Work out the ticket system

Some buses require pre-paid tickets before you get on, some have conductors and some require exact change be given to the driver. Do a little research before you get on a bus, tram or ferry to be sure you know how to pay.

Now look at the city map

Sometimes the city map and actual physical location bear no resemblance to one another. London’s iconic Underground map is a prime example. Stations that require two line changes on the Underground can be within easy walking distance if you rise above ground and walk. Become familiar with how the train stations relate to the streets above ground.

Make sure you know how to validate a ticket

Some transport systems will sell you a ticket that is not valid until you place it in a machine at the station, or on the bus or tram. Watch the locals and work out how to do this or you could be facing hefty fines.

Remember your backpack!

If you are backpacking, remember that your backpack is rather large and represents an obstacle for your fellow travellers. Take it off whenever possible, or place it between your legs to minimise the amount of space you take up.

Become familiar with the transport map

Some cities have train stations with very similar names that can be really confusing. Spend some time studying the maps so you know exactly which station you’re heading to.

Avoid commuters

Many cities’ public transport systems are more expensive in the morning and evening rushes, when workers are travelling to and from their offices. Delaying your journeys until 9:30 AM can often trim public transport costs, and make for a less crowded journey.

Investigate bulk buying discounts

Some transport systems have all day tickets that allow you to get on and off transport as many times as you like. Other cities sell books of tickets much cheaper than a single ticket. If you’re travelling with someone, consider buying tickets in bulk and splitting them up.