Convenience means that plane flights are the go-to option for travellers the world over. They allow you to cover vast distances incredibly quickly, and are getting cheaper and cheaper every year.

But there are times when there’s nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way. Overland travel, be it by bike, car, bus or train, can make travel all the better. Why? Here are five incredibly compelling reasons. 

Overland travel is less regimented

The structured nature of plane flights don’t give you much flexibility. You need to be at the airport at exactly the right time with exactly the right amount of luggage and exactly 100ml or less of liquids. If you want a sleep in or a few extra days in a place it’ll cost you dearly. Overland transport is generally far less regimented, and allows you to change your plans easily on the fly.

You get to check out the landscape

The view out of a plane window is almost always the same – a white sheet of clouds, a blue sheet of ocean, or a green sheet of unidentifiable land. If you travel overland, however, you are treated to exciting views of a country’s landscape. You get a true sense of what an area is about, and the resulting photos will often more than pay for the extra time you spend going from A to B.

You’ll meet the proper locals (and experience how they travel)

While airports are generally situated near large urban centres and tourist hotspots, overland transport hubs are often not. By taking a bus or train you’ll find yourself travelling through areas that are less affected by the outside world – that are more legitimate and real. The people you find there will generally be more interested in your story, and happier to share theirs. You also get to experience how the locals travel.  

It can be a lot cheaper

Overland travel is traditionally far cheaper than air travel, particularly over short distances. If you take an overnight bus from one side of a country to the other it will probably cost you less than $50, but if you do the same trip in a plane you’re likely looking at $200 (and have to pay for the night’s accommodation on top of that). Unless you’re flying for hours and hours, overland travel is the inexpensive option.

You’ll come out of it with fantastic stories

When was the last time you came out of a plane flight with an exciting story? Can I suggest it might have been a little while? While many will consider that an excellent thing – safety is paramount in air travel – the more adventurous of you will know that you’re far more likely to have an amazing time if you travel overland. If your focus is on the journey just as much as the destination, overland travel is for you!