It’s a moment so many of us remember fondly. Your bags are packed. You have your passport. Your’e leaving for the airport. You’ve been counting down the days and nights for some time but finally it’s time for the next chapter in your travel diary. What goes through most of our minds during this time? Is it the experiences waiting for us when we reach our destination? maybe the people we’ll meet by chance and the things we’ll see that’ll stay in our minds forever.
Imagine another way, where the journey was an marvellous adventure all by itself. This is overland travel.
Overland travel can take you anywhere you desire in a country or continent, without crossing water or taking to the skies. Reach wherever you desire using any means of transport you prefer. Historically, people have covered seriously long distances on all kinds of transport from motorcycles, cars and trains, to bicycles, skateboards and even those that have walk from one country to the next!
There is something special that unites overland travellers across the globe, it’s the reason we all do it – the thrilling experience you get when you see the landscape evolve from point A and point B. The freedom you have to make a stop wherever you choose, and make a detour from your regular route. It involves organising transport that will get you about.
Let’s take a look at some available options for overland travel.
Types of overland travel
Don’t let your creativity be limited! There are more options for land travel than you can shake a stick at!
- Trains – A massive amount of Europe can be explored using the extensive rail network that covers the continent. The most popular option for decades has been Interrail – it’s so old even my parents used it! It’s a fantastic option if you want the freedom of hopping on-and-off whenever you choose. Travel in a safe and enjoyable manner with the added bonus of meeting excited fellow travellers along the way!
- Driving vehicles – If a roadtrip sounds like you, why not plan a journey and take your car, motorcycle or campervan on an expedition! Helpful services like viaMichelin and Bing Maps can help you create your dream journey. If you are a motorcyclist or driving enthusiast and want to find some really saucy roads instead of the monotonous highways, why not try Kurviger?
- Coaches and buses – Long-distance coach travel is a practical and affordable way to travel internationally, removing the hassle of having to drive if that’s what you wish. Also it allows you to escape the higher ticket prices of rail travel and at the same time you get to meet lots of other travellers interested in the same places you are! I don’t have experience using coaches outside of Europe, so for other international destinations you will have to research which companies can take you where you need to go. For getting around Europe why not have a look at some of the deals from FlixBus or Eurolines.
- Hitchhiking – Okay so it does seem a bit old-fashioned and it can carry a certain level of risk, but doesn’t all adventure? For the more daring of you that want to save the most money possible hitchhiking has proved itself to be a free way of getting about. Of course the downsides are you could be waiting for your next lift for a long time, and you will have to be very certain in who you decide to accept lifts from. Because I can’t speak from experience in this area, why not check out this complete guide to hitchhiking by Adventure in You.
- Cycling – It sounds crazy – and that’s because it is! There are daring explorers out there who have pedalled their way through different countries, and not in any effort to save the planet either! I’ve been lucky enough to meet more than a few keen cyclists while motorcycle touring around Europe that have amazed me and made my journeys seem easy in comparison. This was including one who had cycled from Norway to Czechia without a single puncture! You can use quite a lot of the road systems to complete your journey, minus any highways and if you look around and plan your journey a bit more you can surely find endless dirt-road trails and picturesque canals to follow to make your journey more interesting!
Our favourite way to travel
Our ultimate mode of transport is the motorcycle. We love to ride through countries and explore every nook and cranny we desire. We don’t plan our routes too much at all, often we have a final destination in mind and are totally open to any detours along the way – that’s our namesake afterall! We like to navigate according to the terrain a lot so we won’t often be missing out on mountains, lakes, forests or other treasures nearby!
When riding for weeks and weeks it does mean we have to be more equipped than other kinds of travel and that can mean carrying more luggage – but above all, we enjoy the feeling of being able to turn away from our main route immediately and go to explore anything that catches our eye.
It’s also the spontaneous nature of long-distance driving that makes them a lot of fun. You can encounter such a variety of situations that you really never know what could happen next. We have dodged angry dogs trying to dethrone us in Romania, rode at night on the high-speed autobahns in Germany, and have both almost fallen off of the motorcycle whilst trying to drop some litter in a dumpster on-the-move, in Bulgaria. You will find interesting places along the way that distract you from your final destination. When it comes to exploring, we love to get distracted!
Detours are definitely a good thing if time is not a concern, sometimes you could find that you enjoy the journey more than the destination.
So if you haven’t tried an overland adventure yet and want to experience something new and fantastic, do some research on destinations and get planning your next trip now!
If you have any questions regarding overland travel, don’t be shy! Leave us a comment and we will do our best to help you out.