Transportation Services and Modes of Transport

In human evolution, the earliest means of transport were walking, running and swimming. Before the Industrial Revolution and modernization, water transport was the most efficient method of transporting large quantities of goods over long distances though it was very slow and expensive. The importance of water transport led to the growth of cities along rivers and sea-shores where boats, canoes and ships could dock.

The domestication of animals and the invention of the sled gave way to early animal transport services. Horses and oxen were used from as early as 3000 BC to transport goods and humans and traveled over dirt tracks. Later civilizations such as the Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley built paved roads for easier transport.

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century turned transportation on its head. It was the age of many inventions that fundamentally changed the concept of transport. Communication, telegraphy, the steam engine and the steam ship sped global transport in all directions. Land transport became possible over large distances without the application of animal or human muscles. The Wright brothers’ successful experiments with aircraft paved the way for airplanes and air transport became a faster way to transport goods and people in shorter time-frames to further destinations.

Modes of transport

A ‘mode of transport’ is a method or solution that uses a particular type of infrastructure, operation and vehicle to transport people and cargo. A mode can be used by itself or in conjunction with several other modes; in this case it is referred to ‘intermodal’ or ‘multimodal’ transport. Each is distinct from the other and is used based on choice of factors like cost of transport, route taken, capability and so on.

1. Human-powered – this is the most common in developing and under-developed countries because of several factors like savings on cost, accessibility of location, physical exercise and environmental reasons. Human-powered transport is a sustainable form of transport and has recently been enhanced by the use of machinery and modern technology – e.g. cycling, skating, rowing, skiing which are extremely useful in difficult environments.

2. Animal-powered – whether ridden by humans or used as pack animals for movement of people and commodities, animals can work alone or in teams – e.g. mules, horse-carts, dog-sleds etc.

3. Air – airplanes and aircraft have reduced travel times considerably and is the fastest mode of passenger and goods transport. High costs and high energy use are the downsides of air transport; however, it is estimated that over 500,000 people travel in aero-planes at any given time.

4. Rail – Railroads and rail tracks run the length and breadth of every country in the world ferrying people and goods from place to place. Although they involve the use of large amounts of surface land, rail networks provide easy connectivity options within cities, within countries and between different countries as a mode of public transport- e.g. New York City Subway, London Metro, Eurotunnel or the Chunnel between England and France and the Euro Rail.

5. Road – road networks pass through cities, towns and villages and provide better connectivity options in addition to city rail networks and are ideal for public transport also. Road transport is entirely different from other modes as it allows a vehicle user to have complete freedom over speed, direction, timings of travel and change of location that other transport methods cannot provide. They require large surface areas, use high energy and are quite expensive.

6. Water – water transport includes barges, boats, sailboats and ships through canals, rivers and seas. The earliest boats and ships were routed through inland canals for transporting people and spices. Today large passenger and cargo ships provide an organized and efficient transportation method. Although the time involved is long, water transportation is significantly less expensive than air or road.

Other less used modes include cable and pipeline transports which are specifically purpose oriented – e.g. liquids and gases, water, sewage etc. for pipeline transport and conveyor belts, aerial tramways, cable cars etc. for cable transport.

All transport services involve three common elements – infrastructure such as terminals and facilities, operations that include government and private agencies and vehicles which are specifically made for the purpose.

Travel Insurance And Pregnancy – Dos And Dont’s

Many women make travel plans after they become pregnant, as they know that after the baby is born they will not have the time to travel. However, it is advisable to take the precautions and not take unnecessary risks, which would harm the unborn child and the mother too. Travel insurance at any time is necessary, but travel insurance and pregnancy is a completely new ball game.

Travel insurance will cover some of the risks involved in travelling during pregnancy. Though most people nowadays are quite casual about travelling during pregnancy, there are some risks involved. Insurance companies, in general, offer cover until the 28th week of pregnancy, but after that time, there are a few insurance companies which offer insurance cover. The premium on insurance during pregnancy is often more than what is payable on other insurance policies.

So what makes it different from other insurance covers? Almost all insurance companies classify travel during pregnancy as a high-risk cover. The main reason for the high-risk classification is that a pregnant woman is more likely to pick up some infection or develop some other complication which will need medical help. Sometimes, medical repatriation may also be required. That is why many of the general travel policies are clear that the woman returns to base at least eight weeks before the baby is due. If this criterion cannot be fulfilled, travel insurance cannot be availed.

Here are some points to remember about travel insurance and pregnancy.

1. Most of the insurance companies, which offer travel cover don’t cover pregnancy, as a general medical condition. You would have to check with your insurance company and find out what has to be done. Most of these companies offer travel insurance during pregnancy as an addition to the existing policy.

2. Travel insurance is very necessary, whatever mode of transport you choose.

3. If you are flying, make sure you inform the airline at the time of booking. Some airlines ask for a fitness certificate from the doctor, while some others will not issue tickets to women with medical conditions such as venous blood clots or who have a history of premature birth.

4. Make sure that the travel insurance covers the newborn, in the instance of a delivery on board.

When you think about travel insurance and pregnancy, there are some limitations which you have to consider.

1. Most insurance companies do not offer cover for multiple pregnancies.

2. Many policies will not cover any complication during travel, if the woman has conceived with the help of fertility drugs or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

3. If the woman has had medical problems during pregnancy, then it may not be possible to get cover.

4. If the woman has a history of complications during conception, pregnancy or delivery, insurance cover may be denied.

5. There will often be no cover available after the eighth month of pregnancy.

Most importantly, remember that travel policies do not usually cover a full term birth.

Travel Insurance – The Safest Way to Travel

The only way to see different countries and to experience their cultures is to travel to the country itself and depending on where your destination is, it can mean traveling from one end to the other, right across the globe. And while being away from the security and comfort of your home, certain form of protection against any mishaps is essential. Therefore, travel insurance is the safest way to see the world…!

Insurance ensures peace of mind and sees to any unexpected problems arising from your trip. You have the assurance that everything will be taken care of while abroad and problems such as losing your luggage or falling sick will be promptly attended to. Other types of problems such as delayed and flight cancellation, sickness, loss of personal belongings, theft and even accidents are also covered. In other words, insurance guarantees a worry-free holiday. On your part, all you need is to have sufficient coverage. There are many insurance companies in the market, offering various types of insurance policies with affordable rates. Below is a list of comprehensive insurance packages designed to meet the different requirements of travelers:-

(1) Annual travel insurance
(2) Single trip insurance
(3) Business travel insurance
(4) Adventure travel insurance
(5) Backpacker travel insurance
(6) Ski travel insurance
(7) Pre-existing medical insurance
(8) Over 64 travel insurance

Besides the above mentioned packages, coverage for hijackings and personal liabilities is also available. Be careful when disclosing personal information. Ensure that all particulars are truthful without withholding any information, especially on health matters. Any discrepancy will seriously affect the terms of the policy. In the event that the plan does not cover certain areas which are important to you, you can always request for add-ons to be included into your policy. And if there are any queries or doubts, do not hesitate to ask for further clarifications.

When deciding on the right insurance, it is advisable to make comparison with other insurance companies to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. You can either visit the insurance companies personally or if time is a constraint, you can check them out online. Remember not to rush into any decisions and take some time to seek out a insurance policy with maximum benefits that fits into your budget. Go for reputable and reliable insurance companies or online insurance provider as their services are generally better and more professional.

Car Rentals – Enjoy Your Next Vacation

As long as you know the basics of driving, you will find it hard to get into trouble when driving in San Francisco. If you are thinking of getting a vacation from work and the first place you can think of is visiting relatives or friends in San Francisco, then you are probably wondering right now how you can rent cars when you get there. San Francisco car rentals are some of the best when it comes to rental prices, benefits, etc. However, driving in that city means that you have to absolutely know the fundamentals. Read on for some of the basic guidelines that you need to be aware of regarding car rentals.


When reserving a car, make sure that you show up. If you fail to show up at the rental company, they’ll charge you with a fee that’ll most likely surprise you quite a bit. That’s why you should always cancel a reservation in advance if you’re not sure about your trip. Most car rental companies basically charge you for penalties, but some are more tolerant when it comes to standard rental cars. However, it’s best that you research their cancellation policies just to be sure.

Age Requirement

All San Francisco car rentals are exclusive only to a certain age group. Young drivers under the age of 21 are denied by all car rental companies in San Francisco. Some companies even have their limit at people who are 25 years of age. You will likely find that it is hard to look for a company that lets 25-below people drive their cars.

Credit/Debit Card Requirement

Nearly all car rental companies in San Francisco require credit or debit cards from their customers. The main reason, of course, is for the security deposit during the time of rental. However, if you don’t have such a card, there is an option available in which you can elect to obtain what is referred to as a “prepaid voucher” through an agency that specializes in travel. You would have to pay for the rental car at the agency, though. You can bring your voucher to the rental company and show them that you paid already. Some companies of San Francisco car rentals still require a credit/debit card as a deposit even if you have the voucher, so it’s best that you still bring one.

Clean Driving Record

It is absolutely vital that you have a good driving record. That means that you must have no records of drunk driving (or other DUI), grand theft auto, and other major offenses. All car rental companies will reject you if you have even one serious offense. Other San Francisco car rental companies even reject you for minor offenses, too. Usually, it’s the recent occurrences like moving violations, seat-belt tickets, and other accidents (whether it was your fault or not), that gets you rejected by the car rental companies, so make sure that you have a clean record.

Here’s a final piece of advice: Be responsible. San Francisco car rentals are just basically standard cars. They’re not for speeding. Even the high-end rental cars are still vulnerable, so it’s best that you drive safely. Rentals are simply there to help you make your vacations easier and to make you more comfortable. It is essential that you use caution when driving a rental and ensure that you care for the vehicle in an appropriate fashion.