Tag Archives: Bus

Spain by Bus: What you need to know

22 Oct

Busbud-stock-photo-night

You can now search and book tens of thousands of bus tickets in Spain directly on Busbud.com. To celebrate, we’ve made Spain our Country of the Month! We’re also giving one lucky winner and a friend unlimited bus tickets to the Iberian Peninsula for one month via our giveaway with Backpacker Travel. Click here to enter!

So you decided to travel through Spain by bus? Congratulations – you’ve already neatly adapted to the local way of getting around! In fact, Spaniards prefer traveling by bus over other modes of transport. It’s the most convenient way to travel the country and it’s also one of the only ways to get to and from some of its towns. What’s more, traveling by bus in Europe provides the ultimate comfort. Here’s what you need to know when taking the bus in Spain:

1. Bus your way around the country
There’s a ton of Spanish towns that don’t have an airport or a train station. So, as you can imagine, the only way to get there is by bus! Among the myriad of Spanish bus providers, you will surely find one serving your route. And if you book online, it will save you the hassle of finding out which ones offer routes to your city.

2. Main bus routes
It’s easy to visit all of Spain, along with neighboring countries – like Portugal, Italy, and France – with the bus. Even though the bus network covers the entire country, there are a few inter-city routes that are especially hot. Not surprisingly, most lead to Madrid!

ALSA's Supra bus

ALSA’s Supra class

3. Main bus companies
The following operators offer bus routes in Spain: ALSALycarLinebusComesDamasHifeLa UnionCONDATherpasaAgredaBus Almeria MadridLa SerranaDaibus-Interbus, and Dainco.

The biggest and most-used bus operator in Spain is definitely ALSA. In short, the probability of finding the bus connection you need is exponentially high as ALSA serves all of the major cities. Founded in 1889, ALSA stands for quality service and punctuality and has a long tradition of innovation and excellence. It’s no wonder they’re the Spanish flagship among bus operators.

4. WiFi is available on most buses
Yep, you read right! There is free WiFi available on most city routes in Spain. In case looking at the scenery seems too boring of a thing to do for hours on end, or in case you need to catch up on work during your vacation (we hope not!), you will get internet connection on the road. There’s no internet deprivation in Spain!

ALSA interior

ALSA bus interior

5. Ride with class
Much like in air travel, most buses offer several class options linked to different services and price ranges. What can you get? Depending on what you opt for, you’ll find everything from movies, to TV, and even a hostess! ALSA, for example, offers several class options that generally come with the following benefits: Special waiting lounge, journals and magazines, choice of entertainment (movies and music), ample legroom, and free earphones. Each class offers the following sets of perks:

  • Premium
    Luggage control, special menus, touch-screens for entertainment (more than 30 channels, movies, music, games), free WiFi, USB + plugs, special assistance for children, the elderly and the disabled, baby seats and bottle warmer, space for pets, and door-to-door pickup service. Premium is available to and from Madrid on the following routes: Madrid – San SebastianMadrid – LogronoMadrid – GranadaMadrid – Bilbao.
  • Supra Economy
    Free WiFi, additional travel security, free bottles of water, and animal transport.
  • Supra+
    Free WiFi, additional travel security, free bottles of water, animal transport, child care service, baggage control and service, catering & drinks, leather upholstered seats with leg rest, hostess to cater to your needs, and gifts for customers on weekends.
  • Eurobus
    Preferential treatment, fast embarking, and free bottles of water.
ALSA's Premium class

ALSA’s Premium class

So what are you waiting for? Book your next bus ride through Spain!

The Ultimate Spain Bus Trip

8 Oct
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA - SEVILLA 4100655A

Seville – © Instituto de Turismo de España (TURESPAÑA)

You can now search and book tens of thousands of bus tickets in Spain directly on Busbud.com. To celebrate, we’ve made Spain our Country of the Month! Besides giving one lucky winner and a friend unlimited bus tickets to the Iberian Peninsula for one month via our giveaway with Backpacker Travel, we asked travel blogger (and Spain expert) Marie-Eve Vallières to share her insider tips and recommendations. Follow the bus trail on our illustrated map as you read on to discover the Ultimate Spain Bus Trip.

The Ultimate Spain Bus Trip

The Ultimate Spain Bus Trip

The Ultimate Spain Bus Trip

From short distances to bucolic panoramas, Spain is the perfect country for bus travel. Spanish trains aren’t that efficient to begin with – there aren’t nearly as many train stations as there are bus stops and service is infrequent at best, especially when outside major cities like Barcelona and Madrid. Buses are definitely an easier, more effective and cheaper way to visit Spain.

Bus tip: Visitors prone to transportation sickness should come prepared: Spain is a hilly country, and some of its roads are tortuous and winding. Bring plenty of Dramamine and get at the station early to snap a window seat for fresh air!

As far as itineraries go, traveling from either end of the country to the other is the best way to really get a feel of how diverse Spain is – admire the change in flora and landscapes, from the olive trees and desert in the south, to dense pine forests and chilly Atlantic breeze in the north. Espana is an incredibly varied country with a distinct set of influences for each province, making any Spain bus trip an incredibly fulfilling experience.

Granada

Granada

Granada

The perfect Spanish city for budget travel! Granada is a university town and therefore has an energetic, dynamic vibe with inexpensive accommodation options. Granada is one culture-charged city, thanks to the presence of Jewish, Moorish and Catholic influences – each shaping the city in its own way. Head to the lively Albayzin neighborhood after nightfall to catch a flamenco show, one of the most Andalusian things to do in Granada. When in Rome, right?

But perhaps the most important Granada insider tip for cash-strapped travelers is that tapas are entirely free of charge – you read that right! Order a drink in any bar (I recommend the two local specialities, the Alhambra beer or the tinto de verano) and you will be served a choice of tapas with every order. ¡Salud!

Top sights: The Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, the historic souk, the Mirador de San Nicolas for a gorgeous view over the city and Alhambra, the remarkable Albayzin Jewish Quarter, and for a taste of the gypsy life, the Sacromonte grottos.

Potential day trip: Seville

Insider tip: Granada is one of the top cities in Spain for tasting the legendary Jamón serrano – a cornerstone of Spanish gastronomy. Restaurants and bars proudly hang hams (sometimes as many as 100!) on the ceiling for about six months to let them cure. It’s quite a sight to say the least!

Bus tip: Make sure to get a window seat to admire the drastic change in landscapes when entering the almost desertic-looking vermillion plains of Andalusia.

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

The Spanish capital doesn’t disappoint. Its world-class museums and its animated nightlife will appeal to night owls and culture seekers alike, or, alternatively, visitors can catch the Real Madrid fever and discover the influence of monarchy on Madrid’s history.

Madrid may be the seat of government and royalty but it isn’t set in its old ways for such; it’s an innovative, bustling city with a strong creative hub. In fact, rumor has it that Madrid has the largest number of bars per capita of any European city – which would make sense, since Madrileños like to party, often until six or seven in the morning.

Top sights: The illustrious Prado museum, the regal Palacio de Cibeles, la Puerta del Sol, the lively Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel for local delicacies, Palacio Real, and of course, and the various Real Madrid activities.

Potential day trip: Toledo

Insider tip: You can’t visit Madrid without eating pimientos de Padrón (small green chilies fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt) or finger-licking good chocolate con churros (piping hot churros with hot chocolate).

Bus tip: Madrid, being both the political and geographical center of Spain, is connected to every province in the country and boasts two major bus terminals. It is therefore not a bad idea to be based in Madrid and take a bunch of side trips to other parts of the country.

San Sebastian

San Sebastian

San Sebastian

Self-dubbed the foodie city of Spain, San Sebastian is a strong contingent in the Spanish tapas game thanks to their unique Basque background. The tapas – most commonly called pinchos by locals – are identified with color-coded toothpicks and offered in self-service; customers pay according to the quantity of toothpicks in their plate after their meal.

But in addition to delicious seafood-based dishes, San Sebastian boasts one of the best in-city beaches in Europe – where else on the continent can you sunbathe, surf and swim literally right next to major historical buildings and churches? The hike up Monte Igueldo offers splendid views of the city, the ocean and the mountainous countryside.

Top sights: Hiking the Monte Igueldo, the Miramar palace, live the beach life at Playa de Onderreta, surf & kayak, and hike to statue of Christ.

Potential day trips: Bilbao or Pamplona

Insider tip: San Sebastian is home to impressively designed cathedrals and churches, including the iconic Catedral del Buen Pastor. An architecture-focused walking tour is pretty much mandatory in this city.

Bus tip: If you are traveling to the world-famous bull ride in Pamplona via San Sebastian, make sure to book far in advance – seats sell out real quick!

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona, the Spanish party capital! The massive capital of Catalonia never sleeps, and neither do its visitors – between the world-class attractions to visit in the daytime and the countless tapas bars to experience at night. Needless to say, one does not come to Barcelona to catch up on their beauty sleep.

One of the most popular things to do in the city is obviously to tour the Gaudi buildings, especially since the Sagrada Familia’s interior has been completed. Make sure to take an elevator ride to the top of the spire and admire the dizzying view!

Top sights: Tour the famous Gaudi buildings, the beach, medieval Barri Gotic, the locals-approved tapas bar of Eixample, Plaça de Catalunya, and La Boqueria market.

Potential day trip: Zaragoza

Insider tip: Hop on the cable-car up to Montjuïc for unparalleled views of the beaches, the city (including the Sagrada Familia) and, of course, the Mediterranean sea.

Bus tip: If you are traveling to small villages in Costa Brava or even to France, make sure to get a seat on the right-hand side of the bus to get a good ocean view during your ride.

Valencia

Valencia

Valencia

A trip to Spain should never overlook a stop in the birthplace of paella, the country’s national dish! The capital of the old Valencia Kingdom, and Spain’s third largest city, is home to the world-famous Fallas Festival in March, during which the city is almost literally set on fire (or at least, the papier mâché models created for the festival).

Valencia Cathedral (home to the Holy Grail, the chalice Jesus is believed to have used at the Last Supper) is definitely a must-do even for non-religious travelers.  And despite having some of the world’s best colonial architecture, what really causes visitors’ jaws to drop in Valencia is the otherworldly, uber-modern buildings in the City of Arts and Science (which encompasses several museums and even an aquarium).

Top sights: City of Arts and Science, Barri del Carme, Valencia Cathedral, Silk Exchange, and central market.

Potential day trips: Murcia or Alicante

Insider tip: Be wary of where you choose to eat your paella; being a popular dish, most touristy areas will serve the microwaved kind. Pick a restaurant that either doesn’t advertise its paella or that only serves it at lunch. Locals go to the Saler beach area.

Bus tip: With Valencia being so close to the beach, a seat on the left-hand side of the bus will guarantee unobstructed views of the ocean when coming in from Barcelona.


Meet Marie-Eve Vallières, our Spain Travel Expert. After having spent years living in Europe as an expat and blogging about it for both A Montrealer Abroad and Eurotrip Tips, she shares her ultimate tips and recommendations on Spain, a country she’s visited countless times. Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all things travel.

Opening image courtesy of Tourspain

Illustration by: Caroline Lavergne

 

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

7 of the most impressive bus stops in the world… in one only tiny town

30 May

The little town of Krumbach, Austria, recently received tremendous attention from the worldwide design and architecture communities, and of course, from us. Here’s why: The village recently invited 7 international architecture firms to design 7 bus shelters in exchange for a free one week holiday. The results are stunning. Have a look:

 

Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck & Jo Taillieu

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

We’re particularly fond of this stop, designed by Belgian architects Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck & Jo Taillieu and inspired by the Alps.

 

Sou Fujimoto

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

It better not rain if you are waiting for your bus at this stop. This open shelter by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto consists of thin, steel rods and a winding staircase. It just makes you wanna climb up into the sky”.

 

Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck & Jo Taillieu

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Russian architect Alexander Brodsky designed a shelter in which humans and birds can cohabitate. The table and chair also helps foster interaction between travellers.

 

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Chilean architect Smiljan Radic’s bus stop may be the one that actually looks the most like an actual bus stop. It’s designed as an outdoor “parlour”, with chairs.  And we love the little birdhouse – a great touch!

 

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

China’s Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu designed a lens-like shelter that points to a view on the mountains through the window in the rear wall.

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa of Ensamble Studio in Spain designed a bus stop inspired by the stacks of untreated oak planks typically found in local workshops.

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Photo: Adolf Bereuter

Last but not least, this double decker shelter from Norwegian Eggertsson Architects is definitely a eye catcher.

Source: Slate

 

Q&A with Frugal Traveler: Exploring the World on a Budget

6 Mar

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who have had firsthand experiences traveling around the world. Last time, we featured Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere. Today, we are happy to feature Seth Kugel, the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler.

This traveler’s path is quite atypical. After teaching in public schools, Seth worked in immigrant and child protection services. Then he started as a columnist for the City section of the Times before taking up the torch as the Frugal Traveler for the New York Times in 2010. You can read more about his career path here.

In 2010 you started your adventure as the NYT Frugal Traveler with a 13 week trip from Sao Paulo to NYC. How often did you travel by bus during this trip? How were your experiences traveling by bus?

I really like traveling by bus, because it’s cheap and so different everywhere you go.

In some Latin American countries buses are still old and in many cases they are old United States school buses that have been repainted. That’s not the case everywhere, so it’s interesting to see the contrast between different bus services.

One of my first trips was a 36-hour bus ride. That was an interesting journey. I sat next to a coca leaf dealer, which is all legal business in Bolivia, but as an American it seemed kind of funny to be with a guy who was transporting coca leaves on the bus. He was able to explain to me how the legal trade of coca leaves works and that was totally fascinating. We stopped in little towns, saw this llama entertaining passengers.

There are always tons of crazy things that happen on bus rides.

In Central America it’s more the school bus thing, it’s actually very uncomfortable because you have no cushioning at all in the seats. Luckily, countries in Central America are smaller than Bolivia, so you don’t have that far to go. You travel in the mode of transportation that everyone travels with there. In most countries, especially in the developing world, not everybody can fly. In fact, most people have never been on a plane before. Everybody takes the bus so you get to interact with better mix of society.

It was also very interesting to see what the system is like, sometimes how inefficient it is, and it can surprise you sometimes with how comfortable and efficient it gets.

16Frugal-span-blogSpanSource: New York Time Frugal Traveler

Any advice for first time travelers? Those who long to travel but fear to take the jump?

I’d just say to do it a little bit at a time. If you wanna do it all at once, take a big jump, a year around the world, going to crazy places, that’s fine, but you can certainly also just start small. Take a small trip, be a little more daring than you usually would be.

There is a rule that I always like to follow in many situations: if you’re ever wondering if you should do something or if you shouldn’t, like if you should take this street of if you shouldn’t, if you should talk to this person or you shouldn’t. Within the balance of reasonable physical safety, you should always do it. That’s a good rule to follow. You’re on vacation and you’re not sure if you should do something, then you should probably do it if it doesn’t involve a physical risk for yourself.

Photo: Patricia Stavis

At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel easier. Especially allowing travelers to search, compare and book bus tickets anywhere in the world. What do you think about this mission? Do you think this type of service would help travelers during their trips?

Well, it sounds like a very difficult task because there is no worldwide regulation of buses like there is in trains, right? My experience is that in a lot of places in the world you still can’t book a bus online, and even if they have a website, it’s usually impossible to use it if you’re not from the country. I think that if you guys can do it, that would be fantastic! It sounds to me like a very hard job, you have a ton of language issues, it would be great if it works.

Of course, it’s a hard job, but it’s what we love to do. Our 20 brains and pairs of hands stay busy to keep making bus travel easier anywhere in the world and to get more and more coverage. We are now serving bus schedules for over 9600 cities in 81 countries in the world.

Thanks a lot Seth!
You can follow his adventures as Frugal Traveler on Twitter.
Read his column on The New York Times

Busbud’s Top Travel Apps

14 Feb

asturias

Every traveler has specific needs when on the road, you can be sure there’s almost always one or more apps to meet every one of these needs, and make travel easier.
We decided to gather the ones we like the most here in a blog post, so here’s our little mobile toolbox to help you have an even more enjoyable journey!

Where to Sleep?
Whether you’re planning your trip in advance or need to find a place to sleep on the go, AirBNB and Hostelworld give you the possibility to find a place by city or according to your current location, to sleep at a local’s place or a hostel. Hotel Tonight is specialised in last minute bookings, it’s a good way to enjoy the comfort of a hotel at a very competitive price.

Where to eat?
Use Urbanspoon for an almost exhaustive list of restaurants in a specific city, or if you’re reeeaally super hungry right now, try Foodspotting, a visual guide that shows you good food around you. Finally, if you just wanna book for dinner, use OpenTable, a real-time restaurant-reservation service.

How to fly there?
In terms of booking, Kayak, Expedia, and Hipmunk give you loads of options and help you compare prices. Flightfox pushes the booking a bit further by matching you with an expert that does all the research job for you and offers personalised service.

Ground transportation
When in need for a taxi, use Uber, which connects passengers with taxi drivers. To move from city to city use Busbud (of course!) to search, compare and book bus tickets. If you are more into driving, Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing and local car rental is a good option.

Explore
Before getting there, Fotopedia gives you access to thousands of travel pics, perfect if you’re looking for the most stunning places. After having a look at users recommendations on TripAdvisor, use Triposo to access a worldwide mobile travel guide. Then Gogobot will suit you if you’re looking for recommendations from friends or people who travel like you.

Planning your trip
Tripomatic helps you find out what to see and what to do in your destination and create itineraries.  For travel planning, and to make sure you keep your plans in one place, use Tripit and WorldMate.

Language
Understanding and getting understood can get tricky when you travel to foreign places. To read and translate signs, menus and other written information, use Wordlens. Then, no need to describe the must have Google translate. To get how to pronounce, use Translator with Speech.

Communication
When travelling, keeping in touch with friends and family is made easy and way less expensive by Whatsapp, Viber and Skype, with which you can text and call around the world with a wi-fi connection.
If you want to keep a little traditional touch, use Postagram to send postcards from your instagram pics.

Get around
To get from A to B use Google maps and Scout, a navigator that gets you around traffic. If you don’t want to worry about the expensive data issue, City Maps to go will give you detailed offline maps, travel content and insider tips.

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

6 Dec

When planning for a trip, traditional information resources like guides and magazines are always a good start. But the best way to find great insights and well kept secrets about your destination is to checkout what locals, expats and travelers who actually know the city differently have to say about it

Stuff Dutch People Like
Stuff Dutch People like

 

The blog, created by Colleen Geske, a Canadian expat living in Amsterdam, is an awesome resource of all you need to know about the dutch cultural specificity. The blog deals with stereotypes with a sassy and humorous tone, making it a really funny way to get more familiar with people and habits before you reach to the city. It was really hard to choose which posts we like most, so here are two examples: Sinterklaas, and for the linguistics: Speaking in expressions. But seriously, you should read them all, they’re hilarious!
Read more here


Your Little Black Book
Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.52.54 PM

Anne is a lifestyle blogger living in Amsterdam. First of all, her blog is very pleasant, full of beautiful pics, and gives you a good global view of what to do in Amsterdam, whether you are a foodie explorer or the shopping addict type. The Amsterdam City Guide section gives great weekend guides, tips on seasonal events and things to do in the city, like the best up-coming new year’s eve parties, or hotspots to discover.

Read more here


Amsterdamian
Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.54.48 PM

This blog, created by an Amsterdam lover, takes you to the streets and hidden gems of the city through a beautiful visual journey. If you take some time to wander around this blog, you’ll discover an other point of view on the city, people, seasons and art in Amsterdam, with lots of images. For example, here’s a reason why Amsterdam is a great place to visit in autumn and this one gives you a good sneak peek at the Amsterdam Light Festival
Read more here


Life In Amsterdam
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Life in Amsterdam was obviously made for all the foodies out there. What we love the most about this blog is the super simple way reviews are presented. One glance and you have all the key information, like: what is the place perfect for?, is it worth a bike ride?, the best features, etc. After exploring the blog, the places we picked up to try next time we’re in Amsterdam: Caffe Milo for sounding that fancy, and Bistro ‘t Stuivertje for sounding so friendly.
Read more here


Some of our favorite worldwide travel bloggers also had their Amsterdam adventure..

bloggers_Matt_Kate
Here’s the Amsterdam experience seen by Matthew from Nomadic Matt, and here Kate from Adventurous Kate tells you more about how she totally fell in love with dutch architecture.

Visit Busbud to learn more about iDBUS’ schedules and tickets.

Our New Busbud Intro Video

30 May

We’re very happy to debut Busbud’s new intro video.

Our Busbud team‘s very own multi-talented marketing director Alain shot the video right here in Montreal, and it also features our communications superstar Caroline as Lucie (the girl from the bus)! Our thanks goes out to everyone who agreed to participate in the video!

It is a homemade labor of love and it reflects what Busbud is all about: freedom to roam, discovery of new places and the serendipity of travel!

More than anything, we hope it gives you the urge to take the bus!

Buses are amazing both for the wallet and the environment. They’re also great for last-minute travel getaways and for exploring the landscape of new places.

Who knows, on your way to a new city, you might even meet that special someone!

Happy viewing!

Busbud Launches iPhone App

31 Jan

Busbud iPhone app

Today, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our new iPhone app aimed at giving travellers easy access to intercity bus travel information on the go.

Available for free for iPhone and iPad users, Busbud is your ideal bus travel companion, gathering together intercity bus schedules for 4000+ cities in 60+ countries.

At Busbud, we are uniquely focused on the problem of intercity bus travel, especially making the process of finding a bus schedule and buying a ticket as easy as possible.

With the launch of our mobile app, travellers can now:

  • Instantly access bus schedules on the go.
  • Sort by the best price, shortest duration and departure time.
  • View schedules in 10 languages and see prices in 15 currencies.
  • Auto-detect their current city and easily view top destination suggestions for that city.

Search

Search

Results

Results

In the example above, if a traveller searches for buses from Montreal to Toronto around noon, the Busbud app will display the next departure (13:00) closest to the current time for each company. This gives travellers a helpful at-a-glance comparison of multiple options, allowing them to find the right bus for their trip faster.

Get it from the iTunes app store here.

Q&A with Lainie from Raising Miro on Travel and the Road of Life

19 Jan
Miro and Lainie from Raising Miro

Miro and Lainie from Raising Miro

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 Nicole and Cameron Wears from Traveling Canucks. Today, we’re happy to feature Miro & Lainie from Raising Miro.

Lainie and Miro are a mother and son team who have traveled to 12 countries and experienced many personal changes, living an inspired possession-free-lifestyle, volunteering and learning naturally. They are blessed to be accidental unschoolers and have become advocates for “life learning” at any age.

1) Where are you now? What are 3 reasons why you picked this place?

We are currently in Cusco, Peru. We have been in Peru for over a year already, and the last four of those months we’ve spent here, high in the Andes, deep in the Sacred Valley. There are several reasons that have initially drawn us here, and several more that have kept us here. Briefly, both Miro and I are taken aback with the powerful energy of this country. It’s a cultural, historical, mystical and harmonious place. The people, although culturally diverse, are kind and welcoming. But mostly the landscape, ruins, history and countless mysteries inviting us to participate deeper keep us here. Peru has provided a fertile ground for all kinds of investigation and natural learning for both Miro and myself.

Miro and Lainie in Tambapata

Tambapata, Peru

2) What has been your favourite place so far, and why?

Miro and I both have different answers as we both have different interests. For example, Miro’s very keen on some of the adventure aspects of our trip. Ica, Peru was one of his favourite spots because of the vast sand dunes (and the ever-so-fast dune-buggies that bounce up and down with speed ), the deep amazon jungle for the wild adventures, sounds and the first hand experiences of animal and plant life not found anywhere else on the planet, and finally the capital, for so many reasons that remind him of the comfort of home and it’s wonderful sushi eateries topping the list.

For me, I am enthralled with ancient cultures, archeology and mysticism. I love the southern coast of Peru, including Nasca and Paracas for stretching my imagination and allowing ‘other worldly’ ideas to become a part of my vocabulary (yes, I’m talking “Ancient Aliens”). I loved the jungle too, having spent days and nights acutely aware of my surroundings, being invited to be deeply planted in each passing moment of presence. But at the moment, my heart belongs in the Sacred Valley, near the ancient structures left behind by the Inca and the mysterious pre-Inca cultures, temping my imagination with each new star-gate, elongated skull, megalithic structure and petroglyth I personally experience.

Raising-Miro-Chan-Chan

Miro at Chan Chan

3) How do you decide on your next destination?

Two factors determine our ‘next destination’. First, depending on where we are geographically, we normally decide to go where is next (I know, very Zen.) Second, our destination depends on our budget. If we are inspired to go farther than where the next bus will take us, if we can afford to go, we will.

But how we decide is equally important to two other factors. First, Miro and I are partners in our journey. It’s based on a conversation between the both of us. If Miro feels strongly about one way or another, we talk about it. And vice-versa for me. Sometimes it’s about giving and taking, for example our 8 month stay in Lima was because Miro was very comfortable and wanted to be there. After a period of time, I was inspired to be closer to the archeological sites and that was my preference to move to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Yes, we are partners.

Next, we both are keenly in touch with our inspiration and our intuition. There had never been a case where Miro and I disagreed about a destination or moving on since our inspiration and intuition are finely tuned within ourselves and with each other. Being guided by inspiration is a blessing and we both listen.

On the way to the Ballestas Islands

On the way to the Ballestas Islands

4) I really enjoyed reading your perspective about unschooling and learning math, and I agree with you that ultimately, it’s up to the parents and their children to decide. But what about learning social iterations? I’m sure that by travelling together so much, you and Miro must meet a lot of people. What are some valuable social lessons that you’ve acquired and can’t be learned in a classroom environment

I’ve been told by many, the answer to this question should be the basis for a book. Maybe it will someday, since I’m certain I could fill many, many pages. But for now, would like to present a question to you, and your readers. When is there a point in our lives that we are NOT learning? It a matter of framing the experiences we are having as such.

You are right in assuming we meet people of all walks of life, all ages, all interests, all social and economical status. As humans we are social creatures and function within social structures. The difference between a child educated in the world, the world being his classroom, is that he / she interacts with a cross section that more represents life, because in fact, it is life! Children in traditional school systems are put in a classroom to socialize only with those of their same biological age. To me, that’s arbitrary and not conducive of learning social lessons. As for curriculum, math, other ‘educational’ topics, I invite you and your readers to visit our web site, as we talk a lot about learning, as in ‘natural learning’ which is also known as ‘unschooling‘.

In fact, you can read about my unschooling too.. (remember my question above about ‘when are we not learning?’ This also applies to me. )

5) What is a great anecdote you have about a bus ride you’ve taken in your travels?

Both Miro and I don’t mind bus rides, even like the long ones from time to time. We have been on two 40 hour bus rides at different times on our journey. And once in Guatemala, we were caught in a shuttle bus for 30 hours in a bad storm where the roads were literally washed out. In this case, Miro and I got to observe the best and the worst of ‘creating your own reality”. We were both patient, wide-eyed and accepting of what was happening. On the other hand, we were in the company of a couple of travellers who choose to experience the situation in a very negative manner. Both Miro and I were observers, and choose to learn in every experience, reflect and grow than making the choice to suffer, judge, or condemn what is happening. (Again, very Zen, right?) I wrote about that experience in detail here.

Miro with an Alpaca

Miro with an Alpaca

6) At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better travel decisions. Have you ever had difficulty going around to places due to language barrier? How do you manage communicate when you don’t speak a local language?

At this point, we’ve been traveling for the last 3 1/2 years in Latin America. My Spanish is embarrassing, but Miro’s is fluent. We’ve both learned what we’ve learned through listening. But there have been times and will continue to be times where we cannot communicate accurately with others. But I can say, the most important aspect of communication is tapping into your own humanity, recognizing that in others, and of course SMILE all the time!

Lainie and Miro at Machu Picchu

Lainie and Miro at Machu Picchu

7) Finally, do you have some advice for those who are seeking to be nomads like you?

I would say, fear is the most common reason people do not embark on a lifestyle like ours. If you are interested in a travel lifestyle and are frozen with fear, here’s my most valuable piece of advice:

First take your own journey inward. Learn to listen to what fears are coming, up, learn to decipher the difference in your fear voice or your inspiration.

This focus will keep you grounded when your rational mind is cycling through the giant to do list, feeling stressed and fearful, and experiencing self doubt. Yes, it’s all part of the experience, (and it’s magnified once you are on the road) unless you have tools to keep the surface noise in check.

Just what is that spark of inspiration that led you to this place? Let’s look at the ‘spark’ itself. Like any living thing, it needs attention to stay activated, to remain alive. Simply, give it attention. Give it attention often. Feel the feelings associated with your inspiration and just sit with it. With a little practice, you’ll be able to access that feeling at a second’s notice, and it’s there with you when you need it. And that connection will keep you safe and your journey fear-free. Then, you can get back to enjoying and appreciating all the ups and downs of travel, even those occasional 30 hour shuttle bus adventures!

Thanks Lainie! You can get in touch with her on Facebook. And follow Lainie and Miro’s adventures on Raising Miro.

Photos by Lainie Liberti at Raising Miro

Miro in Lima

Miro in Lima

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