Should I Take The Bus In Europe?
When we imagine ourselves in Europe, there's a baguette, wine, and a great view. One moment we're sipping $3 vino next to the Montmartre and the next we're in a gondola gliding through Venice. So, how do we get from point A to point B? That depends on your time commitment. If you have two weeks or more, take the bus! Here's the low down.
The Bus Is An Adventure
I'm not sure what it is about Europes bus system, but they have it figured out. Generally, they're well taken care of, organized, and calm. Some even offer snacks, movies, and a steward (praise be RegioJet)! You get to drive through different cities without the hassle of getting lost and fumbling with your google maps. This allows you to get a taste of different places and maybe even give you an idea for next time you come through the area.
Look, I get it. You're half way across the world and you're not looking to get hurt. My experience showed me that it all depends on the country. Europe is a big place. Some roads are smoother than a freshly paved road and others are the highway to hell; I'm looking at you, bus from Albania to Athens!
I recommend checking out the The Association for Safe International Road Travel. There, you can look at updated stats in more than130 countries around the world.
In my experience, It was generally safe and comfortable. They had:
- Comfy seats
- USB & wall plugs to charge your laptop, phone, tablet
- Air Conditioning and Heat
- Quite passengers
The only thing missing was a mimosa.
Bus Companies You Should Know
Flixbus: Flixbus has constantly come through. You can get a ride to most big cities in Europe and they're even in the US now! They offer cheap prices, good accommodation, safe drivers, and generally make good time. I'd recommend that you always reserve a seat if you get motion sickness like me, or want to make sure you're sitting with your travel partner. There's nothing worse than being the first one on the bus and then the last guy on the bus comes up to you and says, "That's my seat." Trust me, it's not a good time. If you can get a ticket ahead of time, do so! You'll be thanking yourself later when you have extra money for a brat and a brew in Southern Bavaria!
Megabus: Similar to Flixbus, but had a lack luster reputation. They've joined with Flixbus in Europe. Trips with them are sub-par at best, the prices are never as low as they claim and sometimes the plugs don't work. However, definitely still worth it to save a few bucks and get the chance to look out the window nostalgically while reminiscing about your school bus days.
RegioJet: Sweet sweet RegioJet. We came across this baby when we were headed out of Nitra, Slovakia and I could not recommend it enough. This bus was affordable, clean, accommodating, and had entertainment tablets on the back of each headrest. If I could only take RegioJet for the rest of my life. Side note, definitely stop by Nitra, Slovakia if you ever get the chance. They have an adorable downtown pavilion and a welcoming community filled with life.
Of course there's more out there and I encourage you to do your research and comment below if you have any suggestions!
Taking a bus helps your money go further, puts you out of your comfort zone, and opens you up to more opportunities to explore! Try it out!