Pros and Cons of Travelling Long Distances by Bus

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Travelling by bus is cheap and (usually) convenient, since there are many different companies competing for business along the same lines and there are bus stops at very frequent intervals. There are disadvantages, too – the buses are often overcrowded and dirty and the frequent stops that make buses so easy to catch also make them a slow means of getting from A to B.

Bus services that travel internationally are less common but are nonetheless fiercely competitive. They are usually cheaper than other forms of international travel, but here we set out a list of all the pros and cons of using bus services for long journeys.

Advantages:

  • You can book early to ensure that you can travel at a set time and not risk missing out on your chosen journey, or you can book at the last minute for maximum flexibility.
  • Some bus services allow you to book specific seats so that you can sit together with your family or just choose somewhere in the bus that you would feel most comfortable (e.g. next to a window, or near the driver).
  • iDBUS offers low cost travel for any seat (with a mini price of £29 from London to Lille, for instance) and the cost only varies depending on your date of travel. It doesn't matter when you book, the seat will be the same low price.
  • You can travel overnight, allowing you to get some sleep and arrive rested and ready to start your holiday. Choose a bus company that offers reclining seats and plenty of leg- and elbow room.
  • If you book with iDBUS you can access free Wi-Fi and plug sockets to keep you entertained when you're on the move.
  • Short check-in times mean you can arrive just half an hour before departure, giving you time to hand over your luggage and get comfortable before setting off.
  • Luggage allowance is more generous than on the airlines and on trains because buses have plenty of space to store it for the journey: and it stays on the bus, so there is no need to worry about it 'disappearing.'
  • The coach stations are usually central, depending on which bus company you choose. iDBUS starts its journeys from London Victoria Coach Station so you don’t have to worry about arranging to get to and from the station as you would if you were flying.

Disadvantages:

  • Often you will pay a premium for booking early, but can risk not getting the time or seat you want if you book too late.
  • If you choose a bus company that does not allow you to book specific seats you may end up seated apart from your friends, or sitting somewhere you would prefer not to.
  • Bus journeys take far longer than journeys by train or plane, though the difference is not so great once you take into account the delays incurred by having to check in early and wait for luggage to be unloaded etc. Facilities like free Wi-Fi, plug sockets and comfortable chairs help the time to pass quicker.

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