bus http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8867/all en-US Here's Why Bus Travel Is Cheaper, Easier, and More Awesome Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/megabus.jpg" alt="megabus" title="megabus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buses are making a comeback. The number of <a href="https://las.depaul.edu/centers-and-institutes/chaddick-institute-for-metropolitan-development/research-and-publications/Documents/Intercitybuspressrelease.pdf">inter-city bus departures has been rising</a> since 2006, according to a study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.</p> <p>And it's no wonder why. Airfares used to be cheaper in the recession days of 2009, but <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/01/16/cost-flying-keeps-climbing-airfares-rise-12-percent-in-5-years-not-counting/">they have risen by almost 12% since then</a>. As of January 2014, the average domestic roundtrip flight would cost you $363.42. As airfares get more expensive and plane seats get smaller, people are increasingly seeking other alternatives, and that means a bus boom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there?ref=seealso">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get There From Here</a>)</p> <p>And these are not the buses your grandparents used to take either; these companies have impressive social media followings and equip their vehicles with high-tech toys.</p> <p>So here's why &mdash; and how &mdash; you should take your next trip by bus.</p> <h2>Reservations</h2> <p>There are a couple of aggregate booking websites for buses, but they leave out some of the bigger companies, which makes them rather useless for comparison shopping. Generally, you're better off booking through the bus company directly.</p> <p>The biggest and most established long-distance bus company is <a href="https://www.greyhound.com">Greyhound</a>, which covers the U.S. and Canada. Other bus companies &mdash; like <a href="http://www.trailways.com">Trailways</a>, <a href="http://us.megabus.com/">Megabus</a>, <a href="http://www.boltbus.com/">BoltBus</a>, <a href="http://www.luxbusamerica.com/">Lux Bus</a>, <a href="http://www.vamoosebus.com/">Vamoose</a>, <a href="http://www.tripperbus.com/">Tripper Bus</a>, and <a href="http://www.redcoachusa.com/">RedCoach</a> &mdash; may not serve as many cities, but may compete on service or amenities.</p> <p>All of these bus companies have websites through which you can check bus schedules and make reservations. You can also purchase the tickets over the phone or at the station. If possible, visit the station ahead of your travel date to buy the ticket in person. I've heard horror stories about technical issues with online booking that lead to hours of frustration with various customer service representatives.</p> <p>You can't choose your seat at the time of booking, so come early and get in line if you want seating options.</p> <h2>Price</h2> <p>Most bus companies offer low prices. After all, they know that customers would probably rather pay a little bit more to fly if bus fares weren't ridiculously cheap. On average, an inter-city bus fare is 79% cheaper than an advance-purchase airfare. The difference is even bigger when bus fares are compared with airfares purchased at the last minute, according to the Chaddick Institute study.</p> <p>Some companies, such as Megabus and Tripper, often advertise $1 seats. But these promotional fares are rare, and you need to time your reservation just right to get them. To improve your chances of getting these fares, check the bus websites a few weeks before your travel date.</p> <p>There may be other discounts that bus companies don't advertise, so explore the website thoroughly if you book online or ask the company representative if you book by phone or in person. Greyhound, for example, offers special companion fares if you travel with a friend and advance purchase discounts if you book your seats at least one week before the trip. There are also discounts for students, members of the military, and veterans.</p> <h2>Amenities</h2> <p>The inter-city buses of today are generally clean, comfortable, and reliable. A typical bus has a lavatory on board and air conditioning.</p> <p>Power sockets and Wi-Fi are becoming common as well, although the Wi-Fi can be rather spotty, in my experience. In rural areas, there may not be any phone data service, so prepare to be disconnected from the Internet. Check your emails and post your social media updates while you still have Internet connection at home or at the bus station. <a href="http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/6-best-budget-bus-companies-in-the-us,7430/">For the best Wi-Fi connection, travel with Vamoose, RedCoach, Tripper, or Lux Bus</a>.</p> <p>If you happen to travel on a luxury bus, you may get to watch movies on the screens on board. However, the selection is likely to be limited, so store some good movies on your laptop or download a nice ebook before the trip.</p> <p>Most buses have plushy seats that recline and plenty of legroom. But some bus companies take things one step further, with Lux Bus and RedCoach providing leather seats in their vehicles.</p> <p>There are even luxury buses with attendants who distribute free snacks and alcohol as you sit back in your big seat. Yes, bus travel can get quite classy.</p> <p>But even with the comfy seats, it can be difficult to sleep. Inter-city buses often make multiple stops along the way to your destination and you may even have to change vehicles. Check your route for these stops and transfers, then pack some sleep aids if you think you'll need them.</p> <h2>Safety</h2> <p>You may meet some colorful characters when you travel by bus, but the biggest danger of bus travel is the possibility of traffic accidents. For example, the vehicle may not comply with safety regulations or the driver may drive under the influence.</p> <p>The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains safety records of bus companies and rates companies based on their safety standards. You can access this information on your smartphone using the <a href="http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/saferbus-mobile-application">Saferbus</a> app for Android and iOS. There is also a guide for the app on FMCSA's website and Facebook page if you need help using it.</p> <p>There's always a small risk of your bag being misplaced, regardless of whether you fly or take the bus. Keep your valuables with you instead of checking them in for storage underneath the bus.</p> <p>When you travel by plane, it's usually easy to hail a taxi at the airport. But when you get off a bus in a small town, you may find yourself alone in the middle of nowhere at an ungodly hour, so pay attention to the times and the locations of your pick-ups and drop-offs. Don't assume that every bus station is a busy transportation hub; make transport arrangements beforehand to get yourself from the bus station to your bed for the night.</p> <p><em>Any more bus travel tips? Let us know in comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-and-4-cheap-things-to-do-in-auckland-with-a-toddler">8 Free (and 4 cheap) Things to Do in Auckland with a Toddler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheaper-ways-to-travel-around-the-world">15 Cheaper Ways to Travel Around the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">10 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for When You Travel (and How to Pay Less)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-san-francisco-the-best-ways-to-spend-it">$20 in San Francisco: The Best Ways to Spend It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel bus bus travel cheap travel inter-city bus Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Deia B 1224429 at http://www.wisebread.com The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Costa Rica 041.jpg" alt="All Aboard?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It could start with &quot;you never think it can happen to you,&quot; or &quot;just when you thought it was safe.&quot; But why go out that way or for that matter come in that way, it&#39;s as cliche as an American tourist getting yapped for his belongings on a trip to foreign country.</p> <p>Rewind.</p> <p>A red-headed graduate student who couldn&#39;t be more American if she was Betsy Ross&#39; daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter, was sitting there talking to me. More aptly talking at me, more specifically, not shutting up. Uh-huh, yeah, damn that&#39;s messed up is all this blogger could manage to retort. </p> <p>She talked about her work in psychology and feigned embarrasment went I pointed out that she had on flip-flops that said &quot;Harvard,&quot; and a key chain necklace that said, guess what &quot;Harvard.&quot; Oh yeah, someone had broke into the Hostel I had just arrived at in San Jose, Costa Rica and stole her passport and she was killing time on her way to Vietnam via South Dakota. </p> <p>I said to myself that&#39;s pretty crazy: the passport being stolen story as well, but the girl, certainly. I&#39;m glad nothing remotely resembling that is going to happen to me, I&#39;m a globtrotter, a world traveler a...</p> <p>Fast-Forward.</p> <p>The lame conference on Commodities and Chinese relations with Latin American governments and the state-owned mines they own is sadly at an end and I&#39;m headed on one of the most beautiful Fridays in recent memory to the famous Jaco Beach on the Pacific coast of this lovely quaint, currency 500/1 - completely-backed-by American-military-country. The bus to Jaco pulls up for boarding and people rush to put their luggage in the hull of the monstorous municpal bus that looks more like a tour bus. </p> <p>Ahh, no way I&#39;m putting my bags down there, sheeeeeeeeet, not me. Savvy yank that guy is right? So what do I do? I get on, speak a little Spanish, I&#39;m in my zone, I&#39;m getting ready for four straight days of God-knows-what-tropical-fun and what do I do? I pull out my digital camera like a dummy tourist from middle America. You know, the quintessential, &quot;do they serve tacos in Costa Rica?&quot; Yeah that kind. </p> <p>I start taking self portraits as the bus pulls off, feeling my self, fun for pennies on the dollar, oh yeah. My black Samsonite leather computer bag is on the top shelf above where I&#39;m sitting, phone, laptop, all the power cords, cuffllinks and a DVD from blockbuster enclosed. I might as well have been a Harvard girl.</p> <p>Fast-Forward.</p> <p>We&#39;re only 20 clicks from the beach, from wireless, phoneless freedom via the wireless connection on a month-old Dell fresh off the assembly line. I was planning to hook it up and surf the net as soon as I got to my condo. Bandit to Jabulani: Uh, no you&#39;re not. </p> <p>While I was looking out the window musing at the greenest hills I&#39;ve ever seen in my life and the mango trees with ripe, juicy products hanging like sweaty jugs - of fruit juice you pervs - it must have jumped off, something slick, James Bondish. I&#39;m talking Michael Jackson smooth criminal. I should have known what was up 45 minutes into the trip when I couldn&#39;t see the strap from my bag anymore, but it didn&#39;t register.</p> <p>We stop, I look up on the shelf. Panic. Awwww they got me. First step anger, broken cuss-laden Spanish, black English; a real estate agent from South Carolina with the same &quot;damn that&#39;s messed up,&quot; look on his face that I had for the Harvard girl the night before.</p> <p>Gone. </p> <p>Come to find out five collegues had the same hubris and put their stuff below in the belly of the Bus beast. Yes, Gone. </p> <p>And suddenly I didn&#39;t feel so bad. I, after all still had my passport, credit cards and a whole lot of Colones on my person and a pre-paid condo waiting on me. Some of those people were stuck where they stood with nothing anyone could do but loan them 500 colones to call the embassy and then their folks.</p> <p>Yep, the beach, healed those wounds quick.</p> <p>Fast Forward. (Presumbably to the point of this friggin post, right?)</p> <p>GET TRAVEL INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p> <p>When I return home and reality strikes, I will be out $750 bucks in supplies and will have bought the &quot;Great Debaters&quot; from Blockbuster, when I could have just gotten beyond my imperialist arrogance and copped $54 for two weeks of travel insurance from any of the companies on the commercials we hate on tv or any one of these sites:</p> <p><a href="http://www.worldnomads.com/">http://www.worldnomads.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.insuremytrip.com/">http://www.insuremytrip.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi">http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi</a></p> <p>Here&#39;s also a bit from my Wisebread sistren Nora Dunn on <a href="/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">parameters on TI</a>  that I neglected to mention due to the dearth of exactitude in my rant/narrative/testimonial.</p> <p>It&#39;s a lesson for me, an expensive lesson, but a lesson. I do plan on going back to Costa Rica. I loved it but next time I&#39;m springing for some TI and not the Rapper T.I. either, even though I hear he has lots and lots of guns. </p> <p>Because despite reading numerous travel guides and Wikipedia entries about Costa Rica being the number one destination for passport theives, I put my stuff on the top rack of a public bus to a beach bum paradise. I should be reading your blog. </p> <p>Sheesh.</p> <p>Hasta La Vista.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">Vision Boards: Dream Big, Play with Pictures, and Watch your Life Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">Looking for Answers in Life? Here&#039;s your Key...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Insurance Lifestyle Travel Art and Leisure bus Costa Rica money personal finance Trip Wed, 04 Jun 2008 06:49:37 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 2145 at http://www.wisebread.com Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/actransit.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Berkeley I loved taking public transportation, and since I was such a bus aficionado I did not learn to drive until I was 20. I knew several bus routes by heart and traveled all around the San Francisco Bay via busses or the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Right now I live in San Mateo where the public transit is not as prevalent, and I really miss the days when I got everywhere with a bus pass. Since I am feeling nostalgic today I am going to write down why I love public transportation, and I hope I can live in a place with a lot of public transit again.</p> <p><strong>1. You see different people everyday</strong> - Maybe I am just weird, but I find watching and listening to people on the bus to be rather interesting. Sometimes I even talked to the bus driver and other random people. I guess the travel experience is just not as lonely as driving because there are other people with you. Once in a while I would see a neighbor or friend, and it was always fun to chat in person.<br /><strong><br />2. Public transit helps the environment</strong> - This is true for areas with high population density. If everyone in the Bay Area that rides the train or bus everyday drove instead then this place will probably have unbreathable air and the traffic would be even more horrendous than it already is now. When you ride the bus or train you are sharing resources with your community, and that cuts down on pollution.</p> <p><strong>3. You can use your travel time for leisure </strong>- On a bus or train you can read a book, play a game, or even chat with your friends on the computer if internet is available. When you drive you have to concentrate on driving. I read many books when I was a bus rider, and also got really familiar with the main routes of the cities around the Bay just by watching the bus routes. It is also pretty relaxing to just take a little nap.</p> <p><strong>4. Public transit makes you exercise more</strong> - I firmly believe that I gained quite a bit of weight over the last couple years because I drive everyday. In the days when I rode the bus I walked more than a mile each day to and from the bus stop or train station. Unless the bus stop is right in front of your house, you generally have to walk a little bit, and that bit of exercise could mean 10 to 15 pounds over the years.</p> <p><strong>5. Car ownership is generally more expensive</strong> - The amount of money needed to purchase a car can generally finance public transit fees for years. Many workplaces also give incentives for public transportation such as discounted passes or reimbursements. Many large companies here in the South Bay also have free bus and train passes under their EcoPass program. The savings are quite significant over months and years.</p> <p>Of course, there are many inconveniences associated with public transportation. For example, a lot of busses are often late, and go on roundabout routes. There are also crazy bus drivers that do not stop when requested, and also scary passengers that you want to get away from. Sometimes a bus could be so crowded that you can barely breathe. However, most of the times my experiences have been pleasant. I still use public transit from time to time to go to San Francisco because parking is nearly impossible in that city. I also take the BART train to the airport because it costs about 1/10 the amount of hiring a taxi. So even if you cannot part with your car, taking public transit can save you money if you take it occasionally. What about you? Are you a fan or hater of public transit?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever">Do These 5 Car Maintenance Tasks and Keep Your Car on the Road Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-america-saves-week-february-24-to-march-2nd">Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Cars and Transportation bus Cars public transit saving train transportation Sat, 01 Mar 2008 03:37:54 +0000 Xin Lu 1870 at http://www.wisebread.com