Getting around for less (originally published with The Shoestring.com)


Getting Around for Less

With high gas prices now it helps to know how to get around for less money. There are so many options; all you have to do is choose.

If you are travelling within a given city, check out AutoShare. You can rent a car by the hour and bring it back at many convenient locations within your city. This is great if you are planning to do grocery shopping because you have an army to feed or a hurricane is coming, either one. You may have somewhere special to go with someone special and need the wheels to impress. Whatever is your fancy? To find out more about this service, please visit www.autoshare.com.

Another possibility is Craigslist in the San Francisco Bay area. They have Rideshare lists for many cities around the world. This works similar to AutoShare where you have to pay. But, if you are looking for something for free Berkeley has a free rideshare program for people who commute across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. Many universities have services like these, so check your bulletin boards.

In Quebec, there is Allostop. This service is great. When a former chum and me where living in different cities, this was my primary mode of transportation to see him. Unfortunately, I have been banned from Allostop because I got into an argument with one of the drivers over the fact he was late and I did not want to pay. I was young and hot-headed. I hope I know have my chance to make amends and promote this great service. I advise anyone using these services to pack your anger in your bags.

Many youth hostels around the world, especially the beautiful ones in Germany and through many parts of Europe, have free rides or rides posted for low fees up on their bulletin boards. You never know who you may get, so use this one with caution. If you are travelling in a group, you are less likely to get into trouble.

Caution aside, traveling with rideshare programs or renting a vehicle can be a great way to meet people. If you do not need to get to your destination in a hurry, there are other ways to get around.

September 22nd is a day where everyone is encouraged not to bring their cars to work. Everyone is encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation. If you hunt at places like garage sales you can find great deals on bikes. What is the sense investing in something expensive when it could get stolen? September, October, April and May are great months to bike because they tend to be cooler. This applies to colder climates.

If biking is not your style, then rollerblading, skateboarding, running and walking are also great alternatives. A good pair of comfortable shoes and it can be amazing what distance you can cover in a relatively short period of time. Just recently, I covered the span of two neighbourhoods in four hours with my friend. It was great!

Last but not least, public transport is always a good option. Even that guy from that terrific movie Crash managed to make it on the bus after dismissing it.

If you have got a car fetish like me and you don’t have a car J, you can always live out your fantasies by reading the automotive sections of many papers. This could also help you make an informed decision about the type of car you would like to rent or ride in. As well, make sure to keep up-to-date with auto safety news to find out how some of these cars test out in crash tests.

Enjoy the ride!

Donna Kakonge is a professor and journalist in Toronto. Her website is: http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged is where you can find her seven books. She is an eighth book that will published in 2008.

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4 Comments on “Getting around for less (originally published with The Shoestring.com)

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