In the past, travelling from one place to another wasn´t so easy. People usually used to travel on foot, on a horseback, in carriages, and later in trains. Nowadays, people often must travel every day. Of course, travelling today is also a kind of entertainment.
There are many people who must travel every day because of their job or because of school. We call them commuters. They aren´t only students, who usually commute, but they are also businessmen or people from small villages. Businessmen must often travel because of concluding some contracts. Each summer or winter many people travel to foreign countries because of their holidays. In the summer, the seashores are very attractive, and in the winter, the mountains attract many tourists. They want to rest, maybe also have fun, do some sports, and so on. Some people also want to get to know other people or learn about foreign cultures. They usually visit interesting places like Nepal, Tibet, or South America. It´s their hobby. There are however also many less poetic reasons, why people must to travel in today´s world. I mean, for example, wars, natural disasters, and sometimes also racial conflicts. People often must leave the place, where they were born and which they love, and move to another country, where the situation is safer. It´s very sad, and I think that it is also a big problem of today´s society.
In our country, I think travelling is very popular. After the year 1989, we can travel everywhere, where we want to. It´s great. There are many commuters. I think that Czechs very much like the so-called package holiday. It is maybe more expensive than travelling on one’s own, but I think that it is also more comfortable. Package holiday includes accommodation, transport to the place of the holiday and back, food, insurance, and the service of a courier. Sometimes it can include some trips or other entertainment. It is usually arranged by a travel agency. I think that it has got many advantages mainly for families with small children or for retired people. Travelling through our country and hitch-hiking is also very popular. Many people have got cottages, where they go every weekend. The business reason for travelling grows and also many students must go to the big cities like Prague, Ostrava, or Pardubice because their universities are only there.
The Czech Republic today is also a very attractive place for a holiday. It is mainly Prague, which attracts most tourists. There are many beautiful sights of interest and the never-to-be-forgotten atmosphere in Prague. I mean mainly the Lesser Town and the Old Town. Also Czech mountains like the Krkonoše or the Šumava are visited by many tourists, mainly from Germany, Poland, or Austria. Other reasons for travel can be different cultural events, which are taking place somewhere else. For example, the film festival in Karlovy Vary or music festivals like Prague Spring, Rock for People, or Trutnov Open Air. A big advantage for people visiting our country are the prices. Everything here is quite cheap and, of course, we can produce the best beer.
I have already said that in the past people usually travelled on horseback. It was maybe cheaper and more adventurous, but I can imagine more comfortable means of transport. Today we have got more modern technologies. There is public transport, which is very important in big cities. It is quicker because there are often traffic-jams, and it is also more friendly to the environment. The kinds of public transport are the underground – in the Czech Republic we can use it only in Prague – trams, trolley buses, and buses. Buses transport people for quite short distances, mainly for commuting. Sometimes people travel by bus to foreign countries, so they travel by coach. In London, there are typical red double-decker buses. You only have to buy a ticket. Taxis are maybe more comfortable, but at the same time also more expensive. American cabs have got a typical yellow color, and in England the taxis look like historical black cars. We can use them even in small villages and even at night and I think that it is a big advantage. For commuting we can also use trains. The express trains are expensive, but very fast and time means money! We can travel in business class or in economy class, where it is cheaper. A big disadvantage of trains is changing trains at interchange stations. We can make a mistake and it is very unpleasant, almost like never-ending waiting at platforms. We must buy a ticket, either a single ticket or a return ticket. We use the single ticket if we want to go from one place to another, and if we want to go back, we use the return ticket. People must be careful on their departures and arrivals. During the journey, our ticket is checked by a conductor. Nowadays, people can also travel by planes. It is fast, and usually for international transportation. I think that it is dangerous. After taking off, people cannot smoke or use mobile phones. It is very comfortable and luxurious though. During the long journey, people get some food, which is included in the flight ticket. There are also cargo planes. People can choose first or second class according to the price. Before taking off and after landing, people must go through check points and their luggage must go through x-ray checks. The flight can be delayed or even cancelled. People can read about it on information boards. People can, of course, travel by ship, which is typical for example in the British Channel. Passengers are transported by ferry, but now they can also travel in a tunnel. Bikes or motorbikes are very popular mainly among young people. The most typical mean of transport is still a car, and I think that almost everyone has got his own car.
If people travel to other places, they must have someplace to stay. Businessmen or people on their holiday usually stay in hotels. That is comfortable. They can stay also in motels or bungalows. People often choose self-catering-villas for their holiday. It is a place, usually a house or a flat, where they cook alone. Young people usually choose hostels. It is cheaper and it is the main advantage for them. Students usually stay in dorms their studies. It is a kind of hostel. The second kind is a B&B, which means bed and breakfast. It is very cheap. Some people also love always sleeping in a tent. I think camping is romantic. Recently, young people also sleep in the open air under the stars, which is typical for some summer music festivals.
If people travel from one state to another, that they need valid passports. Customs officers are quite hypersensitive about it. Sometimes people must also have a visa, which you can get at an embassy. Czechs need visas for example for entry into the USA, New Zealand, or the Ukraine. If people travel to exotic countries, it is important to have vaccinations for example against malaria, etc. Of course, we should also have some money. We must exchange money into the proper currency at an exchange office or in the bank. If we travel for a longer time, we usually have got a few pieces of luggage with clothes, food, and so on. Businessmen usually hold suitcases, ladies handbags, and young people rucksacks or bags. Everyone should keep within the weight limits.