Author Topic: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?  (Read 1135 times)

gshippey

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Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:49:16 PM »
I'm looking for a way to experience (and introduce my family to) the concept of car-free living. I had the idea of taking the week of spring break to travel to a very pedestrian / bike friendly area, getting an AirB&B there and trying to live normally including eating, recreation and shopping without a car. So I have two questions:

What do you think of this idea in general?

and

What locations would you suggest I consider for my trip?

Thanks in advance!

Hikester

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 04:08:20 PM »
Awesome idea btw. Many people don't need a car to live in cities like San Francisco and New York. In fact, a car in one of these cities is a hindrance. But I am not sure about other locations. Maybe others can chime in. You can also Uber it if you really need a car. I believe many people live very happy car free lives in large cities but housing costs are high.

mindy

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 04:53:25 PM »
I think this is a great idea. The easiest places to do this are definitely major cities. Bonus points if they have great public transportation. I would definitely research that as not all cities are created equally on the public transportation front. For instance Austin, TX is one of our favorite places to visit, but it has terrible public transportation. We had a hard time getting anywhere without resorting to taxis, which can be expensive. It is a fairly easy city to bike around if you're interested in that, though. (Also as a side note we haven't been there in a few years, so it might have gotten better...hopefully!) San Diego, CA, on the other hand, has great public transportation. For $5 a day or $15 for 4 days you can get unlimited transit passes which can get you almost anywhere you want to go.  It's also easy to cart bikes around on the trolleys and buses.

You can do this in more rural areas, but it's going to be more challenging. DH and I like to travel to rural areas without cars and it can be difficult, but half of the fun for us is trying to figure out how the heck we're going to get anywhere. After having lived in rural Japan for a few years with little public transportation and no car for half the time we were there, it became a game for us.

Mezzie

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 06:52:12 PM »
I've always loved public transit, but I'm pretty sure travel is what got my husband to enjoy it. Go for it! :)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 07:31:06 PM »
We spent a week in Montreal without a car. Great city to bike in,but also great public transit.

damyst

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 12:23:36 AM »
I'm looking for a way to experience (and introduce my family to) the concept of car-free living. I had the idea of taking the week of spring break to travel to a very pedestrian / bike friendly area, getting an AirB&B there and trying to live normally including eating, recreation and shopping without a car.

It almost sounds like you've never lived in a dense urban area. Is that true?
Especially outside North America, not only are they easily navigable without a car, but trying to get around by car would just slow you down.

Paris; London; Amsterdam; Frankfurt; Barcelona; Hong Kong; Seoul; Singapore; Sydney; Melbourne; and so on.
Amsterdam and more generally the Netherlands stand out especially: not only would a car be a massive liability in the city, but the bike-friendly zone encompasses literally the entire country.

Closer to home, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Manhattan come to mind.
Also, San Jose, CA. You wouldn't know it talking to most of the locals there, but the region has an excellent network of public transit and bike routes. The terrain is flat and the weather is mild. I spent a few months there without a car and didn't miss it at all.

Dee18

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 03:10:34 PM »
Washington, D.C. is another option, and all the Smithsonian museums are free, as is visiting Congress or the Supreme Court. 

ElleFiji

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Re: Travel as a way to understand car-independent living?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 03:23:52 PM »
Or...you could just stop using your/the car?

Not stopping your spouse or driving age children from using the car. Just not using it for you. I'm also not sure why you're considering car-free living. I don't have a car, but my life is far from car free. If I want to go to a place with a car person, and they want to drive, I can choose to meet them there, or I can be grateful for the offer of a ride, depending upon if the ride adds value to both my life and theirs. If you choose to give up your car, also make sure that you aren't skimping on responsibilities. If jobs like picking up kids and groceries are usually done in the car, make sure you still do them. Modern working life is slower without a car, errands are slower. But that doesn't excuse you from participating in life.

It sounds like something is making you unhappy with your car or using your car, and I hope you find a way to be happy.