After arriving at your final destination, issues related to transportation within a city begin to arise. What type of transportation makes most sense? Should you rent a car or rely on public transportation? Transportation depends on the age and amount of children, the length of your stay, what you plan on doing, and where you end up staying within the city.
As I stated in a previous article, it makes the most sense when traveling with children to stay as close to the city center as possible. This allows you to walk to many of the main tourist sites and to save money on public transportation. Furthermore, especially when in small cities and towns, it is important to check whether public transportation even exists in your location. Many small cities and towns in the United States don’t have public transportation although European small cities and towns usually do have some sort of public transportation.
If you are traveling by car to your final destination, it is up to you whether you want to use the car to get from Point A to Point B or whether you want to rely upon public transportation. If parking is readily available within the city, it might make more sense to use your car. However, if parking is not easily available throughout the city, parking your car at the hotel might make the most sense.
The amount of children traveling with you is also indicative of the kind of public transportation to use. If traveling with three or more children, it tends to be more cost effective to travel by taxi. Especially if traveling a distance of only a few miles or kilometers, the price of hiring a taxi far outweighs the use of public transportation.
It is important to reiterate the expectation of traveling on public transportation with children before traveling. This means explaining that they are expected to stay together, hold hands, stay close by, not wander, and follow their best behavior. This also means not being loud or causing a scene when traveling. Make sure your children stay close by you and are well-behaved. You don’t want them accidentally running into the street or onto the tracks
Furthermore, it makes sense to establish a meeting point ahead of time in case children do get split up. Assign a common place within a tube or bus stop. Reiterate that if the children become separated, they are expected to head to this location.
As always, planning ahead of time is the key to successfully navigating the public transportation system within a city or deciding what kind of transportation makes the most sense for your family. Important factors to take into consideration are the location of your hotel, the number of children traveling with you, the places you want to visit, and the duration of your visit. Look ahead of time at various fares and download applicable mobile apps. Public transportation is nothing to be fearful about…it just requires a bit of extra planning!