Seeing as how it is these days, many foreigners, especially those with families, prefer to rent a car rather than use public transport. And for good reasons too! For one thing, many of the complaints revolve around an intolerable climate and public transport does not always provide air-conditioning. Secondly, those already on a tight schedule may not want to waste a single second. With their time properly managed, pilgrims can even pay visits to ziyarat of a more secondary importance.
Obviously it goes without saying that taxis and buses are still some of the reliable resources of transport. For a cost-effective Umrah tour, the trick is to balance out the expenses in ways that are not compromising to your time and well-being. For inter-city transits, rent a car. For travelling within city, or to or from the airport, the shuttle service might be considered. Forgot to make a booking? Try the nearest taxi in sight. Hitchhiking is not advisable. Never make a decision against your better judgement.
Private Transfers to Makkah from Jeddah City:
A distance of more or less 94 kilometres, from Jeddah to the city of Makkah, can be covered in little more than an hour depending upon your choice of highway. The Route 40 expressway takes the minimum time to reach Makkah...on paper. In reality, the shortest route is usually the most crowded. An alternative itinerary involves Route 40 and Route 301, or Route 301 altogether. It only takes 15-20 more minutes but can ensure a smoother journey.
There are many reputable companies offering a variety of transportation options in and outside of Jeddah. When the decision comes down to quality vs. quantity, whether the choice is to be made from SUVs and luxury cars or private coaches and shuttle services, the passenger himself is the best judge of the matter. Your passport and the like essentials will be required by the company before they hand over the keys, so keep that in mind as well. Also make sure to check the vehicle inside and out before taking it out for a run. You want to make sure the car is indeed in perfect condition.
Private Transfers to Madinah from Jeddah City:
From Jeddah to Madinah, the distance is a surprising 443 km. It is not advisable to sacrifice your time and comfort for cheaper modes of travel. Hire a car or an SUV. Key features include air-conditioning, comfy seating, and state-of-the-art navigation. Of course the vehicle comes with a driver but know that you have a choice to drive it yourself. The most frequented course is to drive via Route 5 and Route 15. Leave the rest to your driver or the car’s own navigational system.
Taxi service from Jeddah to Makkah:
Here, as elsewhere, pilgrims can take a taxi from Jeddah airport to Makkah. The possible inconvenience of this method is that it can become a bit frustrating. Given the crowd and a sense of urgency when stepping right out of an airport, it will be harder to find suitable conveyance quickly. And while most taxi drivers will respond to your call, few will be willing to travel long-distance. A greater number of taxis are run by companies that follow a strict meter/fare rule. Of course, private drivers are not uncommon. If you have perfected your technique of bargaining with their lot, go ahead. This is recommended because Jeddah to Makkah taxi fare can be somewhat budget-friendly this way.
Taxi service from Jeddah to Madinah:
Taxi as a means of travel between these remote cities is, again, an open option. But in consideration of a 4.5 hour journey, it is not desirable. The advice here is to use taxis when targeting the simplest of commutes. Say, after winding up the day’s ceremonies, pilgrims might want to avail a nearby taxi to return to their hotel.
Private bus services -an alternative for group Umrah travellers:
Every now and then with time on their side, pilgrims use the cheapest mode of transportation in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah i.e. the bus service. For an individual pilgrim who rides on a bus off and on, it’s nothing more than a cheap means of travel. But those travelling in groups cannot afford to scatter here and there after each stop. The Haramain high-speed rail project is still underway and private buses are one of the options for group travellers and large families. By hiring a bus from a private company, the idea here is not to travel but to travel efficiently. These buses deliver on many levels. First of all with a VIP bus, you get to travel with your own friends and family. Also these buses are air-conditioned and well furnished with proper amenities (Wi-Fi, newspapers, refreshments) that can withstand any critical evaluation by the UK pilgrims.
The new economy has given rise to several private companies that allow for a variety of personal as well as group options to choose from. For those who do not wish to be affiliated with a group owing to ethnic or lingual issues can opt for private transfers. Economic and business class vehicles waiting for you on King Abdulaziz International Airport make for a very fitting start. This is part of the power of owning your own vehicle; you and your family can enjoy the freedom of travelling without your hours set by your group. Only select from licensed firms, and do make sure if there are any hidden costs or not. With buses, be punctual. Furthermore there are shuttle services visit the Holy cities with utmost peace of mind.