Archive | February, 2012

Bus Around The World: London, UK

20 Feb

Bus Crossing The London Bridge

Photo taken by JD Andrews in London, UK- Check out more of JD’s amazing travel photos on EarthXplorer!

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

Q&A with Dan & Audrey from Uncornered Market: A Husband-And-Wife Team on the Secrets to Long-Term Travel in 70+ Countries

17 Feb

Audrey and Dan on Camel at Giza Pyramids

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we contact travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel. Today, we’re happy to share an interview with our first traveling couple, Dan and Audrey from Uncornered Market. Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are the husband-and-wife team that brings you deep stories from the 70 countries they’ve visited in the past five years.

Like National Geographic’s digital nomad Andrew Evans, Dan and Audrey have braved the cold in Antarctica. They do amazing video recipes. They have the most epic marriage proposal story ever. Through their adventures, they show how you can travel as a couple and have the time of your life.

1) Where are you now, and where are you headed?

Currently in Oaxaca, Mexico for a couple of months to catch up on a couple of projects. After that, we’re still in planning mode. Have a few places like Japan, Israel, South Africa, Australia on the brain for this year.

2) You aim to humanize the places you visit by drawing your readers in through photographs and stories. How successful have you been so far with your blog? And what’s the most rewarding comment you’ve received from your fans?

When we get comments like, “I’ve never thought about X country (or region), but now I want to learn more and maybe visit.” This was a common response to our articles on Bangladesh, Central Asia and Iran. We consider that a success.

As for the most rewarding comment, I can’t choose just one. But, I do know of readers who have taken their first trip because we gave them the inspiration and confidence to do so. And from that trip they have started exploring more in their lives. That means the world to us.

Salkantay Mountain in Peru

3) Since you’re the first featured married travelers on Busbud, I can’t help but ask you about your relationship. Can you share the challenges and the benefits of traveling with your significant other?

There are many of both! Dan and I often observe and process different things, so when we talk about a situation later it’s like we are both learning more from the experience as we have each other’s perspectives on top of our own. And we balance each other out when one of us is feeling sick or down, the other can pick up the slack. Long-term travel and spending so much time with one person does also cause stress where you start having silly fights and picking on stupid things. We wrote about how to balance all this out in an appropriately named piece called: How to Travel the World Together Without Killing Each Other.

4) You’ve got an amazing original series of videos available online in which you share what your adventures, the food you eat as well as the people you meet. Which video are you most proud of?

That’s a tough question! Our food videos are the most popular, but the one that we’re most proud of would have to be Battambang on a Bike from Cambodia. We’ve shown this short video to students in Estonia and the United States and we’ve been amazed at the response we’ve gotten from students on this and how it begins to question their assumptions about money, poverty, happiness and life around the world.

5) At Busbud, our mission is to make life easier for bus travelers. You’ve taken the bus in China, Cambodia and Argentina. Which country have you found most bus-friendly, and why?

Argentina has the best buses of the three. If you splurge for the high end service, you get champagne, wine and pretty good food. Often there is free wifi, too. In China, my suggestion is to take the train if you can.

Detaille Island in Antarctica

6. And for a related question, what do you enjoy most about bus travel?

Bus travel is slow travel, meaning that you see the progression and changes in landscape, people and culture go by. This provides understanding of the places you’re visiting. When you travel by plane, it can be a shock to land in such a different place without having the context of building up to it.

7) Finally, my favorite section on your blog is the “Make Me Laugh” section. You’ve got a great sense of humor, and you use your keen sense of observations to give us perspective on our lives through these articles. After all these years on the road, are you still surprised by what you discover on your travels? What keeps you going?

Each time we think we’ve seen it all, something else comes our way that makes us realize we’ve seen nothing. Just the other night, we were at a bar in Oaxaca when when a vendor came around with a little box selling electric shocks. Yes, electric shocks! Not sure why, but supposedly it’s a common game that people think is fun. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll always find something that will surprise you.

What keeps us going with our travels? Curiosity and people.

Thanks Audrey and Scott! I’ve attached one of my favorite video recipes from them below, on how to cook classic Thai dishes. You can find more videos on their Youtube channelYou can get in touch with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Like this interview? Read more awesome Q&A interviews with travel bloggers. Or like us on Facebook!

Photos by Uncornered Market

Trip Planning Made Easier with our Improved “Explore” City Guides

15 Feb

Aerial View of New York City

Busbud not only helps travelers around the world find bus schedules for thousands of routes, but also helps them find resources to better plan their trip with the Explore section available on our 4000+ city and country pages.

Today, we are launching improved Explore city guides, with new categories and more relevant content links than before. This update will help travelers find helpful content faster and make the travel planning process that much simpler! Check out the New York City page for an example.

The content links will feature a variety of sources relevant to the budget traveler, such as Lonely PlanetNational GeographicRough GuidesHostelworld and the STA Travel. We do our best to locate the best content from trusted providers, in order to save time for the traveler on-the-go. We will also be adding and curating content links on an ongoing basis to ensure their relevancy.

When we added the Explore section back in December, the section displayed links to great articles from the travel blogger community. These articles, which contain a wealth of city-specific travel tips, helped travelers discover local experiences, attractions and activities on their bus travel itinerary or in their destination city upon arrival. After receiving very positive feedback for the Explore section, we’ve decided to add new content categories and expand the number of content links displayed per category.

Travelers will now be able to find content links for the following additional new categories:

  • Online guides
  • Guidebooks
  • Accommodations
  • Tours and activities
  • Travel agencies
  • Tourism board
  • Local transport

So now, if your bus travel brings you to New York, you’ll be able to find a selection of guidebooks for the best travel publishers, research a city’s main neighbourhoods with helpful online guides, find a room in a hostel, book a city tour or learn about local transport options in New York – all in one place! You can also view the city pages for Toronto, Paris, Seville, La Paz, and Istanbul.

The Explore city guide for New York City

If you are a travel blogger and would like to have your blog posts featured in the Explore section, please contact us at community@busbud.com. You can learn how to submit article in our initial post for the Explore section. If you would like to suggest links to include or have your content featured in other categories, please contact us at info@busbud.com.

Photo: CJ ISherwood

5 Romantic Getaways for Valentine’s Day

12 Feb

Ah, Valentine’s Day ! Cupid throws his arrow and it hits you on the head. Year after year, it’s the same dilemma. What to do ? Where to go ? How to celebrate ? In order to help you plan a spectacular Valentine’s Day, we have compiled a list of romantic travel destinations tried and tested by the Busbus team! Below are a few places that get our stamp of approval!

1) Manual Antonio, Costa Rica : If wild beaches, luscious vegetation and intimacy are on your list this Valentine’s Day, then Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica is definitely the place to go! Offering uniquely breathtaking views, the Manual Antonio National Park is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Surrounded by rainforest, vast white sand beaches and coral reefs, there are plenty of places to be secluded with your Valentine, in total privacy (well, almost, you might find a few monkeys peeking..)!

Beach view inside Manuel Antonio Park in Costa Rica

2) Paris, France : Ask any person what cities come to mind in terms of romantic destinations and you’re sure to end up with Paris on this list. And with reason ! No matter where you go in the city of love, you’re constantly reminded of its romance. Gothic architecture, love letters that have survived the ages, charming cafés, vast gardens, city lights and the iconic Eiffel Tower: what more could one ask for? Whether a promenade along the Seine or a walk through the Marais, St. Germain-des-Pres, and the Latin Quarter, you’re sure to succumb to Paris’ charm. After all, the French are masters in the art of seduction!  So this Valentine’s Day, get lost in your partner’s eyes at a quaint coffee shop, pick up a sweet surprise at La Durée, and indulge in some of the best cuisine worldwide! While you are at it, why not add a little spice with a later night cabaret show?!

Notre-Dame-de-Paris by night. Photo credit: Kim Gradek

3) Quebec City, Canada : Longing for Paris but can’t cross the Atlantic ?  No worries, Quebec City will take you back in time to the most romantic ages. Opt for a “caleche” (horse carriage) ride through Quebec’s Historic town that dates back to the 18th century.  Then leisurely stroll through the Quartier Petit Champlain, where boutiques, cafés, art galleries and adorable restaurants line the winding streets. If the frosty weather is getting to you, head up to the Dufferin Terrace boardwalk for a panoramic view of the St Lawrence river, before stepping into the city’s rococo landmark, the Fairmount Le Château Frontenac, to warm up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.

Quebec City streets at night, with the historic Chateau Frontenac on the hilltop

4) Napa Valley, California, USA : If the scenery alone isn’t enough to make you fall head over heels in love, the wine and food are sure to awaken your senses. California’s wine country is a treasure trove of romantic spots. And the Napa Valley has a few jewels that shine brighter than the rest. Be warned however, these jewels come don’t come cheap! Perched on Angwin Mountain, Cade winery‘s breathtaking view is second to none in the northern valley. Take advantage of it and sample delicious wines in an intimate interior decor or step outside to admire the splendors the terrace has to offer. Then, head over to Yountville for a visual feast and late afternoon tasting at the casually chic art gallery Ma(i)sonry. Finally, reserve a table at the Restaurant at Meadowood: you’re sure to be in for a treat! Chef Kostow and his brigade will leave your taste buds in awe.

Tasting Room at Cade winery - Angwin, Napa Valley, California. Photo Credit: Kim Gradek

5) Girona, Spain : Even though the Spaniards celebrate their romantic holiday in April, here’s a city who has it all and is the ideal romantic destination. Nestled away between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, Girona’s charm is almost indescribable. A walk along the historic city’s walls will allow you to glimpse into the city’s rich cultural baggage. Also known as one of the main sources of world gastronomical creation, Girona is home to the second best restaurant in the world: El Celler de Can Roca.  History, amazing food and Spanish warmth, what more could one ask for? Great music! So be sure to stop by Lola Café and let the sounds of flamenco invade you as they revive your romance and passion.

Balconies at night in Girona, Spain

Photos by: LWY (Quebec City) and MarimbaJLamesa (Girona)

Now Available in 10 Languages!

8 Feb

Since we launched the site back in November, Busbud has been available in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Today, in the spirit of making Busbud a valuable resource for travelers around the world, we are expanding our language support to 10 languages including the following 6 languages: German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Turkish and Swedish.

We now also support 15 currencies. Until now, Busbud displayed bus prices in the national currency of the bus company offering service on a given route. Starting today, we will display bus prices both in the national currency and in the traveler’s chosen currency. This can be very practical for the user to quickly understand the price of a bus trip in a familiar currency. Travelers can use the new international menu at the top right of the site to set their preference.

We hope that these two changes will increase the accessibility of the site for international travelers, as well as help visitors to have a more relevant and personalized experience on Busbud.

Furthermore, we are also activating a number of international domains, such as those for Germany, France, SpainArgentina and Brazil, that automatically set a relevant language and currency, which can later be changed by the user if desired.

Please check out the new changes and tell us what you think! If you have product suggestions or feedback on the translations, please email us directly at info@busbud.com

Bus Around the World: Trichy, India

3 Feb

Waiting to hop on the bus in Trichy, India.

Photo taken by Kim Ong at Trichy’s bus station in India.

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

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