My Busabout Adventure

Bus, train, ferry, plane, camel, taxi, bike, gondola, hot air balloon, paraglide…

 

During my amazing 6-month trip abroad this year I used almost every form of transport available to me! As I was travelling for so long, it was important for me to find travel options that were economically viable yet still age appropriate, fun and convenient.

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to travel the Busabout Hop On, Hop Off network for a few months in the middle of my trip. I found that this flexi pass was a perfect option for the independent adventurer wanting to avoid rushed organised tours but still wanting to meet likeminded travellers in a relaxed setting. The buses always have ‘guides’ on board to share their experiences, offer advice and assist with accommodation and activities in each location. However, I felt no pressure to book with the “Busabout recommended” accommodation and I also stayed with Air Bnb and other hostels depending what suited me best!

There are so many options of getting from A to B that it can difficult to determine which is the best way to go. From thrilling, unforgettable journeys to some very testing times rushing against the clock, I found some definite pros and cons to each option. Would I recommend Busabout? Definitely. But, in the end I also decided that it’s best to mix it up depending on time restraints, finances, availability and entertainment.

 

Here are my thoughts on the Busabout Hop on, Hop off network:

 

PROS:

  • Meet other backpackers and make new friends- most stay at the recommended accommodation
  • Mixed age group
  • Suitable for solos and couples
  • Option to be involved in organised activities and group meet-ups with no pressure
  • Ability to design your own trip- stop where you want, when you want with departures every second day during European summer.
  • Flexible schedule- opportunity to make changes to your itinerary 24 hours in advance
  • Option to stay in small off the beaten track towns as well as main cities
  • Friendly and knowledgeable expert guides – Tips for local attractions, tours, restaurants etc.
  • Help without hand holding like other more ‘packaged tours’
  • Cost effective- pay for the locations or loops you want and the number of stops you will use
  • Discounts on activities with your handbook, all activities can be booked on the bus easily with your guide
  • Choice of completely independent travel once at the location if that’s your style
  • All transport and accommodation bookings can be done online

 

CONS:

  • Wi-Fi on the bus is very expensive for a backpacker- take the opportunity to switch off your phone and enjoy the scenery… If desperate, see tip below
  • Limited routes, public trains and buses reach more destinations
  • Long travel times- if you are limited then flights are quicker when travelling long distances but then are obviously more expensive
  • Can only travel in one direction
  • Travel on every second day

 

TIPS:

  • If time isn’t an issue then make sure you don’t rush exploring each city
  • If time is an issue then make sure you pick at least a few favourite places where you can stay for at least 3 nights (do washing, chill out, send postcards)
  • I purchased Wi-Fi sim cards in each country as I spent a significant time in each place, this was much more cost effective and allowed access to the Internet for finding accommodation etc.
  • Alternatively, most café, restaurants and tourist offices will have free Wi-Fi available
  • Be careful with changing your itinerary in the busy seasons- accommodation books out and can be very expensive!
  • Book accommodation and buses in advance if you are hoping to attend the popular European festivals like Oktoberfest, La Tomatina, San Fermin etc.
  • Book activities at each destination. When asked about my favourite part of my trip it is always the activities that were a highlight for me.

My Favourites?

-Moulin Rouge- not overrated… Amazing

-Paragliding

-Pintxos Crawl San Sebastian- try a kalimotxo

-Guided tour of Rome- best guided tour I’ve ever been on- hilarious, informative and engaging

-Gondola ride in Venice- expensive and definitely a tourist trap but absolutely still necessary

-La Spezia, Italy- Cinque Terre is a must see destination, at least 3 days

-Tours, France- take a day tour or better yet stay a few nights in the Loire Valley

 

 

Love Hannah

x

 

Note: Whilst my bus ticket with Busabout was complimentary, I have never received money from Busabout and my opinion is entirely my own

 

 

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