Traveling during the holidays is usually both stressful and expensive. Airports are swarming with people and, according to one Time article, flights are far costlier than during a normal week. Trains often cost more despite their longer trip times. Even if you drive, you’ll likely deal with heavy traffic.
As other forms of transport become more expensive, buses are experiencing a sort of renaissance. Discount bus lines are becoming increasingly popular. Many of them offer absolutely rock bottom prices that airlines simply can’t match. For example, The Washington Post readers voted Washington Deluxe, a discount bus line, the best transportation share of 2013, beating out Zipcar. The fact that Washington Deluxe offers tickets between New York City and Washington D.C. for as little as $21 each way clearly doesn’t hurt their popularity. A regular Amtrak ticket is easily double that amount, and for last minute or holiday tickets, the price can increase dramatically.
Popular Discount Bus Lines
Washington Deluxe isn’t the only big discount bus line attracting positive attention. Megabus is one of the giants in the bus industry with routes all over the country and prices as low as $1 per seat each way. Peter Pan Bus Lines carries passengers all over the Northeast, and many of their routes also start at $1 though most seats cost more. While scoring the best prices requires you to buy tickets pretty far in advance, even last minute purchases can be a great deal when compared to other forms of transportation. While double digit airline fares can be found in Europe, such deals are almost unheard of no matter how early tickets are bought in the United States.
Perks of Bus Travel
While buses do face traffic, it can be far cheaper to buy a bus ticket than to get behind the wheel. Gas, tolls and added mileage all add to the cost of a trip. In addition to the cost, driving is far more stressful than settling into a seat with a book or a portable DVD player and watching the miles pass by through a window.
Discount bus lines are also stepping up their game by offering perks like free Wi-Fi, onboard bathrooms and even electrical outlets to charge phones or laptops while traveling. The seats are roomier than air travelers have come to expect and there is more flexibility for friends or families to sit together, as seats aren’t usually assigned. Luggage is allowed within limits, and security is less strict and much less invasive than at an airport.
Suggested Reading – 6 Reasons Bus Tours Make Great Vacations
Choose the Bus
Bus travel is a great holiday travel option. It is more eco-friendly than driving a car and more wallet-friendly than a train or airplane. For city dwellers used to riding public transportation, it is a natural transition. The ability to check email while en route is a huge bonus for the younger generation and, despite the lack of security, travel on these discount bus lines is generally safe. On your next holiday, forget the airport and go to the bus depot.