Like all methods of travel, coach buses have their downsides: Chaotic boarding process, luggage everywhere, loud passengers, cramped seats, no air conditioning. But that’s a worst-case scenario.
Here are four advantages to taking a bus on your next vacation:
No stress getting to the station
Several European bus operators have began offering pick-up services for their customers, sending a shuttle to passengers’ homes to take them and their luggage directly to the bus itself. This is especially good news for older passengers and those with limited mobility.
“This service is especially used in rural regions,” says Nina Jaschke, from Germany’s bus company association in Berlin. It also allows people without a driver’s permit or those who don’t want to make the long journey to the bus by themselves to easily get there.
All ages are welcome
While younger travellers certainly take buses for school trips or to get to events, seniors make up the largest target group for the bus trip market – the age of the average passenger in Germany is 59.9.
More environmentally friendly than other transport
Philipp Kosok, a spokesman for an environmentally friendly transport club in Germany, criticises the airline industry’s low-price policy and praises touring coaches’ relatively less-destructive climate footprint.
“Similar to travelling by train, coaches create far fewer emissions than driving a car or taking a plane somewhere,” he says. The one downside is that bus trips often take more time than other travel methods – just be sure to pack a good book or some new music.
People are friendlier
While coaches are popular with couples and small groups, not all the twin seats will be taken. “Many solo travellers like being able to share the experience,” says Jaschke. Especially on long journeys, passengers are more likely to make new friends across age groups.
“Most bus passengers are more sociable and open to meeting new people than the average person,” confirms tourism researcher Philipp Wagner.
The social aspect is even a reason why some passengers decide to take this form of transportation over others, adds Jaschke. – dpa