Save Money: Consider Other Options for Traveling

Let’s assume that you own a car and drive it everywhere. It’s very convenient, isn’t it? Just start it, push the pedal and steer yourself to your destination, being careful not to run over anyone. But the rising cost of gasoline (or petrol) has made you think about alternative modes of transportation. Are there cheaper ways of getting around that allow you to show the finger to OPEC (the organization of the petroleum exporting countries)? Well, let me help you decide if any of these options are suitable for you.

1. Walking. This is something that you probably did in the past and something you can definitely re-learn. Don’t be afraid to try it again. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you arrive at your destination. Walking may seem like an inefficient way of getting from Point A to Point B, but many people are quite good at it. In 2012, a Chinese man named Chen Ding took a brisk walk around London when he suddenly heard a lot of cheering. Unbeknownst to him, the Olympics were taking place and he had won a gold medal. He was a hit on Chinese social media: the name Chen Ding was trending and subjected to much friending.

2. Running. In ancient times, people did a lot of running. But these days, if you see someone running, they are probably doing it for sport, exercise or to escape a dog. Politicians are good at running for office, but never to the office. Many people run to catch: catch a bus, catch a train or catch a thief. I do not recommend running after thieves, but I do recommend running in general, as long as your doctor says it’s okay and you are under the age of 100. Even 111-year-old Fauja Singh, the great British Sikh marathoner, limits himself these days to running a hot bath.

3. Wheels under your feet. Many youngsters, particularly in the western world, move around by putting wheels under their feet. Rollerblades and skateboards are self-propelled, while hoverboards and scooters use batteries to propel their users forward. If you enjoy balancing yourself on wheels, one of these contraptions may be perfect for you, but please wear a helmet and please make sure you look up occasionally from your cellphone.

4. Cycling. My favorite way to balance on wheels is the bicycle. It’s a great way to move around, get exercise and help the environment. Once you learn to ride, you never forget it. But if you wait too long between rides, you may forget the combination of your bicycle lock.

5. Two-wheelers. Motorbikes, motor scooters and mopeds are quite popular in India and other parts of the world. If you’re trying to save money on gas, a motorbike is a good option, but safety is important. Before putting your wife and four children on your motorbike, please make sure they’re all wearing helmets. And get one for the dog, too.

6. Public transportation. Unless you are very lucky, the bus will not stop right in front of your house – and neither will the train. You may have to do a little bit of walking or running. Using public transportation saves you money, helps reduce pollution, and allows you to travel with strangers. Traveling with strangers can be quite pleasant, as long as their hands don’t travel too close to you or your belongings.

7. Electric car. They’re still quite expensive, but if you can afford one, more power to you. Don’t forget to plug it in every night and unplug it every morning. And don’t get too excited when you’re on the highway and see a billboard for “Premium Outlets.”

8. Taxis, auto-rickshaws and ridesharing. These are good options for occasional trips, but not daily commutes. You’d be paying for the fuel as well as the driver. One benefit, however, is that you’d be able to do a little work or reading during the trip. You may even be able to take a short nap, if you can get the driver to stop yakking.

9. Horse-drawn carriage or bullock cart. If you live in a rural area, this might be an option for you. But if you’re complaining about the price of gas, just wait until you see what people are paying these days for hay. Trust me, OPEC isn’t quite as greedy as OHEC. Just ask the two eastern European farmers, Oleg and Olek.

Oleg: “Which is worse, OPEC or OHEC, Olek?

Olek: “Oh heck! Why do you keep asking inane questions, Oleg?”

Oleg: “I agree, Olek.”

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