Tag Archives: bus travel

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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Photos taken by Sofia Mazzamauro

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

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!

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

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

Introducing the Montreal Chapter of Travel Massive

20 Jan

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Great news! Busbud’s CEO LP Maurice and friend Lauren McLeod from fellow Montreal travel startup Flightfox are launching the Montreal Chapter of Travel Massive this Tuesday, January 21st!

The free event will be held at The Reservoir bar. Good news, it’s open to anyone wanting to share a beer and talk about travel. We’ll be there, and we’d love to count you in!

Travel Massive is an international meetup for members of the travel industry and travel lovers. It’s mission is to help travel & tourism companies, bloggers, startups, and travel media to connect locally and internationally.

Montreal is the 40th city to join this global community, four meetups are planned for 2014.

For the story, the original Travel Massive event was held 5 years ago in 2009, when Ian Cumming and Alicia Smith, two Sydneysiders, decided to create an event to connect with other people in the Sydney local travel industry.

From a simple casual meetup on a rooftop bar with a few others from the online travel industry, they went to a massive event attracting international guests and travel CEOs to sydney, all this within a few months. Canadian Alicia Taggio then started the first meetup in Toronto and Travel Massive started to spread around the world. You can learn more about the group’s story on the Travel Massive’s Website.

Join the Montreal Travel Massive Facebook group to stay posted on the events!

Our favorite travel and lifestyle bloggers in Berlin (in English)

18 Dec

We’re continuing the series we started with Amsterdam! This week we chose to introduce you to our top lifestyle and expat bloggers in Berlin, for an alternative way to discover the city once you’re there.

überlin
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Created by Zoë and James, two expats in Berlin, überlin deals with the city’s culture at large. This blog is actually a great resource to immerse yourself in the unique Berliner identity. There you’ll find insights about the city and it’s inhabitants, nice places to go eat and drink things to see and do, music, street style. Oh, and they wrote this cool list of things to know about Berliners, pretty funny stereotypes!
Read more here

Berlin Reified
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Berlin Reified was founded by the expat Sylee Gore in 2006. This blog is definitely homey, full of beautiful pictures and that’s something we love about it. It’s author takes you to day trips around the city, show you a singular point of view of what’s a perfect day in Berlin and takes you to her favorite food spots and cafes.
Read more here

Stil In Berlin
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Stil in Berlin is an online photography project, in a blog format. If originally focused on street style, the blog now covers various topics like food, style, shopping and life in Berlin.
In addition to presenting loads of beautiful pictures, Stil In Berlin provides a super nice feature: a map that helps you locate the blog’s eating and shopping suggestions
Read more here

Finding Berlin
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Finding Berlin is a visual magazine that celebrates Berlin’s rich and diverse culture through video and photography. What makes the content special is the alternative eye the contributors have on the city. They take you to a tour through places, urban art and anecdotes. Among all the great content, we like the 10 things to do series they did for summer and autumn.
Read more here

Slow Travel Berlin
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Ok, Slow Travel Berlin is more a website than a blog, but it totally had to make our list, for many reasons. The biggest one is because it embraces a totally different point of view of the city, and brings us to consider taking our time to actually discover Berlin beyond the touristic landmarks. We like the variety of information on the site, like jumping from a list for an ethical Christmas shopping in Berlin to a vintage Berlin Guide. Take some time and explore!
Read more here

Q&A with Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere on Photography and Bus Travel

16 Feb
Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured Miro & Lainie from Raising Miro. Today, we’re happy to feature Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere.

Gary Arndt sold his house in 2007 and have been traveling around the world ever since. He’s visited all 7 continents, over 116 countries and territories around the world, all 50 US states, 9/10 Canadian provinces, every Australian state and territory, over 125 US National Park Service sites and over 180 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 2010, Time Magazine named Everything Everywhere one of the Top 25 Blogs in the World.

1. Where are you now, and what’s your next destination?

I am writing this in a bus station in Liberia, Costa Rica. I’ll be heading to San Jose in an hour and tomorrow I hope to visit my 192nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Talamanca mountain range.  Next week I’ll be heading to northern Canada to the Yukon.

2. You’ve traveled over 7 continents and visited over 116 countries. How do you keep travel interesting and exciting?

There is always something more to learn. You can spend your entire life traveling and never run out of new things to learn and experience. The Earth is much larger than any human lifetime.

3. You’ve got a great travel photography ebook that everyone should dowload. I was especially touched by the Red Shirt Protester in Bangkok, and the Kids in Canoe at Rennell Island. Can you share your photography process— do you set out to capture moments, or let them come to you spontaneously?

It all depends. Both of those images have interesting stories behind them.

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

The photo of the red shirt protester took place in Bangkok in 2010. There were huge political protests taking place in Bangkok while I was there. I went down to the main protest area several times to meet and photograph the protesters. One day they were going to hold a rally at the Prime Minister’s home which was only a block from where I was staying. I went down with my camera and was between about 10,000’s protesters and maybe 1,000 police in riot gear. It started to rain and all the other photographers took shelter. I had an umbrella with me, so I stood out in the middle of the street and took the photo of the single man standing in front of the police. It is one of my favorite images.

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

The photo I took on Rennell just happened. The Solomon Islands is a country which gets very few tourists. Rennell Island is off the main archipelago and gets maybe 100 tourists per year. East Rennell is a 20 mile drive from the airstrip (which is just grass) over coral. During that 20 mile trip we had 8 flat tires. At the end of the road is a large lake you then have to cross. I was told they get about 10 tourists a year in this part of the island. One day I visited one of the villages on the lake and the kids in the village had a blast following me around. When I left by boat, they hopped in a canoe to follow me, waving their arms the entire time. The photo I took was my parting shot of the kids as I left.

Great photos can happen at any time. Sometimes you can plan for it and sometimes they happen unexpectedly.

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

4. In yesterday’s blog post, you mentioned taking the bus in Costa Rica, and how confusing the bus system can be because there is no central bus depot. What do you think of Busbud’s mission, which is to gather the world’s bus travel information? Would this type of information help your readers in their travels?

Absolutely. In many countries such as Costa Rica and the Philippines, the bus system is very distributed. There are many different bus companies which run different routes from different places in each city. There isn’t necessarily a central bus station. There is also seldom any signage to tell you where to go.  The more information you have, the easier your life will be.

Bus in Queensland, Australia

Bus in Queensland, Australia

5. Can you share a memorable bus travel story with us?

I took a bus in Egypt from Luxor to Suez which went up along the Red Sea. The bus was so dilapidated that spent most of it sitting on a spare tire. I’ve never counted the number of countries I’ve traveled by bus in, but it is certainly a big number. Even in some countries with an extensive train system, I often end up taking a bus because it is cheaper and just as fast.

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

6. Finally, there are many random facts about you that people are surprised to discover, like the fact that you are a part owner of an NFL franchise, and you also have a huge collection of magazines and DVDS. For Busbud readers who hesitate to take on a long-term travel trip because they’d be leaving behind so much “stuff”, what advice would you give them?

Stuff can be replaced. The actual act of getting rid of much of your stuff is actually a rather therapeutic experience. Once you spend an extended amount of time living out of a bag, you realize just how little you need to actually get by. Most of what you need can be put into storage and it will be waiting for you when you get back.

Thanks Gary! You can get in touch with him on Twitter and Facebook.  Follow Gary Arndt’s adventures on Everything Everywhere.

Photos by Gary Arndt at Everything Everywhere

Busbud Joins Smart Move Campaign

25 Jan

Smart Move Campaign

Busbud is happy to announce that we will be joining as a partner Smart Move, a global industry awareness campaign to double the use of buses and coaches and achieve sustainable mobility for all.

Since its launch in 2011, Busbud has been committed to promoting bus travel to its audience of travellers around the world, notably by making it easier than ever before to search and book bus travel online.

The Smart Move campaign is a joint effort by the IRU and Busworld and is endorsed by 85 committed partners around the world. Smart Move’s mission is to promote the bus as a safe, environmentally-friendly, affordable, user-friendly and efficient means of collective passenger transport.

Buses and coaches offer an optimal solution to a range of current mobility challenges facing modern societies, including climate change, road safety, connectivity, social inclusion and congestion, to name but a few.

Smart Move Bus Shot

Source: Smart Move

Smart Move also aims to raise political and media awareness that the sustainable mobility solutions we seek are at our fingertips, simply by doubling the use of bus and coach transport worldwide. In Europe alone, such an increase would have the following impact:

  • A reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 50 million tonnes per year;
  • A reduction in fatalities on roads and streets, by more than 3000 per year;  
  • A significant reduction of congestions in cities at zero cost for taxpayers, as a result of the expected 10-15% reduction in car traffic;
  • The creation of 4 million new jobs.

In fact, buses and coaches are clear environmental champions compared to other modes of mass transport (especially car and air)! The following graph shows the level of CO2 emissions for various modes of transport per passenger/kilometer.

Co2 Emissions Chart

Source: World Tourism Organisation (WTO)’s Conference on environmentally friendly travelling in Europe, 2006 via Smart Move

At Busbud, we think that Smart Move’s mission is so important and so closely interwoven with our values that we simply had to partner up together to help spread the message!

We look forward to working with Smart Move in the future to keep promoting bus and coach travel worldwide as an affordable, efficient and eco-friendly travel option.

To learn about Smart Move, visit their website, or follow them on FacebookTwitter or Youtube today!

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

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