Busbud CEO LP Maurice Selected for PhoCusWright “Class of 35″

27 Aug

We’re excited to announce that Busbud CEO LP Maurice has been selected for The PhoCusWright Conference’s 2014 “Class of 35″ Young Leaders Summit, uniting the brightest young stars in the travel industry who “have demonstrated the desire & passion to move the industry forward” this fall in downtown Los Angeles.

View the 2014 list of leaders here. Previous participants in the program have included senior executives from TripAdvisor, Priceline, Expedia, Google, Kayak, Amadeus, SilverRail and Starwood Hotels, as well as the founders of leading travel startups Hipmunk, Rome2Rio, Ostrovok, Liftopia and Tripping.

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Young Leaders Meet To Talk Travel Tech Innovation

The PhoCusWright Conference is the leading travel and technology convention focused on innovation in travel, tourism, and hospitality.

As part of the Class of 35 Young Leaders Summit, LP will get the opportunity to share and learn from like-minded entrepreneurs, discuss common challenges, and spread the Busbud vision.

This year’s edition of the PhoCusWright Conference, takes place between November 11th and 13th, 2014 in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott.

See you there!

Phocuswright LogoPhoto Credit: The PhoCusWright Conference

6 Events to Attend in Europe This August

1 Aug
Edinburgh International Festival 2014, Delusion11eif2014 - Photo credit, Wonge Bergmann

Edinburgh International Festival

August is the time of year where most of Europe is on holiday. While city dwellers head to the coast in search of a sunny beach, these festivals keep cities alive during summer months by drawing in both locals and tourists alike. If you’re headed to Europe – or are already there – here are six events to attend during the month of August.

1. The International Beer Festival in Berlin, Germany
Held between August 1st and 3rd on Karl-Marx-Allee, Berlin’s International Beer Festival doubles as a folk festival with various musical acts taking one of the many stages. Also known as “Beer Mile” (it spans 2 kilometers!), the event gets over one million visitors per year. This festival will satisfy beer aficionados, as it features both local and international craft beers and microbrews. This year, you’ll be able to sample a variety of 2,000 brews from 86 countries.

2. La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain
Be ready to get messy and paint the town red at La Tomatina! This traditional event takes place in Valencia’s Buñol on the last Wednesday of August each year and draws crowds from all over the world. The tradition caught on in the mid-forties after a local food fight erupted and has since stuck. The premise is simple: People gather the streets, wait until the first canon is fired at around 10am, and start throwing tomatoes! The second canon signals the end of the tomato fight. If you’re ambitious, take a shot at trying to climb the wooden pole to get to the ham (another tradition).

3. The Edinburgh Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland
Head to the Scottish capital to enjoy a display of art and culture at one of the largest festivals in Europe. Created in 1947 after the Second World War, its mission has always been to provide a platform for human growth through art. An umbrella term for the many events that makeup The Edinburgh Festival, it spans over three weeks and includes everything from performances, to music & comedy shows, and art exhibitions.

4. The International Street Art Festival in Waterford City, Ireland
From August 1st to the 3rd, this medieval city’s free, urban International Street Art Festival encompasses all the best in street music, theatre, and art. Also called “Spraoi,” the three-day event marks the beginning of the August Bank Holiday for UK residents. The festival focuses on both Irish and international art and exhibitions range from installations, to music, workshops, and more. Be sure not to miss the festival parade!

5. Amsterdam Gay Pride in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Held during the first few days of August, Amsterdam Gay Pride is it one of the largest pride celebrations in the world. It’s also one of the busiest weekends in Amsterdam during summer as thousands of people from across the globe gather to celebrate the festivities. The event hosts a number of parties, concerts, activities, and more, including the famous canal parade on the first Saturday of August.

6. Rock en Seine near Paris, France
From August 22nd to the 24th, Parisians and Europeans will head to the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud just west of Paris to enjoy their favorite bands perform at Rock en Seine. Hailed as one of the largest music festivals in France, it comprises four open-air stages, along with a campsite for those who wish to stay the weekend. This year’s line-up includes Lana Del Rey, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, and Blondie, along with many other coveted acts.

Are you headed to Europe this August? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Wonge Bergmann

La Tournée des Entrepreneurs – Promoting Entrepreneurship In Quebec

30 Jul

La Tournee des entrepreneurs group photo Charlevoix 2014

This past weekend, Busbud CEO LP Maurice embarked on the first of three roadtrips across the province of Quebec as part of La Tournée des entrepreneurs.

Watch the video recap of the weekend in Baie-St-Paul, Charlevoix.

 

Connecting with local entrepreneurs

The tour brought together entrepreneurs from different regions of the province in order to learn, share experiences and inspire. Topics discussed included prototyping, how to sell online, fundraising, web analytics, innovative business models and social entrepreneurship.

Montreal entrepreneurs participating at this first event: Caithrin Rintoul (Provender), Sophie Boulanger (BonLook), Christine Renaud (E-180), Francis Gosselin (f&co), Raff Paquin (AlveoLabs and formerly Frank & Oak) and Fabrice Vil (Pour 3 Points).

Next stops, Gaspé and Rouyn-Noranda!

tournee-des-entrepreneurs-bbq-charlevoix

tournee-des-entrepreneurs-cercle-de-discussion-charlevoix

Bus Around the World: Amsterdam, Netherlands

23 Jul

Did you know that Amsterdam’s canals date back to the 17th century? Considered one of its most popular attractions, take the bus to the Dutch capital and explore the city by sitting near the many waterways and enjoying idyllic walks through the main squares.

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Busbud-Amsterdam-Travel-3

Busbud-Amsterdam-Travel-1

 

Busbud-Amsterdam-Travel-2

Photos taken by Sofia Mazzamauro

If you have a cool bus photo you’d like to submit, please contact us!

Q&A with Abigail King: On Swapping Scrubs for Travel Writing and Photography

19 Jul
Abigail King

Abigail King

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who have had firsthand experiences wandering the world. Last time, we featured Matt Long from LandLopers. Today, we’re happy to feature Abigail King from Inside the Travel Lab.

When Abigail decided she was going to leave her day-to-day life behind to pursue a career in travel writing and photography, she also left behind her career as a doctor. Now, she’s a successful lifestyle journalist and blogger who splits her time between writing travel stories and snapping photos that will leave you in a permanent state of wanderlust. Lucky for us, Abigail takes the time to answer our questions!

Beit Sitti Amman Jordan

Beit Sitti, Amman Jordan

1. Where are you now and where are you headed next?
Right now, I’m in Cardiff getting ready for a summer of festivals as part of the #MustLoveFestivals projects (16 digital storytellers heading to more than 40 festivals across Europe this summer). I’ll be covering festivals in Nuremberg, Puglia, Dublin, Malta, and Barcelona.

2. You gave up your life as a doctor to achieve your dream of becoming a travel writer. How did you make the jump and what was your biggest challenge?
I did what I always do and read a lot of books on the subject! Then, I saved up some money to cushion the blow and gave myself a one year trial period to find out whether I really wanted to write or whether it was just a fantasy. The biggest challenge was definitely getting that first commission. I think that’s easier now that there’s blogging to soak up your time and talent (and energy!) but those first few months of nothing but rejection letters were definitely the toughest.

3. You’ve been published in the BBC, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet, and have won numerous awards. How do you balance work and travel?
It’s tricky! Again, blogging is slightly easier because you’re usually covering the place you’re currently in. With traditional freelance work, you can be, say, in a market in Hong Kong and get a query about a piece on a beach in Barbados that the editor wants feedback on ASAP. So, then you find yourself tucked in an Internet cafe writing about Barbados while the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong swirls around you.

Fish, Okinawa

Okinawa

4. You’re also a talented photographer; where did you pick up the craft and what is the most photogenic place in the world?
Well, thank you! Again, a lot of reading and a lot of practice – that’s my top tip for getting better at photography: Take more photos. Then, ask yourself whether you’d be happy sending those photos to a customer. That really sharpens up your skills.

Ah, there are so many photogenic places in the world. But the Namib Desert is exceptionally beautiful so I think I’d have to say that. Sossusvlei (Death Valley) has a jigsaw cream floor that spreads out across rusty red sand while dark skeletons of trees spike into the sky…it’s stunning.

Namib Desert

Namib Desert

5. At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better travel decisions. What do you think about this mission and do you think this type of service would benefit the travel community?
It’s a great mission, so in one word, yes!

6. Do you have a memorable bus story to share with our readers?
Hm. I was on an overnight bus in Mexico once near the border with Guatemala when soldiers stormed on and yanked out the passenger sitting behind us. That was pretty memorable.

7. Wow, that must have been quite an experience! Has it changed the way you feel about taking buses and do you still rely on them to get around?
Haha! No, well I’ve seen people marched off planes and trains too by the police so I think if you let things like that put you off you’ll never do anything and never go anywhere. Buses definitely still have a place in my travel toolkit – they have the advantage that they usually arrive in the center of town and they provide great views and chances for reading (and sleeping) that driving can’t match.

Landing in Madikwe Game Reserve

Landing in Madikwe Game Reserve

Thanks, Abigail!

You can follow Abigail’s adventures on her blog, as well as on Facebook & Twitter.

Photos by Abigail at Inside the Travel Lab

Bus Around the World: Jurassic Coast

15 Jul
Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast

Located on the English Channel, this World Heritage Site is accessible through many of the UK’s southern towns by bus. With gorgeous cliffs and limestones that line the shore, Jurassic Coast is a must on your getaway.

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Limestones

Photos taken by Julia Trudeau

If you have a cool bus photo you’d like to submit, please contact us!

Q&A with Matt Long: On Being Bitten by the Travel Bug & Where to Find Good Eats

12 Jul
Matt Long

Matt Long

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who have had firsthand experiences wandering the world. Last time, we featured Michael Glass from Backpacker Travel. Today, we’re happy to feature Matt Long from LandLopers.

When Matt caught a bad case of the travel bug, he decided to cure it by visiting over 65 countries on all seven continents. Now, sharing his numerous experiences and adventures with a large roster of daily readers, Matt writes on the best the world has to offer. Based in Washington, DC, he took the time to answer a few of our questions.

Antarctica

Antarctica

1. Where are you now and where are you headed next?
I’m spending a lot of time at home this summer to catch up on work and get myself organized after a really active spring. I start all over again in late August though when I head to Alberta, Canada to explore the Cowboy Trail and a few of their beautiful national parks. This fall, I’ll also be visiting Milan, Italy, Malta, Jordan, and Sri Lanka!

2. How did you decide to make the switch from working a 9-to-5 job to becoming a travel writer, editor, and photographer?
Well, it wasn’t really my choice. I’d been working towards that goal for a couple of years when I lost my job. Rather than look for something else, I decided that it was a sign and used it as an opportunity to make the transition to full-time travel blogger. Two years later, I’ve learned a lot but so far so good!

Venice

Venice

3. Your blog’s Good Eats section is my personal favorite! If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and which country would it be from?
That’s a really hard question. Food is such an important part of the overall travel experience and I have a lot of favorites around the world. My (current) all-time favorite is well-executed Peking duck. I had the meal of a lifetime while in Taiwan and have since tried it a few other times and as long as the meal is executed well, it’s my personal favorite. I’m already salivating just talking about it, in fact.

4. Finally, you mention that your blog caters to “everyone from the novice to the pro traveler.” What are your go-to tips and which do you think all travelers should have in their back pocket?
A few of my favorite tips include:
1. Don’t overplan your trip! Organize a few things, but keep the schedule loose and allow for the spontaneous.
2. Pack Ziploc bags to use them for everything from organizing your carry-on bags to storing dirty clothes.
3. Check out local grocery stores not only to see what the local area values in its food, but for the best deals on snacks, beverages, and food-related gifts and souvenirs.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Thanks, Matt!

You can follow Matt’s adventures on his blog, as well as on Facebook & Twitter.

Photos by Matt Long at LandLopers

 

The Road Ahead

9 Jul

Busbud office

Today, Busbud is proud to announce the closing of a $9M Series A funding round co-led by OMERS Ventures and Revolution Ventures, with participation from iNovia Capital and Real Ventures.

This is a special milestone for our team at Busbud. We are very proud of the road travelled so far and grateful for all the support we’ve received in the past few years. We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings when our founding team worked from my basement and living room.

The investment will help us further fulfill our mission: to make bus travel easy around the world. When I visited South America in 2011, I realized the bus booking experience could be greatly simplified, especially for international travellers. We’ve been at hard work solving this challenge ever since. This new round will allow us to keep improving our product, grow the team and expand our coverage to new markets.

I would like to personally thank all our bus operator partners and travellers who have trusted us since the start. With the help of our partners, we will continue to offer a smart mobility solution that makes it easy for travellers everywhere to roam the planet by bus. In addition to being budget-friendly, the bus is one of the greenest forms of transport available and we are proud to keep promoting its benefits.

I’d also like to thank each member of our amazing team. To my co-founders, to our early team members who joined us two years ago and to those who joined the team just last week, I appreciate your trust and dedication. It’s a pleasure to wake up every morning and work on hard problems together with you. Thanks also to the many investors and advisors who were early believers in the market opportunity and stood beside us to help us realize our vision. There is still a long road ahead, but we would not be here today without you.

Finally, I’d like to offer a special thanks to the Montreal startup ecosystem. While our service is used in various parts of the world, most of the Busbud team is proudly based in Montreal, Canada. Countless members of our ecosystem – which really feels like a family more than an ecosystem on most days – have generously helped us, opened doors and taught us what it took to build a great company. We are grateful and indebted for your continued support.

We’re excited about the future and happy to have you all onboard with us for the ride.

Want to work with a great team on exciting challenges? We’re hiring. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest Busbud updates.

LP Maurice (@lpmo)
CEO & Co-Founder, Busbud

Busbud team photo on July 2014

Photo credit: Andrew Budyk & Alain Wong

10 Tips & Tricks for Bus Travel in the UK

8 Jul
travel by bus to London

London

Traveling within the UK by bus is one of the best ways to discover the unrivalled scenic gems its regions have to offer – something you’ll definitely miss with the plane. With more bus paths than train routes, not only is the bus a cheaper, greener, and more flexible alternative, but it’s also the chosen mode of transportation among the locals. From Scotland’s diverse countrysides, to England’s bustling city centers, if you’re currently in Europe or planning an upcoming trip, here are our 10 tips & tricks for bus travel in the UK.

1. Opt for the scenic route
Travelers with a penchant for wanderlust usually revel in the idea of an offbeat adventure, and choosing the bus will help you get there. Riding a bus – or a coach – in the UK is perfect for visiting more than one city or village off the beaten path because they usually take routes that don’t exist by train. These journeys boast an array of mountainous panoramas, unspoiled countrysides, and historic architecture, making it easy to unearth the many wonders that dot the UK’s landscape. If you pass through small towns, you’ll even get the chance to observe how the locals live.

2. Take advantage of full stops
Another great way to snap Instagram-worthy pictures is by getting off the bus! Not only are these breaks welcome during longer trips, they’re ideal for uncovering the territory’s picturesque backdrop. If you’re traveling by day, you’ll begin sightseeing before reaching your destination – for free.

3. Discover tasty snacks
Delving into the local fare is a fun way to discover other cultures. Want to begin sampling the region’s food before stepping off the bus? Pick up a Cornish Pasty or a Bedfordshire Clanger for lunch breaks. These traditional goodies are easy to pack, making them perfect for on-the-go munchies.

4. Dress for appropriate temperatures
We all know the UK has a reputation for its unpredictable weather, so ensure you dress wisely. Since it tends to be generally colder than other parts of Europe, be sure to pack a good pair of walking boots for treks (bonus if they’re waterproof), a wool sweater if you’re visiting in winter, and a sturdy umbrella.

5. Pack your music
What’s better than admiring the scene to the sound of a personal soundtrack? Create a vacation playlist for your UK adventure by adding tunes like “London Calling” by The Clash or some classics from The Beatles to your repertoire.

6. Familiarize yourself with the terminology
Knowing a few of the UK’s key terms will come in handy for bus travel: Bus (coach or sleeper coach), bus station (coach station), bus driver (coach driver), line (queue), highway (motorway).

7. Research and book your bus tickets online
Search your departure date & time and book your ticket with Busbud. Once that’s done, simply arrive at the bus terminal and board stress free! This is also the easiest way to ensure you are booking through a safe and reliable bus company – and it’s an eco-friendly alternative to other modes of transportation.

8. Choose luxury
Most coach buses in UK are already equipped with a high level of coziness, but you should also consider upgrading to first class for ultimate comfort. The UK has some pretty luxurious coach buses that are at par with some airline cabins. The majority will offer reclining leather seats, WiFi, power outlets, movie screens, sleeper kits, air conditioning, as well as onboard snacks and meals.

9. Organization is key
Many buses journey to neighboring countries, and though most Western countries in the European Union do not have border checkpoints, passport checks still happen from time to time. Be sure to keep passports and bus tickets in order and within reach.

10. Make friends with your bus driver
If you do speak the language, chat your driver up during breaks. You’ll be amazed at how much they know – and how much they’ve seen. They will even give you tips on which side of the bus you should sit on to get the nicest views…and photos!

Have you taken the bus throughout the UK and have some tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Q&A with Backpacker Travel’s Michael Glass: On Smarter Travel and Curating a Resource for Backpackers Worldwide

5 Jul
Michael Glass

Michael Glass

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who have had firsthand experiences wandering the world. Last time, we featured Adam Groffman from Travels of Adam. Today, we’re happy to feature Michael Glass, founder of Backpacker Travel.

When Michael Glass decided to start Backpacker Travel, he was looking to fill the void previously occupied by travel industry professionals. In an age where travel info is popping up from everywhere on the Internet, where do people turn to for expert tips? With a strong army of contributors behind him, Michael created his website with the vision of producing a resource for travelers everywhere.

1. Along with being an avid traveler, you’ve worked many jobs in the industry, like being a travel agent and leading walking tours. How has this helped you cultivate your website into a resource, as opposed to another destination guide?
Having worked in the travel industry over the last 16+ years, I have seen some pretty massive changes to the way people find travel-related information. Before the Internet was as powerful as it is today, people relied heavily on recommendations from the people they trusted. These were often family, friends, and work colleagues, but most importantly, the bricks and mortar travel agent.

Nowadays, that information can be accessed with the click of a mouse, though the challenge has become how to filter through all of this available information into what’s relevant. Because I have worked in a number of roles over this transition, I would say I have come to understand travelers’ needs better than most.

In saying that, Backpacker Travel is the culmination of not only my knowledge, but the combined knowledge of our team of amazing contributors, each from different walks of life and all specialists in their own unique fields of travel. To be clear, this is NOT a destination guide. What we hope to achieve is to become the go-to resource for people looking to travel independently.

2. Backpacker Travel’s mantra is “smarter, safer, and cheaper travel.” What do you think is the key to being a successful backpacker?
Backpacking is an incredibly life-building discovery. You will learn more about yourself in a few short months on the road than you could ever imagine. The Backpacker Travel site is there to help guide you through the many situations you might encounter, but if there is just one tip I can give to budding backpackers, it is this: View the world, its people, customs, and cultures with an open mind. The more open-minded and accepting you are, the quicker you will learn.

Five big traits you will learn along the way are: Patience, tolerance, communication, adaptability, and confidence. We will do our best to give you the tools, but it is ultimately up to the individual to discover their backpacking success.

Backpacker Travel Homepage

Backpacker Travel Homepage

3. It can be quite overwhelming for someone looking to embark on their own adventure, whether it’s working abroad or taking a gap year – where’s the best place to start?
This conundrum is one of the reasons I decided to create the site. You would be surprised to know that not knowing where to start is one of the leading reasons why people don’t actually get started. Because of this, we are busily creating our Backpacker 101 self-help guides. These “how-to” guides are easy to understand and categorized into specific sections like “Before you go,” “Flying,” etc. Again, like anything, the key is to take that first step! It can be daunting for some, but we have lots of experienced travelers here to help out.

4. As a world traveler yourself, what are your top three favorite destinations and where are you planning on going next?
Anyone who has traveled extensively will tell you this is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child, but I will give it my best shot!

Favorite destinations:
1. Ibiza, Spain for nightlife and relaxing by the beach during the day – great combo.
2. Tasmania, Australia for nature and wildlife. This place still seems untouched in many ways.
3. Kyoto, Japan for food and culture. I’ve been here four times but would still go back.

Next week, we are taking a short break to go to Hawaii, but our big trip is planned for November when I am getting married on Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia, followed by our honeymoon in Burma.

5. You also mention that you’re a festival junkie. What has been your most unforgettable festival to date?
Now that’s a much easier question to answer! Although I have been to many incredible festivals over the years, last year we took our first trip to Burning Man in the Nevada Desert. People told us it would be a life-changing experience but nothing prepared me for the unbelievable time we had. During the searing heat of the daytime, we explored Black Rock City, which is purposely built every year for the festival. There is so much to see and do, but be sure to check out all of the wonderful art that is scattered throughout the playa.

Burning Man is a self-sustaining community. There are no shops to go out and buy food and drinks – you must bring everything you need to survive the week. At the end, you must take it with you and leave no trace. There is also a gifting culture where people are encouraged to give their fellow “burners” their time, food, a hug, or something material, and this philosophy truly brings out the very best of human nature. The media often portray Burning Man in a negative light, but I can assure you there is only positivity to be found at this festival!

Burning Man Festival

Burning Man Festival

6. At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better travel decisions. What do you think about this mission and do you think this type of service would benefit the travel community?
I actually heard about Busbud over a year ago and thought the idea was spot on. It has now become so much easier for people to find good deals when it comes to flying, so why not ground transport? There are many places throughout the world where buses are the main mode of transport, especially throughout South and Central America. I am 100% positive that our backpacker community will be using Busbud’s services to plan and book their bus travel, and can only see you going from strength to strength as you add more routes.

7. Finally, do you have a memorable bus story to share with our readers?
To be honest with you, I struggle with pretty bad motion sickness so I am generally knocked out whenever I need to take a long bus ride. My tour group can attest to that during our bus ride from Alice Springs to Darwin. All I need is an open window, a pillow, and something to put me to sleep!

Thanks, Michael!

You can follow him on Backpacker Travel, as well as on Facebook & Twitter.

Photos by Michael Glass at Backpacker Travel

 

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