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Did we have an electrifying ride on BoltBus — or was our most recent experience a fizzle? Here's our latest route review.
This past weekend, we took BoltBus from Seattle to Vancouver, BC. Usually, we take Amtrak’s Cascade Route, but for this trip, BoltBus offered the best schedule. Besides, the price was a steal at $11 each way.
Many travel topics can divide a room down the middle, but few spark more heated debates than group travel. Whether it's a small group of friends or a big tour bus, there's no question that traveling with others both creates and crushes opportunities on the road.
Big groups, such as those on tour buses, can afford travelers the chance to meet and connect with others on the road. But they can also wash away the charm of individual or small group travel, decreasing the likelihood for personal experiences.
Well, a United States tour company called Rally Bus is hoping to combine the best of both worlds by offering group travel services to group events. Sure, you might not want to travel to a Buddhist Monastery with 40 people in tow, but a sporting event? A concert? Possibly.
Rally Bus' focus is on "crowd-powered" events that promote camaraderie, figuring some things are better experienced as part of a like-minded group.
You know that moment when you're deep into a long-distance journey and you just cannot get comfortable enough to sleep? And you'd do just about, or pay just about anything for some sort of bed, or sleep support for even a few hours of life-rewewing sleep? Well, Boeing may have a little something for you.
GeekWire touches on the company's newest patent (issued March 24), one which would "solve the common problem of trying to sleep hunched over to the side or straight up." The solution? An all-too-simple addition of a "backpack-like" device which snaps into your seat and provides a front support for a passenger's head and chest, to allow for a forward leaning sleeping position.
Naturally it has a super fun name, too: "Transport Vehicle Upright Sleep Support System."
While $1 for a bus ticket may seem too good to be true, it's the reality for Megabus riders. The bus line specializes in affordable travel, and the last few years has seen them expand from the east coast, to the midwest, to the west coast (not to mention their original UK routes).
Megabus' latest announcement is not a new destination on the map, but an improvement in passenger experience on all double-decker routes: reserved seating.
The bus line had rolled out the ability to reserve select seats (usually the most desirable) on certain routes already, but today brings the news that the program has expanded to all routes. No more heart palpitations in line to board, hoping to score your favorite seat; now it can be reserved...for a price, of course. It also ensures that persons traveling together will be able to sit together.
How to Get to / Andorra Travel / Spain Travel / France Travel / Europe Travel / Bus Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
The itty-bitty country of Andorra is carved from the Pyrenees, with its cities all nestled in green valleys surrounded by snow-topped mountain peaks as if ripped from a Ricola commercial. Our routing to Andorra began with a flight to Barcelona, and a trip to Barcelona's bus stations to ask which would be the next bus to Andorra. We advise you to do a little more advance planning than that, and we're here to help.
With no airport and no train system, Andorra is perhaps one of the least accessible countries in Europe. It likes it that way, however; Andorra has been independent since 1278 and, at only 180 square miles, ranks as the sixth smallest European country (the five smaller are Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta).
Its tallest peak (Coma Pedrosa) is nearly 10,000' high, and the population is approximately 85,000 people, which pales in comparison to the nearly 10 million annual tourists who come to Andorra for skiing, duty-free shopping, and the Caldea spa.
Bus Travel / Dallas Travel / Austin Travel / Texas Travel / Vonlane / DFW / AUS / → All Tags
We’ve done the 3+ hour drive from Dallas to Austin at least 100 times and can safely say that it is an incredibly boring way to spend an afternoon.
Difficulties include such things as keeping the car between the lines and staying awake, not to mention trying our best to avoid stopping off at Loves truck stop for the chicken fried chicken. Driving also makes us unable to get any work done as using our laptop while speeding down the highway is almost always frowned upon by police.
Thankfully, the smart people at Vonlane have introduced a new way to get from Dallas to Austin that avoids the stress of air travel and the turtle-like speeds of Amtrak while providing as luxurious an experience as public bus travel can manage. They also offer the flexibility to book in advance or on the day of your trip without paying the exorbitant prices you’d pay for a last-minute flight. One-way trips are $100.
Bus Travel / Budget Travel / Megabus / Florida Travel / Georgia Travel / Virginia Travel / → All Tags
It seems like quite some time since all those cheap bus routes hit the scene, but operators like Megabus are still pretty darn busy going from there to there. Thing must be going well, as it looks like they’re adding some new options down in the Sunshine State.
Just last week Megabus started up some new routes in and out of Fort Lauderdale. There are now options to head out to both Tampa and Orlando. For those looking to take advantage of things you’ll need to make your way over to Sheridan Street Station, 2900 Sheridan Street—that’s in Hollywood.
Bus Travel / Buses / Budget Travel / Travel Websites / BusBud / → All Tags
There’s plenty of budget bus lines running routes across the globe, and now there’s one group looking to connect them in hopes of helping us all out. BusBud is the movement behind this idea, and they’re doing their thing to connect and link up the loads of different options and connections.
BusBud does the searching for you, so that means you can connect between two cities that usually aren’t an option when only searching one line or one operator. Results are consolidated in a neat and shiny package—their website—and the fares are offered up in the local currency. That’s especially handy as BusBud searches in North America as well as Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Greyhound / Bus Travel / Buses / Museum Travel / → All Tags
Love ‘em or hate ‘em Greyhound knows how to do bus travel, and this year they’re celebrating 100 years of getting passengers from here to there. To show off a little bit of their history they’re taking the show on the road, as they look to share the story of their business in the same way they make money—by driving around the country.
Greyhound is launching this Centennial Tour beginning on May 29, as a pair of mobile museums begin to travel around the nifty fifty. The plan is to hit up and visit around 40 cities over the next seven months or so, as two buses will display memorabilia and vintage goodies along with touchscreen displays.
Megabus / Bus Travel / Florida Travel / Budget Travel / Buses / → All Tags
Fans of Florida now have more options for getting into and out of the state, and we’re not talking about bumming a ride from Grandma and Grandpa. Megabus, the budget bus company who've been driving around Florida and the rest of the country for a few years now, is expanding their Sunshine State routes.
Orlando is getting the bulk of the new options, with buses to Miami, Tallahassee, and Tampa. If those destinations aren’t where you need to be—no problem—as Orlando also does the Megabus thing to places like Gainesville and Jacksonville, as well as Atlanta.
As is usually the case with Megabus, there's cheap $1 fares can be had, but they do require a little bit of planning and advance reservations. So if you’re looking to head from Orlando to New Orleans—yet another new option—check things out and get to booking it sooner rather than later.
Bus Travel / Buses / Greyhound / Greyhound Express / Travel Tech / Texas Travel / Dallas Travel / Houston Travel / → All Tags
If your summer travel budget is a little short and you're passing on the planes, Greyhound may be in your near future. This was once a reason to groan, but aside from watching America whiz by on your way to your destination, you can now catch up on the latest new releases on your way to a fabulous summer vacation.
Panama City, though less visited and talked about than its neighbor to the north, San Jose, is by no means an outdated place. For evidence of that, simply look for the skyscrapers shooting up in high-end nabes like Punta Pacifica, the new promenade being constructed along the coast, as well as the recent arrival of big name hotels (Trump, Hard Rock, Waldorf-Astoria).
But there's one part of the city that has remained a glaring anomaly in the city's tireless campaign to bring itself into the 21st century: los diablos rojos. Translated literally as "red devils," these are second-hand schoolbuses that careen around the city, decorated vividly with cartoon characters and graffiti-style imagery, offering cheap rides to anyone brave enough to flag one down. Needless to say, these bad boys were hard to miss.
The only problem was they weren't the safest way to get around. Drivers were often more worried about what songs were playing on the radio, or how to fill their dashboard with as many dolls, statues, and toys as possible, than what was actually happening on the road.
For years, the city fought to put an end to the red devils—against the wishes of locals, who enjoyed the festive vibes on their morning commute (not to mention the 25¢ ticket price!). Again and again, the government would announce an expiration date for the red devils, and again and again, they would fail to do away with them.
But as of last month, it appears the lawless jalopies have been put to rest once and for all.