texas without a car

Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Forget about trains and buses. Between the cities, the best way to travel is Southwest Airlines. That's basically our "bus system" in Texas. Frequent flights between all major cities. Once you get out to West Texas, driving is easy, as everybody's already told you. The place is wide open and traffic light. You won't have any problem.

But in the main cities - especially Houston and the DFW Metroplex - driving can be pretty difficult. To get anywhere, you will need to get on the urban freeways, which have heavy traffic and often 6-7 lanes in each direction.

So, if you have more specific itineraries - like which cities you want to visit, and for how long - we can give you better information about how to do it.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 153
Having lived in Texas briefly I believe it to be one of the friendliest states in the nation! I would not have any fear of car-jacking in fact most Texans will go out of their way to help you out. Now if you were traveling to New Mexico that would be a different story..
travelina is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 51
everyone has been so helpful! Thanks. Now I'm thinking it may be a good idea to fly to Midland and then hire a car to drive to Big Bend. I originally had the idea of getting the bus or train to Alpine and then seeing if there were any local guides. I haven't been able to find any private guides in Texas - either I'm not looking properly or they don't exist. I know that in South Africa you can always get a guide for the day ($100 or more). Someone who knows the area well and/or who is a specialist in a certain area like wildlife or geology or music or food...whatever your interest.
leanapayne is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:49 AM
Posts: n/a
This link will give you an idea of the various tours available in the Big Bend area. However, I think all of them originate from the SW side (Terlingua, Lajitas area), so you would still need to find a way to get there from Alpine if you decide to use public transportation.


I believe there are tours from Marathon and/or Alpine, but if I remember right, they are one-day visits, so you'd spend several hours just driving back and forth to the park. If I can find links for them I'll post them.
Feb 4th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,014
I used to live in West Texas and I remember there were tour services from the Midland TX airport to Big Bend. I did a quick web search and found these 2 ideas:


wsoxrebel is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,392
Leana, i totally understand your trepidation about driving on the "wrong" side of the road-which is what's kept me out of car rentals so far in UK and St John USVI--which I regret. Upcoming trips, I'm gonna "go for it"--and you should try too!! From afar, the images you get of a foreign country can be quite skewed, creating wrong impressions, even though you've been here before. In personal meetings and phone conversations, I have to say, (though this may be a generalization) Texans are theTHE friendliest group of people I've met in the USA.
I'm about to take my first ever trip to Arkansas and Texas and will be alone on the roads in a rental car. I'm not nervous about it--and I'm defintely not the calmest person in the world!! Agree that you should rent a cell phone to have with you--maybe also a GPS navigator, as others suggested? Maybe others will know if the navigator system is always available in TX rental cars? Though not necessary, it might give you an added sense of security. Also many rental cars now come with built in security systems.
I've been to your beautiful country, and always wanted to return, but have heard the crime/hijacking stories which make me hesitate. So, it works both ways! But from what I've read...or the impression I've received, right or wrong...you'll be FAR, FAR less likely to encounter on-road crime here than in South Africa.
CaliNurse is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 254
Texas without a car would be like Antarctica without a jacket.
HonestAbe is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,456
If you want to see Texas you will need transportation, so please rent a car. I drove for three years in the UK and after the first few minutes driving on their side of the highway it came natural. If you pay attention to your driving you will have no problems....I don't think you really realize just how large the state is. May I suggest you get a map of the state as well as the surrounding states and spend some time with them before you arrive. Safety will not be a problem, use the same precaution as you would anywhere else you would travel.
RedRock is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 273
Within the centers of the major cities, you can get by without a car, if you're willing to use public transportation such as buses and, in the case of Houston and especially Dallas, metro rail. The things that a visitor would enjoy seeing are usually in or near the center of the cities.

For travel from one Texas city to another, travel by air. Southwest Airlines is the preferred mode of transport, because of its low cost, frequency, and in the case of Dallas, proximity to the center city.

For travel outside of the cities, i.e. to explore the countryside, rent a car. This is good advice not only for Texas, but for just about anywhere in the United States. You need a car to explore rural California, rural New England, rural anywhere.
xbt2316 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,936
West Texas is the best place in the state to have a car. There's not much traffic and the roads are often wide, straight and long!

What city are you planning to fly into?
jayne1973 is offline  

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