public transportation

Transportation Strikes

Transportation Strikes 700 394 Greg Ellifritz

If you travel in the developing world, you’ll know that taxi and transportation strikes are stunningly common.  Have you prepared for one?  These travelers had to walk more than two miles from the airport to a location that wasn’t blockaded by striking taxi drivers in order to get to their hotels.  Can you carry your bags that far?  If not, you overpacked.

 

When I travel, I carry the Osprey Sojourner as my luggage.  It has very sturdy wheels as well as a set of hidden backpack straps and a hip belt in the event I am on rough terrain where the wheels won’t roll.

 

It’s not cheap, but it’s bulletproof and I can hike with it if necessary.

Brazilian tourist dies in taxi drivers’ blockade of Chilean airport

European Car Rental?

European Car Rental? 150 150 Greg Ellifritz

When I travel, I rarely rent cars.  Driving is a hassle in many countries.  Driving is exceptionally dangerous in others.  For me, relying on public transportation has always been my go-to method for foreign travel.

With that said, I realize some of my readers would rather have the freedom associated with renting their own cars on vacation.  If you are moving around a lot on your holiday, it may be more convenient to drive yourself.

I found this article to be exceptionally valuable.  It covers all aspects of European car rental.  Most of the tips are also useful for other continents as well.  If you are considering renting a car in a foreign country, it will be a useful resources.

 

Everything You Need To Know Before Renting A Car In Europe

 

European Train Travel

European Train Travel 719 677 Greg Ellifritz

I’ve done overnight trains in South America and South East Asia.  I think it’s actually a pretty fun way to travel (if you bring your own food and alcohol).

I would certainly do some of these new European routes.  Check out the article below to see how sleeper train service is being improved in Europe.

 

New Sleeper Train Services Announced Across Europe

Subway Platform Safety

Subway Platform Safety 1200 600 Greg Ellifritz

Living in a city without a subway, I had no idea about the crime trend where people push victims onto the tracks.

 

Read about this kind of crime and how to prevent it in the article below.  And be careful on subway platforms.

 

My Somewhat Freakish Travel Habit Might Just Save Your Life

 

Fighting Against the Odds

Fighting Against the Odds 620 465 Greg Ellifritz

Read the story below:

In Kenya, Al-Shabab gunmen slay 28 bus passengers who could not recite an Islamic creed

 

A band of 20 Islamist terrorists armed with automatic weapons tried to stop a bus filled with local citizens in Kenya. The driver heroically kept driving. The terrorists raked the bus with gunfire before bringing it to a stop by using an RPG round.

 

Terrorists quickly take control and separate Muslims from non-Muslim passengers. The non-Muslims were ordered to lie face down on the road as they are systematically shot in the back of the head.

 

This story hit me pretty hard. I’ve spent a lot of time on buses just like this one riding through rural Kenya.   It could have very easily been me on that bus.  This is one of the few “unwinnable” scenarios that everyone will occasionally face. You are unarmed and have no friends on the bus with you.  Have you considered what you might do?

 

I find it curious here that no one tried to fight or escape. Odds of winning are non-existent when facing 20-1 superior numbers, but why not try? You know you will be killed if you comply. There is a small chance you will get away if you fight or flee. The choice is pretty clear to me.

 

I’m going to use my folding knife to get one of terrorists’ guns and I’m going to take as many out as possible. I’ll probably be killed, but I’ll most certainly be killed otherwise. Who knows, with dumb luck it’s possible that I survive.

 

In any event, every terrorist I kill will reduce the chance that innocent people will be targeted in the future. My attack may also provide the distraction needed for a couple other  people on the bus to escape.  If more people fought back, these terrorists might start thinking twice about targeting civilian passenger vehicles.  If I’m going to die anyway, I may as well make my death as meaningful as possible.  Laying in the dirt as I get shot in the back doesn’t accomplish that goal.

 

I can’t tell you what to do if you are thrust into a situation like this.  I can tell you that there are a few times when compliance has a very poor record for ensuring your safety.  In my study of events like this terrorist attack, I’ve noticed some very clear trends.  If the terrorists/criminals start doing any of the following, your chances of survival are extremely low:

1) They start killing hostages

2) They order people to the ground

3) They start searching hostages for weapons

4) They start restraining people

5) They move people to another location

 

Those are my “go” signals.  I may fight.  I may flee.  I may make up some other strategy on the fly.  But when those things start happening, I know I won’t meekly comply.

 

Unfortunately, no one on the bus thought like I do. Have you considered what you might do in a similar “against all odds” situation?  You should.  Because if you don’t develop your “go triggers” in advance, you’ll end up just like all the poor folks on that bus in Kenya.

 

 

Kenyan security forces and others gather around the scene on an attack on a bus about 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside the town of Mandera, near the Somali border in northeastern Kenya, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, attacked the bus in northern Kenya at dawn on Saturday, singling out and killing 28 passengers who could not recite an Islamic creed and were assumed to be non-Muslims, Kenyan police said. (AP Photo)