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Making friends in the UK

10 Oct

busbud_uk_event_web (1)

Coming back from the UK energized with new connections and exciting opportunities. 

What a great time we had in London! As winners of 2nd Global Adventure Competition, we were invited by UK Trade and Investment Canada (UKTI) to meet potential partners and generally grow the Busbud network in the UK.

To get started on the right foot, we put together a friendly meet & greet, inviting key UK travel industry innovators to join us for a delicious glass of Québec ice cider from Face cachée de la pomme.

We couldn’t believe the response! Thanks to the help of our partners Smart Move/IRU and the Québec Delegation in London, we got to spend a few hours with over forty-five representatives of local businesses, associations and media involved in the UK travel and tourism industries. We learned a lot, and everyone seemed genuinely excited about what we are doing to simplify the bus traveller’s journey.

We also had a great time pitching Busbud at C100 and are grateful to the UKTI for connecting us with exciting potential partners and travel buddies.

A big “thank-you” to all of you – we truly felt a great sense of community and look forward to building these relationships as we expand our business in the UK.

We’ll be back!

We’re listening to your feedback

23 Jan

We’ve been busy at work in the past few weeks on several new features for Busbud.com which should make the site even easier to use for travelers around the world. Stay tuned for updates soon! We’ve also added many new routes in response to your contributions, comments and email requests.

If you have suggestions or ideas for us, let us know, we’re listening! What features are you using the most? What features would you like to see on the site?

For product suggestions and ideas, you can use the Feedback tool (a blue button at the bottom right of every page on the site). It lets other users view and vote on your suggestions. For anything else, you can email us at feedback@busbud.com. Our team reads every email, so feel free to leave us a note.

Be Awesome, Contribute a Schedule

9 Jan

The Mont Tremblant ski resort, 2 hours from Montreal, Canada. You can get there by bus.

Did you find a useful schedule for a bus route? Whether you’re in a bus station or in front of your computer doing research for an upcoming trip, you can help out fellow travelers looking for that same info by submitting schedule information to Busbud. You can submit either the specific bus schedule itself or simply the name of a bus company operating on that route.

There are a few different ways to contribute. The simplest way is to find to the Add button, which is present on every route page on Busbud under the Contribute header.

Add button on Route pages

Let’s say you want to add a schedule for the Montreal to Mont-Tremblant route. With the start of the ski season under way in Canada, that information would surely be quite practical!

Clicking on the Add button will open a dialog box where you can very rapidly submit the information. The first step is to fill in the name of the bus company, as below. After that, you have the choice of either entering a URL or typing out the schedule yourself. Pick whichever is easiest for you. For the URL option, simply copy-paste a link to the relevant schedule information. For the manual input option, you can type the schedule in the text box following the instructions available by clicking “View instructions”. It’s as easy as that.

Contribute a schedule

On your smartphone? That’s OK too, it’s easy to contribute while you’re on-the-go! Simply take a snapshot of a schedule you’ve found while traveling and email us the photo directly at contribute@busbud.com

Photo of the bus schedule taken with your smartphone

You can leave us your contact information if you’d like to be notified when we publish your schedule.

Leave us your coordinates if you want to credited/contacted

We review all schedules, links and photos submitted in order to make sure the information is as accurate as possible for travelers.

Once we approve and publish the information, we’ll add your name in the Contribute section (first initial and last name only, along with your city of origin and country flag) on that route page to credit and thank you for your contribution to Busbud on behalf of the travel community.

Your name will appear in the Contribute section!

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have your name appear on the site. You can contribute schedules anonymously! It’s completely optional to leave us your coordinates. That said, if you do, we’ll be sure to give you credit and also notify you when your contribution has been published on the site.

Busbud is a community built for travelers by travelers. We try our best to keep the schedule information accurate and up-to-date for you. Maintaining schedules for the most routes possible is a major undertaking, and that’s why we need your help! We’d ideally like you to always find the route you are looking for, no matter how off-the-beaten-path it is!

Want to try it out? You can submit a schedule by clicking on Add on our any route page currently available or email us the schedule information at contribute@busbud.com. If the route page for which you want to submit a schedule is not currently available, let us know.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve the contribution process, you can also drop us a line at info@busbud.com.

Photo by: Andrea Black

Happy Holidays from Busbud!

23 Dec

Holiday Bus in Tokyo, Japan!

Although we launched Busbud only a month ago, we’ve been really amazed by your reception. Thank you for sending in your feedback and support— your kind words fuel us every day as we work on making Busbud the best bus travel information source on the web.

Our goal since the beginning has been to make bus travel easier because we believe it’s one of the best ways to experience travel abroad. Traveling in itself is a rich and rewarding experience because you’re immersed in the culture of locals. Traveling by bus brings you closer to the action and puts you front and center into the daily lives of locals. The bus also gets you to some pretty awesome places. In the words of Andrew Evans, digital nomad for National Geographic, “hopping on a bus to a place whose name you can’t even pronounce is one of the greatest adventures out there”.

We’ve got great stuff coming up for the new year, so stay tuned. We look forward to an exciting new year of adventure with you in 2012.

Best wishes from all of us here at Busbud,

The Busbud team

Photo: e_chaya

Weekly Recap: All About Architecture on Travelers’ Night In

9 Dec

There’s an awesome traveler community on Twitter and each week we’ll be highlighting an interesting conversation stream that happened on the platform. This week, we followed the conversation on Travelers’ Night In.

Architecture Around The World

This week’s Travelers Night In (#TNI) conversation centered around architecture:

  1. Favorite historic building/monument in the world?
  2. Best venue to see live entertainment in the world?
  3. Ugliest building/architectural design you have seen in your travels?
  4. Which city’s architecture makes you want to move there?
  5. Most beautiful place of worship you’ve been to?
  6. Favorite awe-inspiring architecture you’ve seen?
  7. Most unique building/monument you’ve seen in your travels?
  8. Ancient structure that seems unfathomable?
  9. Dream big…architectural feature you’d add to your own home?
  10. Most over-rated architectural attraction?

I enjoyed many answers, especially those to Question #3! If you missed this week’s tweetup, check out the whole conversation here.

Q1. What are you MOST grateful for when you return home from a trip?

A1. The Sagrada Familia, with its anticipated completion date of 2026— the centennial of Gaudí’s death.

I last visited Barcelona in the summer of 2006, and was dumbfounded by the sight of the Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi which spanned 90m in length and stood tall at 170m at its peak.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Q3. Ugliest building/architectural design you have seen in your travels?

A3. Ugliest building I’ve seen… I’ll have to go with big box stores in the United States. Sure, they’re functional, but what happened to inspiration?

And what about human creativity and artistry? Throughout my travels, I haven’t encountered anything as uninspiring as the cookie-cutter shopping mall. Even reading the Wikipedia excerpt makes them sound boring, “Large, free-standing, rectangular, generally single-floor structure built on a concrete slab”. I’ll refrain from including a picture for this one!

Q6. Favorite awe-inspiring architecture you’ve seen?

A6. This is a classic, but I have to say it: Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel. The artwork in real life is astounding. Almost hurt my neck staring at the ceiling.

I misunderstood the question and answered with artwork rather than architecture, but Michaelangelo’s frescoes go hand in hand with the architecture of the Sistine Chapel, so it just made sense for me to talk about it. It’s still one of my all-time favorite travel inspirations.

Michaelangelo's frescoes at the Sistine Chapel

I had a great time learning about architecture around the world.

Thanks everyone, and until next week. Safe travels!

Travelers’ Night In is a great way to chat with other travelers on Twitter. It happens every Thursday from 3:30-5pm ET. If you’d like to connect with me on Twitter, follow @Busbud.

Photos by daomna111 and goforchris on Flickr.

Weekly Recap: Travel Talk on Twitter

3 Dec

Participating in a travel tweetup can be lots of fun, and you get to meet travelers from around the world while you’re at it.

Last week was all about Thankful Travel during Travelers’ Night In, a weekly discussion hosted by the friendly people at Zip Set Go. This week, I followed Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT), a tweetup founded by Melvin of Traveldudes that happens every Tuesdays, both at 9:30 AM and 9:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time.

Travel Talk on Twitter

We’ve already featured two travel bloggers here at Busbud, the fetching Wandering Earl and the lovely Ayngelina Brogan, and so you’ve read a bit about full-time travelers. What if you want to keep travel in your life without making a permanent career change?

This week’s aptly titled “How to keep travel in your life if you are NOT a professional nomad…!” on #TTOT explored the question:

  1. How can you travel when you can’t afford to travel?
  2. What things should I consider before moving to another country for six months?
  3. How far do you need to go to experience Travel?
  4. What jobs are available where you can work whilst travelling from anywhere in the world?
  5. What do you do when you get itchy feet but can’t leave yet?

Here are some of the answers I enjoyed the most.

Q1. How can you travel when you can’t afford to travel?

Kelsey Freeman:  A1. Travel can be cheap if you’re willing to sacrifice a few comforts and do a bit of planning.

Q2. What things should I consider before moving to another country for six months?

Steve Bloom: A2. Be flexible. It might not turn out what you imagine in your head

Q3. How far do you need to go to experience travel?

Willing Foot: A3. Just walk in a new direction when you leave your home.

Q4. What jobs are available where you can work whilst travelling from anywhere in the world?

Iain Mallory: A4. Sell photos via a stock image library not a fortune but all adds up.

Q5. What do you do when you get itchy feet but can’t leave yet?

Jeff Titelius: A5. Travel virtually in Google Earth, Blogs, Flickr, Facebook and start planning.

Travel Talk on Twitter has a great group of hosts who care deeply about the travel community, and it shows in the love that’s being shared during these tweetups. Join in on the fun next Tuesday for “Winter Travel”. — it’ll be a guaranteed good time!

And we’re off! Welcome onboard and thanks for an awesome first week

27 Nov

Open road on Route 89 in Teton Valley, Wyoming, USA

There was much to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving weekend. On behalf of my co-founders Michael and Fred and the whole team at Busbud, we’d like to thank you for your wonderful response to the site during our first week.

We’ve received hundreds of emails with kind words, feature requests, new routes to add, and ideas for the blog. We thought we’d be launching the site to an audience of a few friends this week, but we’ve received feedback from new users halfway around the world in Costa Rica, Switzerland, Brazil, Israel, Spain, Mexico, UK, Australia, France, Italy and Turkey. Thanks for visiting the site and taking the time to write in.

I also wanted to thank the travel bloggers who’ve submitted feedback this week, it’s been nice to hear from you. Special thanks goes to Wandering Earl, who kicked off our Q&A series with a great message about the power of independent travel. Check out that post and stay tuned for more inspiring interviews on the blog with nomads, adventurers and travelers. In addition, many of you liked our site on Facebook, followed us on Twitter and shared the posts that we published this week. Thanks for that!

We are building the site in the hope that it can become a useful resource for independent travelers around the world. In fact, we envisioned from the start that this would be a community built for travelers by travelers. After almost one week, I can already say: it’s been great meeting you so far, community!

Keep the feedback coming, we love hearing from you!

You can email us at info@busbud.com. If you have a suggestion to share, you can also consider using the blue Feedback tab directly on the bottom right of the Busbud site.

Photo by: Daniel A D’Auria (Dr Dad)

Weekly Recap: Thankful Travel at Travelers’ Night In

25 Nov

A great way to connect with travelers is through Twitter. For example, @WanderingEarl, our featured travel blogger this week, shares great travel tips and keeps in contact with other travelers through tweets.

You can also participate through meetups — aka tweetups — like Travelers’ Night In, a weekly question & answer conversation hosted by April, Rachel and Sara Beth from Zip Set Go. It’s a great way to meet other travelers and it happens every Thursday from 3:30-5pm ET.

Thankful Travel this Thanksgiving

I’ve been following #TNI for the past few months, and yesterday was the first time I participated.

The theme was Thankful Travel in honor of Thanksgiving. Here’s the list of questions:

  1. What are you MOST grateful for when you return home from a trip?
  2. Item have you been most thankful to have on your travels? Why?
  3. Person you’ve met while traveling that deserves a big “Thank You”?
  4. Favorite part of Thanksgiving? Least favorite part?
  5. Trip you are most thankful to have gone on? Why?
  6. Best “Thank You” you have ever received?
  7. One destination that you would say “No Thanks” to visiting? Why?
  8. Unexpected experience were you most grateful for?
  9. What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
  10. Favorite gift you’ve received in your travels?

Internet was finicky on my phone, so I missed out on the first questions, but I enjoyed answering the last few.

Q8. Unexpected experience were you most grateful for?

A8. Meeting Iranian cyclists Nasim & Jafar while touring down Pacific Coast. Taught me that Iran is not what is portrayed in media

They are wonderful people and showed me that regular Iranians are peaceful and good. You can check out their site RMC4Peace here.

Q9. What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

A9. Wonderful American friends & family who arrived safely to their destination today. Canadian one was celebrated in October :)

Two Busbud team members (Kim and Mike) traveled to San Francisco yesterday for a family gathering, and I’m glad they made it theresafely. Although traveling is safer today than it was a century ago, accidents still happen. I’m happy and grateful that travelers reached their loved ones for Thanksgiving and get to enjoy some cherished family time.

Q10. Favorite gift you’ve received in your travels?

A10. The gift of experience. By that I mean learning firsthand what it feels like to be in a beautiful place and to bask in its beauty.

I had trouble fitting this answer into a single tweet. My favorite gift really isn’t anything material— it’s the experiences and the memories that count. One of my favorite New York Times article talks about spending on experiences rather than possessions makes you happier. Travel does that and more!

It was a great first time participating at #TNI, and I’m looking forward to next week already.

If you’d like to connect with me on Twitter, follow @Busbud.

5 Reasons Why It’s Smarter To Travel By Bus This Thanksgiving

24 Nov
Holiday Travelers Brave Thanksgiving Exodus

Holiday Travelers Brave Thanksgiving Exodus. Travelers line up at a ticket counter at LAX on the eve before Thanksgiving, traditionally the busiest travel day of the year.

Thanksgiving travel is officially in full swing! According to travel tracker AAA, 42.5 million Americans will be traveling this holiday season, the first increase in travelers since the 2008 recession. They’ll be taking the plane, riding the train or even driving to their destination.

For short trips, taking the bus is the smart way to travel. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. The most affordable travel option. Thanksgiving can be a costly holiday. AAA noted a 20 percent increase in airfare and a 2-5 percent rise in rail travel fare. Fuel is also up 50 cents per gallon compared to 2010. In contrast, discount bus carriers are offering round-trip tickets for often a third of the price of the plane or train. Bus travel is definitely your most wallet-friendly option!
  2. Safety comes first. Driving can be exhausting, especially with the additional traffic on the roads for the holiday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12.5 percent of crashes leading to hospitalization are caused by fatigued drivers. Still considering going the distance by car? Thanksgiving is the number one holiday for drunk driving related fatalities, ahead of New Year’s Eve.
  3. More seats made available. Hoping for a spot to clear up on a last minute flight? That might be wishful thinking! The Air Transport Association (ATA) warned travelers to expect full flights during Thanksgiving due to a reduction in the number of seats available. On the other hand, bus operators are adding close to 780 additional motorcoaches, especially to better serve the northeast routes. That’s about 42,900 extra seats!
  4. Green is a jolly color. Traveling by bus is the most efficient way to travel in the U.S. Inter-city buses can get a whopping 125 passenger miles per gallon (pMPG), while Amtrak trains only get 45 pMPG and an average plane’s efficiency is around 22.6 pMPG. Buses, which can often carry 50+ passengers at a time, also reduce the number of cars on the road. That results in a lot less traffic, and a lot less fuel consumption!
  5. Increased comfort. In recent years, bus operators have undergone massive changes, making the bus more appealing to users. Coupled with modern conveniences and updates like WiFi accessibility, bus travel is a comfortable and customer-friendly option for your travels.

So this holiday season— kick back, take the bus and relax.

Holiday travelers wanting to beat the rush

Holiday travelers, wanting to beat the rush before Thanksgiving, arrive early at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia

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