The Sardine Effect: Cast Cramped Travel Aside For These Spacious Alternatives

When you travel often, you get pretty sick of how cramped most travel options are. You certainly get to know the negative impact of what we call ‘the sardine effect’. It is what it sounds like, and anyone who’s been a budget flight for a long distance will know the pain. There’s nothing worse than experiencing claustrophobic frustration four hours into a ten-hour flight.

And, this squashed effect doesn’t only happen on flights. Cars are another popular method for getting places. And, these are also guilty of keeping you contained. With both options, you’re sure to reach a place where it’s near enough impossible to get comfortable. And, you can kiss goodbye to sleeping while you travel in these ways. Have you ever tried sleeping vertical? It’s far from easy.

The good news is, travel doesn’t have to be this way. While cheap flights are often the easiest option, shaking up how you travel is sure to serve you well. And, to help you do that, we’re going to take a look at a few of the less cramped options which are worth your attention.


We’ll start with boats. They’re a logical alternative, yet few people consider them. In truth, though, most trips like these won’t cost you any more than, say, a budget flight would. What’s more, you get all the space your heart could desire. Okay, that may be an exaggeration. But, you get more space here than you would on a cramped plane. If your legs get stiff during the trip, you can take a stroll on deck. If you get tired, you can head to your bed. Yes; you heard right. Most boats offer beds to overnight guests. Admittedly, budget options are little more than bunk beds in cramped spaces. But, even these are a Godsend for those of us who are used to vertical sleeping. In fact, it would be fair to say that one of the only downsides here is that boats are much slower than flights. We mean, MUCH slower. A trip which would take a couple of hours on a plane may take a day or two on the water. But, that shouldn’t be a problem if you embrace the journey as part of the experience. Unlike the distant views from a plane window, you’ll be right up close to other amazing countries as you go. And, they should be more than enough to make the extended journey worth your while.

Private jets

This may seem like jumping in at the deep end, but private jets are more accessible than you’d think. That’s especially the case if you’re traveling in a group and can split the cost between you. Obviously, your average traveler cannot afford a private jet to call their own. But, chartering planes is a much more affordable way to get that private experience. The costs here all depend on the type of aircraft, and also the length of your flight. You can click here to learn more or do a little research of your own. You may well find that you just can’t cover the costs of a long flight. But, if you and a group of friends want to visit another state, this could be the ideal way to do it with space to spare.


There are few travelers out there who don’t dream of heading off in a campervan or motorhome. Admittedly, the upfront cost here can be painful. But, this option also provides unlimited accommodation, on top of travel. It’s an option which will soon pay for itself. What’s more, these are fantastic for offering space. Whether you opt for an old VW, or something more modern, you can be sure the expanse of this vehicle will make all the difference. Even drivers in such options have plenty of space. And, those in the back will be spoilt for leg room. If you can save up the money, or even find rental options, this is a step well worth taking.

Open-topped bus

Bus tours are another fantastic way to travel across cities and even continents if you find the right tour. But, most bus options are pretty cramped. Which is why you should opt instead for an open-topped choice. Most major cities offer open-top tour buses which are sure to show you everything you need to see without constraint. You may not be able to stretch your legs here, but you will feel the wind through your hair. And, isn’t that the main thing?

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