Tag Archives: Travel

Busbud CEO LP Maurice Selected for PhoCusWright “Class of 35″

27 Aug

We’re excited to announce that Busbud CEO LP Maurice has been selected for The PhoCusWright Conference’s 2014 “Class of 35″ Young Leaders Summit, uniting the brightest young stars in the travel industry who “have demonstrated the desire & passion to move the industry forward” this fall in downtown Los Angeles.

View the 2014 list of leaders here. Previous participants in the program have included senior executives from TripAdvisor, Priceline, Expedia, Google, Kayak, Amadeus, SilverRail, and Starwood Hotels, as well as the founders of leading travel startups Hipmunk, Rome2Rio, Ostrovok, Liftopia, and Tripping.

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Young Leaders Meet To Talk Travel Tech Innovation

The PhoCusWright Conference is the leading travel and technology convention focused on innovation in travel, tourism, and hospitality.

As part of the Class of 35 Young Leaders Summit, LP will get the opportunity to share and learn from like-minded entrepreneurs, discuss common challenges, and spread the Busbud vision.

This year’s edition of the PhoCusWright Conference, takes place between November 11th and 13th, 2014 in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott.

See you there!

Phocuswright LogoPhoto Credit: The PhoCusWright Conference

Q&A with Abigail King: On Swapping Scrubs for Travel Writing and Photography

19 Jul
Abigail King

Abigail King

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 Matt Long from LandLopers. Today, we’re happy to feature Abigail King from Inside the Travel Lab.

When Abigail decided she was going to leave her day-to-day life behind to pursue a career in travel writing and photography, she also left behind her career as a doctor. Now, she’s a successful lifestyle journalist and blogger who splits her time between writing travel stories and snapping photos that will leave you in a permanent state of wanderlust. Lucky for us, Abigail takes the time to answer our questions!

Beit Sitti Amman Jordan

Beit Sitti, Amman Jordan

1. Where are you now and where are you headed next?
Right now, I’m in Cardiff getting ready for a summer of festivals as part of the #MustLoveFestivals projects (16 digital storytellers heading to more than 40 festivals across Europe this summer). I’ll be covering festivals in Nuremberg, Puglia, Dublin, Malta, and Barcelona.

2. You gave up your life as a doctor to achieve your dream of becoming a travel writer. How did you make the jump and what was your biggest challenge?
I did what I always do and read a lot of books on the subject! Then, I saved up some money to cushion the blow and gave myself a one year trial period to find out whether I really wanted to write or whether it was just a fantasy. The biggest challenge was definitely getting that first commission. I think that’s easier now that there’s blogging to soak up your time and talent (and energy!) but those first few months of nothing but rejection letters were definitely the toughest.

3. You’ve been published in the BBC, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet, and have won numerous awards. How do you balance work and travel?
It’s tricky! Again, blogging is slightly easier because you’re usually covering the place you’re currently in. With traditional freelance work, you can be, say, in a market in Hong Kong and get a query about a piece on a beach in Barbados that the editor wants feedback on ASAP. So, then you find yourself tucked in an Internet cafe writing about Barbados while the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong swirls around you.

Fish, Okinawa

Okinawa

4. You’re also a talented photographer; where did you pick up the craft and what is the most photogenic place in the world?
Well, thank you! Again, a lot of reading and a lot of practice – that’s my top tip for getting better at photography: Take more photos. Then, ask yourself whether you’d be happy sending those photos to a customer. That really sharpens up your skills.

Ah, there are so many photogenic places in the world. But the Namib Desert is exceptionally beautiful so I think I’d have to say that. Sossusvlei (Death Valley) has a jigsaw cream floor that spreads out across rusty red sand while dark skeletons of trees spike into the sky…it’s stunning.

Namib Desert

Namib Desert

5. 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?
It’s a great mission, so in one word, yes!

6. Do you have a memorable bus story to share with our readers?
Hm. I was on an overnight bus in Mexico once near the border with Guatemala when soldiers stormed on and yanked out the passenger sitting behind us. That was pretty memorable.

7. Wow, that must have been quite an experience! Has it changed the way you feel about taking buses and do you still rely on them to get around?
Haha! No, well I’ve seen people marched off planes and trains too by the police so I think if you let things like that put you off you’ll never do anything and never go anywhere. Buses definitely still have a place in my travel toolkit – they have the advantage that they usually arrive in the center of town and they provide great views and chances for reading (and sleeping) that driving can’t match.

Landing in Madikwe Game Reserve

Landing in Madikwe Game Reserve

Thanks, Abigail!

You can follow Abigail’s adventures on her blog, as well as on Facebook & Twitter.

Photos by Abigail at Inside the Travel Lab

Q&A with Matt Long: On Being Bitten by the Travel Bug & Where to Find Good Eats

12 Jul
Matt Long

Matt Long

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 Michael Glass from Backpacker Travel. Today, we’re happy to feature Matt Long from LandLopers.

When Matt caught a bad case of the travel bug, he decided to cure it by visiting over 65 countries on all seven continents. Now, sharing his numerous experiences and adventures with a large roster of daily readers, Matt writes on the best the world has to offer. Based in Washington, DC, he took the time to answer a few of our questions.

Antarctica

Antarctica

1. Where are you now and where are you headed next?
I’m spending a lot of time at home this summer to catch up on work and get myself organized after a really active spring. I start all over again in late August though when I head to Alberta, Canada to explore the Cowboy Trail and a few of their beautiful national parks. This fall, I’ll also be visiting Milan, Italy, Malta, Jordan, and Sri Lanka!

2. How did you decide to make the switch from working a 9-to-5 job to becoming a travel writer, editor, and photographer?
Well, it wasn’t really my choice. I’d been working towards that goal for a couple of years when I lost my job. Rather than look for something else, I decided that it was a sign and used it as an opportunity to make the transition to full-time travel blogger. Two years later, I’ve learned a lot but so far so good!

Venice

Venice

3. Your blog’s Good Eats section is my personal favorite! If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and which country would it be from?
That’s a really hard question. Food is such an important part of the overall travel experience and I have a lot of favorites around the world. My (current) all-time favorite is well-executed Peking duck. I had the meal of a lifetime while in Taiwan and have since tried it a few other times and as long as the meal is executed well, it’s my personal favorite. I’m already salivating just talking about it, in fact.

4. Finally, you mention that your blog caters to “everyone from the novice to the pro traveler.” What are your go-to tips and which do you think all travelers should have in their back pocket?
A few of my favorite tips include:
1. Don’t overplan your trip! Organize a few things, but keep the schedule loose and allow for the spontaneous.
2. Pack Ziploc bags to use them for everything from organizing your carry-on bags to storing dirty clothes.
3. Check out local grocery stores not only to see what the local area values in its food, but for the best deals on snacks, beverages, and food-related gifts and souvenirs.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Thanks, Matt!

You can follow Matt’s adventures on his blog, as well as on Facebook & Twitter.

Photos by Matt Long at LandLopers

 

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

 

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

Soccer and travel: a recipe for happiness

3 Jun

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Hey football fans – very soon we’ll be releasing something on Busbud related to a little event happening in Brazil.. Until then, here’s a great video to get you excited:

With Bounce, filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet gives us some ingredients for happiness: a soccer ball, a GoPro, travel around the world and.. lots of fun!

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

 

10 super fun non touristy things to do in and around London

27 May

Planning a trip to London? Gaël, fresh off the Montreal-bound boat after 6 years in London, shares a few tips on having fun in the Big Smoke.

1- Have a barbecue in London Fields

London Fields

Photo: Café Naiveté

On your way through Broadway Market, grab a single use barbecue, a few packs of Cumberlands, a bottle of PIMMs, mixer, cold beers and head up to London Fields for some fun in the sun. Once you run out of drinks, head over to the iconic Pub on the Park on Martello Street for a few more. And if it gets really warm, you can take a dip in the London Fields Lido

2- Take a dip in one of Hampsted Heath’s ponds

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Photo: Neill Hall/The Telegraph

Want to demo your mad belly flop skills? Then jump into your budgie smugglers and head to Hampstead Heath for a float around one of the Heath’s ponds. There are male and female ponds and a mixed pond. Before you leave home, do grab your picnic blanket, some nibbles and, most importantly, some all important drinks because all that floating will definitely work up a thirst.

3- Stroll through Goldborne Road Market

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Photo: His and hers London

Just north of the famous Portobello Road market market is the more local and multicultural Goldborne Road Market. Go to Lisboa for a coffee and one of their famous pastel de nata – watch out they sell out fast! – grab a bite at the cute Goldborne Deli or feast on a fish and chips at the famous George’s Portobello Fish Bar. Then head over to the iconic Trellick Tower, or rummage around the vintage clothes and furniture at Phoenix, Rellik and Les Couilles du Chien or Jane Bourvis for vintage dresses (call ahead for an appointment). If your tastes are somewhat more contemporary pop into Ally Capelino’s for some designer accessories then head over to Pizza East for good quality comfort food with a great vibe – but watch out for the lineup!

4- Ponce it up at the Westbourne in Notting Hill

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After Goldborne Road Market, time for a glass… no, a jug! of PIMMs. From Goldborn Road, either walk along Regent’s Canal to Westbourne Park or walk along Westbourne Park Road. Either way, you can’t miss The Westbourne, which, if it’s a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon, will be packed with Notting Hill locals. If you can, grab a table on the terrace. Be warned: ordering can be slightly tedious, but what the Westbourne lacks in service it makes up for in atmosphere. If it gets a bit busy at the Westbourne, you can also cross the street to The Cow, an Irish pub and oyster bar. Once you start getting hungry, head back down the street to The Oak for (a last cocktail on the first floor! and) a wood oven pizza.

5- Rent a barge and float along Regent’s Canal

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Photo: Anna Batchelor, The Guardian

Get a group of friends together and rent a barge for an afternoon and meander down Regent’s Canal. You might start North of Paddington Station and make your way to the North of Regent’s Park, by London Zoo, and float along towards Camden Lock. Hop off at Camden to stroll around the Stables Market and grab a bite before heading for the night to Proud Camden for a good boogie woog. For barge rentals check out Drifters and Camden Canals.

6- Have brunch at the Columbia Road flower market

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Photo: TimeOut/Piers Allardyce

Head to Columbia Road early to beat the crowds – the flower market opens at 8AM – and nab a table at the Royal Oak for a hearty Sunday Roast. Once you’re feeling nice and full, plough your way through the flower market, and buy a plant you’ve never heard of. After all, as the traders will remind you, shouting at the top of their lungs, it’s “anythin’ for a fiver!”. Don’t forget to take a peak behind the stalls and check out the cool little boutiques like Ryantown, Vintage Heaven, and Lapin & Me

7- Day trip 1: Walk along the white cliffs of Dover

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Photo: Andy Coleman

Get up early on Saturday morning, grab a bus or train from Victoria Station or rent a Zipcar and head South to the White Cliffs of Dover. From Dover Priory, make your way 2.5 miles to the White Cliffs visitor centre. From there, chose from a number of walks along the coastline. You can also take a boat trip and view the cliffs from the Channel. Get in touch with Dover White Cliff Tours for more information. If you’ve rented a car, on your way back to London loop West and head to Rye. If you haven’t walked enough climb up the stairs of the church clock tower from where you’ll have a great view of the coast and then head to Ye Old Bell for a pint of ale. 

8- Day trip 2: Go for a day trip along the Jurassic Coast

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Hop on the bus, train or rent a car and head down to Weymouth for a walk along the Jurassic Coast. There are also a ton of outdoor sports to chose from, from climbing and cycling to kayaking, kite surfing and coasteering. If you want to cover more ground you can hop on and off the Jurassic Coast bus service. After all that sport, make sure you stop for a slice of pie at The Lookout Café before heading back.

9- Go to a music festival… any festival!

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Photo: Southwestfour

London offers a seemingly endless number of festivals – way too many for us to list (check out TimeOut for good reviews), but here are a handful to get you started. For top names head to Hyde Park for the Wireless festival. If you’re more into the indie scene, check out Field Day, which takes place in beautiful Victoria Park. Victoria park is also host to the always excellent LoveBox festival, which attracts top names in hip hop, electronic and indie. For top DJ acts of the likes of Avicii, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren, Tiësto and Hardwell, check out Southwestfour which takes place in Clapham Common during the afternoon and early evening. Slightly farther afield are Global Gathering, which takes place on an old airfield at Long Marston and Creamfields. Both are multi-day festivals. Finally, if you’re looking for a bit of indie camping fun, check out the Isle of Wight festival, Latitude festival in Suffolk as well as Bestival

10- Obligatory: go to the pub(s)

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Photo: Dumitru Brinzan

Skip the museums and shops and head to one (at the very least!) of London’s iconic pubs.  If you’re in central London, head to the Ship n’ Shovel, London’s only pub that is either side of a street. While you’re there, walk down Villiers Street and head down into Gordon’s Wine Bar, one of London’s oldest bars, for some wine and cheese – try and get a table in the cellar. If you’re in Clerkenwell, take a walk up and down Exmouth Market before heading into the Eagle, one of London’s first gastropubs, which serves excellent grub. Moving west into Green Park or Knightsbridge drop by the Nag’s Head, and if you’re by Sloane Square, definitely visit The Grenadier a venerable London landmark. Finally, if planning and making decisions is a bit too much, fear not, the Circle Line Pub Crawl is here for you: get up early and round your friends up for 27 stations, 27 pubs, 28 drinks in a 12 hour sprint. Here is a map. You’re off!

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

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.

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