8 Great Reasons Why You Should Join The Flightless Travel Movement

Tressa Sanders @ Travel Star Magazine


Where do I start? 

Well, let’s start with the good stuff…

Planes can get you from A to B fast and you won't have to take out a loan or turn tricks on the Ave. to take advantage of it. However, in my humble opion, the benefits stop there. 

Planes are definitely not my favorite way to travel and the issues I have with flying are typical.

1. I don't like worrying about overweight luggage fees. I'm constantly weighing my bags every time I add something.

2. I don't like worrying about baggage restrictions. It’s beginning to feel like you can only travel with the clothes on your back these days.

3. I don't like long waits in line for check-ins or security.

4. I don't like intimidating staff who should greet you with a smile not a scowl.

5. I don't like getting half naked for security (at least it’s starting to feel like it anyway).

6. I don't like delays and cancellations. They are painful when you’re flying.

7. I don't like ticketing issues. Boy, do they make it hell to fix them sometimes.

8. I don't like people with their dirty feet on every damn thing (if this is you, stop it!).

9. I don't like people doing nasty or rude things near me. You can not escape them on a plane.

10. I don't like having to make a real “life” decision about going to the bathroom (even the thinnest person will have to shimmy into the slot they call a bathroom).

11. I don't like being crammed into a row of small seats with strangers who don't want to be there either.

12. I don't like sitting on a plane for hours at a time. Period.

Full-Time Expedition & Adventure Travel. - Bounceplan.com

For me, there is simply nothing fun or enjoyable about flying. It’s a travel chore. I can’t recall one flight that I thought was actually “fun”. I get it. They are just trying to get you to your destination as fast as possible. So you endure the hassle and boredom. 

But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could get from point A to point B and have fun doing it? It might take longer but you know the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun”. It’s so true! When you make the trip to your destination a unique journey of its own, you will enhance your overall travel experience. You can achieve this by skipping the plane ride and embracing flightless travel.

 So, what is this flightless travel movement I've been going on about? A fun thing I made up. Just kidding… a little bit. Well, flightless travel has always been a thing. For example, a search for “flightless travel” on Goggle is how I found out cargo ship cruises were a thing. So there’s nothing new there. However, I feel flightless travel is indeed a movement and that it has already begun. More and more people are choosing slow, overland or sea travel and here are eight great reasons why you should too.

1. The journey to your destination is its own unique experience. When you have to carefully plan the trip to your destination, you learn more and the journey becomes a “trip” within itself.

2. You get to choose who you travel with. The quality of your journey increases when you decide exactly who will join you and when. Your travel partner is no longer a roll of the dice.

3. It can be cheaper than flying. Depending on where you’re headed, some flights are expensive. If you consider costs like extra baggage fees and overweight baggage fees, those costs add up quickly. Let me give you a example that I’m still salty about to this day… 

In 2007, I went to Germany and Ireland. I flew from New York city to Germany where I spent some time and then I flew from Germany to Ireland where I was planning to film a documentary. I had one large piece of luggage for my clothes and some of my filmmaking gear. I made it to all of my destinations with no problem.

However, for my return flight from Ireland back to Germany using the same airline I used to get from Germany to Ireland, I was hit with an INSANE overweight baggage fee. The woman at the check-in counter asked me for 350 Euros with a straight face… like what she just asked me for wasn’t crazy as hell.  I’d only paid about 70 Euros for the actual plane ticket. I was sick to my stomach. If it were stuff I didn’t care about, I’d have left the bag but it was my film gear. I had to take that roundhouse kick to the pocket. 

4. You have control over your own safety and the methods used to protect yourself. We’re all familiar with the painful process of going through airport security. You don’t have to endure the torture of it when using flightless travel methods. You may have to deal with border crossing inspections, etc. when you’re driving across borders but it’s not the same (although it may be it’s own monster at times). However, when using most flightless travel methods, you’ll have no such issues and you can do your own safety preparations for your trip. I love prepping for safety.

5. You can take your time getting from A to B. When I told everyone I was headed to South America aboard a cargo ship and that it would take 8 days to get there, they all asked why didn’t I just take a plane. My response was always “Do I have somewhere to be”? I mean, seriously. I quit my job, sold everything and was moving to South America. I think it was safe to say, I was free of time-dependent obligations. That was the whole point of the move. 

Since Bounce Plan is all about living a full-time adventure travel lifestyle, you are less likely to have time-dependent obligations (except those you impose upon yourself). Take your time. Travel by land or sea and have a great adventure!

6. You have control over almost every detail of your trip. This is a true delight if you jump with delirious glee (like I do) when you get to plan road trips, train trips, bicycle routes, etc. It is actually a great way to teach children how to become great navigators and planners as well as a wonderful way for you to learn navigation and planning skills. 

I used to drive across country before GPS units were affordable so I relied heavily on maps and driving directions from Mapquest back when it was the hottest thing on the internet. Ha! But even Mapquest had its quirks early on so I still had to buy and learn how to read printed maps for my trips. This was also back when CB radios were still king and you could ask for help from truckers too…. Ahhhhh the good ole days. It was so much fun being on the road and still is!

7. You get to meet locals and other travelers along the way. My first taste of flightless travel were the train trips from Florida to Baltimore we took almost every Christmas when I was growing up. I remember my mother chatting with other people about our trip and their trip along the way. She didn’t know these people but it was like they were old friends once they got to talking about their trips. These are experiences you rarely have if flying. Sure, you can talk to the people in your row when on the plane but many people just want to relax and get the flight over with. When we were on the train, we could get up and move around and meet people in the dining car.

When you are on the road, you can stop anywhere you like and chat with locals, do local activities and meet other travelers. You can learn what you have in common, where they’ve been and where they’re going. Again, the journey is its own unique experience.

8. You can easily adjust your travel plans. Remember 5 and 6? When you use flightless methods to travel, you are often not bound by time frames not set by yourself. It’s a little different with train and ship travel but there is still more flexibility than flying; especially if you get a railpass. You may impose your own trip dates and times but they can be adjusted at will; usually without fear of losing too much. Sometimes you do have to consider hotel dates and times just like you would when flying but you can also deal with more flexible accommodations or camp, etc. which is pretty fun and amazing as well. The point is, you have more control over your transportation method when using flightless travel and will have more flexibility over when you get from A to B.

Full-Time Expedition & Adventure Travel. - Bounceplan.com

So, while plane travel is necessary at times, there are so many other great options for reaching your destination. Getting there by land or sea can help you have the most amazing travel experiences. The journey itself should be just as memorable as the rest of your trip.  

Do you want to join the Flightless Travel Movement?

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