2-Day Blue Train – Cape Town to Pretoria

Blue Train, South Africa
Blue Train, South Africa

The Shongololo Express in Southern Africa offers a romantic and classical journey through Southern and Eastern Africa. It passes through seven countries – South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Namibia – and offers day tours that allow travellers to disembark and explore each country they visit. Each day at dawn, the train arrives at a new and exciting destination. You will socialize with other travellers, and each night you’ll dine on authentic African dishes. The Shongololo Train runs three different routes – The Good Hope Tour, The Dune Express Tour, and the Southern Cross Tour.

Suggested Itineraries:
14-Day Shongololo Good Hope – Northbound
14-Day Shongololo Good Hope – Southbound
14-Day Dune Express – Eastbound
17-Day Shongololo Southern Cross – Southbound

Shongololo Express train
Shongololo Express train

Travelling by water allows us to move toward our destination while having a serene view of the vast ocean. In Australia, ferries like the Spirit of Tasmania, which travels from Melbourne to Devonport in Tasmania, offers amazing onboard amenities such as a cinema, fantastic food, and playrooms for kids. The ferry travels both night and day, offering a choice between overnight travel that allows you to sleep in either a deluxe cabin or a comfortable ocean recliner, or day travel that lets you take in a beautiful sunlit view of the ocean. In Tasmania, travellers can take in the awe-inspiring landscapes and quirky wildlife of the magnificent island.

Mersey Bluff Lighthouse in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia
Mersey Bluff Lighthouse in Devonport, Tasmania

Self-Drive Campervans
Also in Australia, travellers with Goway have the option of renting a “spaceship” campervan. These vehicles are designed for maximum fun and adventure. They provide everything a traveller needs, including a water supply, a chiller, storage space, internal table and chairs, a portable stove, a portable toilet, and fold out beds. The “spaceships” are known as the “swiss army knife of campervans” – they’re the perfect mode of transport for your self-drive Australia tour!

Spaceships campervan, Australia
Spaceships campervan

Thinking of a China tour? Visitors to Beijing can spice up their experience by exploring the city by rickshaw or tuk tuk. Rickshaws, which are two-wheeled, hooded vehicles, operated by a cyclist, can avoid traffic jams and allow travellers to take in the street scene as they pass through hutongs. Tuk tuks, which are essentially a rickshaw with a small engine added, offer the same advantages of rickshaws at a higher speed.

Suggested Itinerary:
Half Day Hutong Tour With Lunch – Beijing

Cycle rickshaw in Hutong area, Beijing, China
Cycle rickshaw in Hutong area, Beijing

So next time you’re planning a fantastic vacation, consider the various modes of transportation that offer unique sightseeing experiences, and climb aboard for an adventure you won’t forget!

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Carolyn Weppler
Carolyn Weppler

VP of Sales at Goway Travel -
Carolyn Weppler has tracked gorillas in Rwanda, been proposed to in Paris (she accepted, naturally!), and travelled to 70 countries, counting Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Russia, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan among her travel memories. Originally from Hong Kong, Carolyn lived in the UK before settling in Canada. A self-professed ‘foodie’ traveller, her favourite destinations are Nepal, Peru, Uganda, and anywhere else where she can roam local markets and experience new flavours.

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