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!

Visit Busbud to learn more about National Express and iDBUS’ schedules and ticketsHave 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

 

Bus Around the World: Florence, Italy

4 Jul
Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence

The view from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence

Hop off the bus once you reach Piazzale Michelangelo’s lookout point for a panoramic view of Florence from above before heading back down to the historic city center.

Photo taken by Sofia Mazzamauro

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

Q&A with Travels of Adam: On Hipster Travel and Moving Halfway Across the Globe

27 Jun
Adam in Dresden

Adam in Dresden

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 Seth Kugel, the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler. Today, we’re happy to feature Adam Groffman from Travels of Adam.

After quitting his 9-to-5 job as a graphic designer in Boston, Adam Groffman took to traveling the globe and hasn’t stopped since. From visiting most of Europe, to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, he’s seen a large chunk of the world in less than five years. Lucky for us, he takes some time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions while on his way to the airport to catch a flight to Ljubljana.

Chiang Mai Temple

Chiang Mai Temple

1. You’re currently living in Berlin, right? How did you choose to “settle” there and are you planning on staying?
I came to Berlin in 2011 for the first time and fell in love with the city hard and fast. I decided to move to Berlin pretty quickly after that and did everything possible to make it happen. No plans to leave – this is the coolest city in the world and it’s so very easy to live here. With such amazing culture, more than enough cool things to do, and a great quality of life, I’d be crazy to leave!

2. As you explain in your blog, you were bitten by the travel bug after a trip to Iceland in 2009. What advice do you have for those wanting to travel long-term but don’t know where to start?
I’m a firm believer in making a plan, but I do think you should quickly throw it away and not stick to it. I made a rough itinerary before my round-the-world trip. I spent tens of hours putting it together, researching costs, and possible itineraries. I didn’t even look at it again until a month into my big trip – and I haven’t opened it since! To get started, I definitely think you need to read up on the world, figure out where you want to go, and what you want to do. But you should be willing, flexible, and open-minded enough to throw it all out the window. Also, you should read Rolf Potts’ book Vagabonding.

3. You refer to yourself as a “hipster travel blogger.” What exactly does that mean?
While many blogs might advise people to get rid of all their stuff and buy special travel gear, I went around the world with my favorite t-shirts, my favorite pair of jeans, and all my regular possessions. I didn’t buy too many travel products but just went as I was. I bought what I needed as I went. These days when I travel, I typically take short city breaks. When I travel, I like to see the world and to explore new things – it’s part of what I call my hipster manifesto. That means traveling to see and learn new things, but also to think about what you’ve learned and what you’ve done.

Adam in Vietnam

Adam in Vietnam

4. I notice you visited Montreal in 2012. What did you think of our city and did you have a favorite spot?
I had a mixed reaction to Montreal. I’ve actually been a few times but mostly as a kid. I got to explore the city during my trip in 2012 and I really enjoyed Casa del Popolo as I thought it was a pretty hip place with a nice history. Oh, and the bagels! The bagels in Montreal were so good! I’d actually love to return to explore the gay scene as I’ve heard it’s one of the most colorful and vibrant gay areas in Canada. Maybe next year!

5. At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better decisions. What do you think of this mission and do you think this type of service would benefit the travel community?
I really love traveling by bus – in Europe it’s often the cheapest way to get from point A to point B. And when the bus service is top-notch (as it is in Europe, with free coffee and WiFi!), then it’s just as comfortable and enjoyable as taking a train or a plane. I’m sure there’s a place for your business!

6. Do you have a memorable bus travel story to share with our readers?
I remember many of my bus rides in India – it was a crazy, but fun way to get around the country. The buses were colorful and the people were friendly. I took several long bus journeys, but my most memorable was a short bus ride (about 2-3 hours) I took from Pondicherry to Mamallapuram on the southeastern coast of India. My friend and I were on the bus on New Year’s Eve, so we had a fun time chatting with some of the locals before getting off to celebrate at midnight!

Plaza de Espana in Seville

Plaza de Espana in Seville

7. Finally, where are you headed next?
This weekend, I’m visiting a European city I keep hearing is the “next Berlin”: Ljubljana, Slovenia (it’s supposed to be very cool and hip). I’m there on a blog and social media project called #TasteLjubljana so you can follow along all weekend and read more about it here.

Thanks, Adam!

You can follow Adam’s adventures on his blog, as well as on FacebookTwitter.

Photos by Adam Groffman at Travels of Adam

10 Tips & Tricks for Bus Travel in Peru

26 Jun
travel by bus to Cusco

Cusco

Traveling within Peru by bus is one of the best ways to discover the unrivalled landscapes the country has to offer – something you’ll definitely miss with the plane. Brimming with a myriad of scenic gems, Peru’s buses pass through many regional sites that will awaken your inner wanderlust. If you’re currently in South America or planning an upcoming trip, here are our 10 tips & tricks for bus travel in Peru.

1. Get ready for high altitudes
Wondering why bus travel in Peru is longer than your usual trek? High altitudes are to blame, and they can reach 5000 meters above sea level. If you aren’t used to traveling on these routes, you may start to feel tired and dizzy thanks to the low air pressure up there.

2. But know how to curb its effects
The best way to deal with high altitudes is to be sure you stay hydrated, pack altitude sickness pills, and avoid overexerting yourself.

3. Discover Peruvian snacks at bus terminals

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? Mouth-watering snacks you’ll come across at Peru’s terminals include juanes, tamales, and humitas, which are all neatly wrapped up in traditional leaves. These goodies are easy to pack, making them perfect for on-the-go munchies.

4. Don’t forget to layer
It can get chilly depending where you are, so bring an extra sweater. From the Andes, to the Peruvian Amazon, traveling through many geographical regions means experiencing different temperatures!

5. Admire the scenery
If you’re traveling by day, you’ll begin sightseeing before reaching your destination. With prime views of the Peruvian panorama, unearth the many coastlines, canyons, mountains, and active volcanoes that dot the landscape – for free. If you pass through small towns, you’ll even get the chance to observe how the locals live.

6. 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 after hours of sitting, they’re the best way to get a sense of Peru’s picturesque backdrop. These are also popular locations to buy souvenirs as local crafts people set up shop here – no need to worry about buying gifts during your stay.

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. Opt for luxury
Consider upgrading to first class for ultimate comfort during long day trips or an overnighter. Peru has some pretty luxurious coach buses that are at par with some airline cabins. They offer reclining leather seats, WiFi, power outlets, movie screens, air conditioning, and a hostess that serves onboard snacks and meals.

9. Learn the lingo 
Knowing a few key words and phrases in Spanish will come in handy for bus travel in Peru: Bus (autobús), bus station (estación de autobús), Where is the bus stop? (¿Dónde está la parada del autobús?), schedule (horario), arrival (llegada), departure (salida), destination (destino), bus driver (conductor de autobús).

10. Talk to 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!

Visit Busbud to learn more about Turismo Civa’s schedules and ticketsHave you taken the bus throughout Peru and have some tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

How Busbud.com is changing bus travel around the world [Video]

20 Jun

By making it easier for international travellers to search, compare and book their city-to-city bus tickets online, Busbud.com opens up a whole new market – and a brand new revenue stream – for its partners.

 

It’s not always easy to find the right bus ticket online when traveling abroad — or even in your home country for that matter. Often times, the simplest way to figure out your options is to make a trip to the local bus station and buy your ticket in person. On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to find a plane ticket or rent a car online.

 

busstation

 

This is what LP Maurice, co-founder and CEO of Busbud, discovered in 2011 while backpacking across South America. He prefered travelling by bus, but in order to do so, he had to spend way too much time skimming through travel blogs and waiting in line at bus stations. “There must be a better way,” he thought. Busbud was born.

With more than a billion international tourists traveling the world each year, 80% of which plan their trip online, it was obvious that this was a huge opportunity.

Our mission at Busbud is to make long-distance bus travel as easy to plan and book online as any other mode of transportation.

Today, travellers can search, compare and book their bus tickets on the go on Busbud.com. It is the most comprehensive source of worldwide bus travel information, covering more than 10 000 cities in 90 countries, in many languages and currencies.

 

busrevenues
We are actively working on expanding our partnership network with bus companies worldwide. If you think your company might be interested in becoming part of the Busbud family, do contact us at partner@busbud.com; we would love to hear from you!

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 3.36.12 PM 1

Brazil Bus Finder – Follow your World Cup team with Busbud

11 Jun

In Brazil for the World Cup? Book the right bus ticket to the next match using Busbud.com’s Brazil Bus Finder. Screenshot Busbud Brazil Bus Finder World Cup 2014 To celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, we’ve created a microsite dedicated to help soccer fans easily book their bus trips between the host cities across Brazil. On www.busbud.com/worldcup, you can filter bus routes and schedules by team or city, and book bus tickets for various companies online, directly on Busbud. Routes will be updated continuously based on the evolving World Cup match results.

Busbud Mobile - Brazil Bus Finder for World Cup 2014

In Brazil, buses are the main mode of long-distance transportation: they are clean, comfortable, run on time, and the main routes — between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, for example — are typically served many times a day. The thing is, finding the right bus online is often cumbersome, especially for international travellers. That’s why a few of us at Busbud got togetherand created a tool that simplifies the process of finding and booking city to city bus tickets. We hope it saves our fellow travellers and football fans a bit of time — and the extra trip to the bus station.

Ready? Search. Click. Gooooooooooooaaaaaaal! busbud-brazil-bus-finder-worldcup-2014

Buscador de Buses en Brasil – Sigue a tu equipo de la Copa Mundial con Busbud

11 Jun

Busca el bus correcto para el próximo encuentro y separa tu boleto de bus en línea usando el Brazil Bus Finder de Busbud.

Ônibus para el mundial 2014

Con el motivo de celebrar la FIFA World Cup™ 2014, hemos creado un micrositio dedicado para ayudar a los fanáticos del fútbol a separar sus viajes en bus entre las ciudades anfitrionas por todo Brasil.

Busbud Brazil Bus Finder for World Cup 2014

En www.busbud.com/worldcup, puedes filtrar las rutas de los buses y los horarios por equipo o ciudad, y separar en línea tus boletos de buses con varias compañías, directamente en Busbud. Las rutas se actualizarán continuamente a medida que vayan evolucionando los resultados de los encuentros de la Copa Mundial.

Es simple: Sigue a tu equipo y separa tus boletos del bus.

¿Listo? ¡Busca, haz clic y goooooooooooooooool!

busbud_worldcup_logo_ES

Brazil Bus Finder – Acompanhe a sua equipe da Copa do Mundo com Busbud

11 Jun

Encontre o ônibus certo para o próximo jogo e reserve sua passagem de ônibus online utilizando o Brazil Bus Finder Busbud.

Screenshot Busbud Brazil Bus Finder World Cup 2014

Para celebrar a Copa do Mundo FIFA 2014™, criamos um microsite dedicado a ajudar os torcedores de futebol a facilmente reservar suas passagens de ônibus entre as cidades-sede em todo o Brasil.

mobile-busbud-brazil-bus-finder-world-cup-2014

Em www.busbud.com/worldcup, você pode filtrar linhas de ônibus e horários por equipe ou cidade e reservar passagens de ônibus de várias empresas online, diretamente no Busbud. Rotas serão atualizadas continuamente com base nos resultados dos jogos em andamento da Copa do Mundo.

É simples: acompanhar sua equipe, reserve as passagens de ônibus.

Pronto?

Busque. Clique. Gooooooooooooooool!

busbud_worldcup_logo_PT

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