One of the most expensive costs when adventuring around the world can often be travel itself. There are many modes of transportation for frequent travelers, including planes, trains, cars, and ships, but you could be missing out on a more affordable option: buses. Buses are often an overlooked mode of transport, but they remain one of the most affordable options for both short and longer term travel.
In New York City, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) has found that around 3.2 million people take the subway each day while less than half of that number ride the bus. But across continents like South America, buses are the most common form of transportation. While in Europe and Asia, trains are more widely utilized.
For travelers who like to frequently hop between cities and countries, overnight buses are often a more affordable and effective way to travel. Companies like Flixbus, Megabus, and Alsa are changing affordable travel with their overnight trip options. On these trips you can travel between major cities around the world for low prices.
Plus, taking a bus saves you all the potential hassle of airports. No going through security, getting your documents checked, or lugging your suitcase down long corridors. Instead you can stow your suitcase in a special compartment, board the bus, and get settled in your seat right away. No boarding groups and crowded terminals. You also don’t need to arrive at the bus station hours early to ensure you’ll make your departure, just arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of time to find your bus.
As far as saving money goes, overnight buses save you money on a night of accommodations when you sleep on the bus. It may not be the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had, but if you wear the right clothes, bring a travel pillow, and listen to the right soundtrack, you could get a solid few hours. Additionally, bus fares are much more affordable than most trains and planes.
Though a plane or a high speed train might technically get you to your destination quicker, buses allow you to really take a breather. Hopping from place to place while traveling can get exhausting after a while, and when you’re rushing through airports and arriving at your seat on a train sweaty and exhausted, it’s easy to feel like you’re always hustling to get somewhere. While traveling, taking moments to reflect upon the things you’ve seen and done is time well spent, and a longer bus ride might just give you some reprieve from the constant motion.
Some of the most common bus companies in North America are Greyhound, Flixbus and Trailways. These offer various routes that can take from the east to west coast or across states. In Europe, Flixbus is a common overnight option along with Ouibus, BlaBlaBus, and National Express. To find a journey that works for your itinerary, use applications like Busbud to find buses between New York and Chicago, Montreal and Boston and practically every major city you might be traveling to.