I recently took a 12-hour epic bus ride, at night, from London to Amsterdam. We left Victoria Coach Station at about 9.30pm and stopped in Dover around 1am, then took the ferry to Calais and continued our journey towards Brussels. After a short stop in the Belgium capital, it was dawn already; we headed towards our final destination. We alighted from the bus at around 9.30 am in Amsterdam. And all for only £20 round trip!
You could wonder why one would spend their night on the road from London to Amsterdam instead of taking a 45 minute-flight and spare a sleepless night and uncomfortable seats that ruin your neck and hurt your spine. Well, obviously, because it is one of the cheapest ways of getting from point A to B. And because, in some cases, it is fun! Either way, this is an experience that allows you to spend less for more! Not only that you get to enjoy a trip with the ferry, make friends on the bus and listen to new stories, but you also get a glimpse of other cities, especially Brussels, in my case.
Low-budget is not for everyone, but for those who like to taste the adventure by different means. A ride with the Megabus will also give you time to read, listen to music, watch a movie, write on your blog or just let your mind wander anywhere and everywhere. The good part is that you have free Wi-Fi on the bus, so you won’t get bored if you’re an internet savvy.
Course there are some downsides and risks that you must be willing to take: lack of comfort – remember to bring a neck-pillow if you want to catch forty winks; dysfunctional toilet – this could have turned into a massive issue, but at least our driver fixed it half way to London; the excessive cold or heat from the AC; some crazy passengers with seats right next to you, so you’ll have to put up with their stomach issues and relationship matters for almost 12 hours. And the biggest risk of all: having an insane driver. But let’s think positive and see the full part of the…Megabus.
You can find this mega value bus in the UK, the United States and Canada. Basically, it is a low cost inter city travel, so you can see the country at a minimum price. That is if you have enough time to do it! But its best feature is that it can take you across the borders into the big bad world :)
Leave the UK to go to Paris, Boulogne, Brussels or Amsterdam. Plus, Megabus loves Wednesdays when you can travel for only £5 on all English and Welsh routes. On the American continent, you can become one of Kerouac’s characters, jump on a bus and travel the country. And it can also take you to Canada; switch from English to French in a blink of an eye. Or more, to be honest. If you’re lucky enough you can catch a much comfy seat in the new fleet of double deckers, with at-seat plug ins and panoramic windows.
The megabus.com service was first launched in the UK in 2003 and offers fares from £1 (plus booking fee) across the UK, linking around 50 locations. The coaches are carrying more than 2 million passengers a year. On the American continent, it was launched in April 2006 and has served more than 15 million passengers throughout more than 70 major cities in the Midwest and Northeast of the USA and Canada.
It is not the fastest way to travel, but definitely a safe and cheap one, so you can give it a try. There’s a new motto me and my friends laugh about: I’ll go wherever the Megabus takes me!