8 unusual ways to travel the world

Planes, trains, and automobiles – three of the most common ways out there to get around – but there’s plenty of other (sometimes better) ways to travel.

Tuk Tuk Indonesia

One of the largest parts of travelling is the journey, so instead of spending that time stuck in an airport or staring out the window of a bus, try one of the following methods of travel for a more unique and exciting experience.

We’ve created a list of 8 unusual ways to travel the world for the most adventurous travel enthusiasts, offering a little more of an outside-the-box experience than your standard economy air.

1. Walking

Walking might not be the first method you consider when planning to travel the world, but it was for Tom Turcich.

Walking by a Food Truck

He left his home in New Jersey, USA in April of 2015, planning to walk for five years, traversing across all seven continents. When a close friend of his passed away as a teenager, Tom decided that his mission in life was to make every day count, thus leading to his decision to walk around the world. 

Today, he is still walking with his adopted pup Savannah, and you can follow their adventures on Instagram @theworldwalk.

2. Cycling 

Another way to travel the world while getting a workout is cycling. When it comes to biking and travel there are a few different options.

Bicycle parked up

The first – and most obvious – is simple enough: just grab your bike, get on it, and go! Obviously, there is more planning and logistics involved, but that’s the basic premise. However, if you don’t feel prepared enough for that, or it sounds a little lonely, many companies offer group biking tours! 

You can do these all around the world, including Europe, and they incorporate sightseeing and other tours such as wineries, breweries, and even trips based around cheese tastings!

3. Cargo Ship 

If the idea of being stuck on a cruise ship with 2000 other passengers doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps freighter travel might be a better option.

Cargo Ship from Above

Cargo ships save space for around only 12 passengers, and it can be an amazing way to see the world. 

For example, freighters travelling from New Zealand to Singapore stop at most of the Pacific islands along the way, often for 2-3 days each. While you have to be willing to be flexible about your dates and stops, this method of travel will allow you to see many different places, and even do an entire around-the-world trip without having to step foot on a plane!

4. Train 

Train travel is a pretty common way to get around, especially throughout Europe and Asia.

Train through hills

That being said, there are some unique trains out there as well, including a suspension train in Germany that hangs from trusses. 

For a real-life example of train travel, check out the adventures of Temujin Doran, photographer, traveller, and filmmaker. He decided to travel around the world without using an aeroplane, and his travels include both train and cargo ship travel. You can follow him on @studiocanoe on both Instagram and YouTube.

5. Hot Air Balloon

If you want to avoid the lineups, smells, and cramped seating of standard air travel, try flying via hot air balloon!

Hot Air Balloon

Not only do you get to enjoy the sensation of the wind on your face, but you’re also guaranteed an amazing view no matter where your travels take you.

While Turkey is probably the most famous destination for hot air balloon travel, you can also float above the Loire Valley, check out the mountains in Gstaad, Switzerland, and even look down on the big animals in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

6. Virtual Tours

During a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions, travel is something that has become nothing more than a memory for a lot of people.

Virtual Travel

Thankfully, in a day and age where technology is advancing faster than most can keep up with, you now have the option to travel without even leaving your couch.

If you feel like a cultural experience, check yourself into a virtual tour of the Louvre, in Paris, or the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. For a little bit more action, log on to the San Diego Zoo to check out what the animals are getting up to. 

If Earth just isn’t doing it for you, you can also pull up a 360° view of Mars, or get a tour of the International Space Station via NASA’s website.

7. Motorcycle 

Channel your inner Che Guevara by hopping astride a motorcycle for your next adventure.

Motorcycle Travel

Travelling by motorcycle will allow you to get up close and personal with the streets, cities, and sights of the countries you are travelling in. Just make sure you know the rules of the road first! 

For more tips on travelling by motorcycle, learn from an expert! YouTube content creator Alex Chacon has done a number of epic journeys, including biking from Alaska to Argentina in 500 days. You can follow his adventures on his website modernmotodiaries.com, or check him out on YouTube under his own name.

8. Hitchhiking 

One of the oldest methods of travel, hitchhiking is an easy and cheap way to get from one destination to another—or even to one you hadn’t initially planned on visiting.

Hitchhiking

It offers a unique way to really connect with people while you are on your journey, allowing you to get up close and personal with the local culture.

That being said, when it comes to hitchhiking it is obviously important to take appropriate safety measures. Never get into a vehicle with someone who gives you a bad vibe or who makes you feel uncomfortable.

It is generally not recommended that women travellers hitchhike solo, for obvious reasons. There are hitchhiking groups online where travellers post looking for hitch buddies to help them travel safely. 

The most unusual ways to travel the world

If you want to avoid the costs and hassles of travelling by plane, or maybe you simply want more of an adventure, there are plenty of other ways to embark on the journey of a lifetime! 

Our shortlist of 8 of the most unusual ways to travel the world is only a taste of the many unique methods people are using to get around and explore. With the world becoming more open and accessible, it is getting easier and easier to find new ways to experience it, and harder to come up with excuses not to! 

The next time a friend, family member, or partner tells you they are afraid of flying, offer one of these travel ideas instead!

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