Planes are fast and popular. Trains are often cheaper and romanticized. Buses, however, get a bad rap. In the States, that’s probably deserved. With the exception of some modern, swanky buses servicing the Northeast Corridor and the Midwest, the bus options throughout the United States are pretty shoddy. Yet, bus travel doesn’t have to be all about steerage class, sweat boxy hellholes. Sadly, you just have to leave the United States to find the Shangri-La of bus service. One place to do so is in Turkey.
Yes, Turkey has amazing long-haul bus service. How is it better than the typical Greyhound service that you find in the States? Let’s break it down.
For the sake of this comparison, we’ll be looking at Greyhound and the Turkish bus line Kamil Koç (pronounced Camel Coach), which I rode from Bursa to Selçuk.
Sure, this is far from scientific. And Greyhound is introducing some new, modern buses
to their fleet. But only in certain pockets of North America. The vast majority of Americans have limited bus options, most of which make overpaying for regional flights and dealing with the hassles of airports actually seem like good ideas.
Turkey has wi-fi enabled, tea-serving buses with personal televisions zipping all over the country! Why can’t we have buses that would encourage people to view ground transportation as a viable (and comfortable) option for travel?
Have you ridden a particularly luxurious bus outside of the United States? Have a funny story about Greyhound? Share your bus experiences in the comments.
Mike Barish’s trip to Turkey was sponsored by Intrepid Travel. While everyone should agree that İskender kebab is amazing, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are strictly his own. You can read more about his trip to Turkey here.
We’ve covered budget bus lines before here on Gadling. One of their biggest disadvantages was always the lack of a central booking site like you’ll find for airline tickets.
That just changed with the launch of BusJunction.
This convenient site offers easy to use booking tools for 12 different bus lines (Megabus, Bolt, Vamoose, DC2NY, Greyhound, Trailways, Peter Pan, Lakefront, Fung Wah, Lucky Star, Eastern Travel and New Century).
The site tells you which lines depart from your city, and to which destinations. You can link directly to the booking page of the bus service, get maps of the terminal location and even find which services are available on the bus (like Wi-Fi and power outlets).
All in all a very convenient service for people who have become bus addicts, or for people who are looking for a more affordable alternative to the car or airlines.
Remember last week when I told you about the awesome $1 fare for bus service between NYC and DC aboard BoltBus? Well, the good news just got even better — they’ve added Boston as another one of their cheap-o destinations, starting in April. You won’t find seats for $1, but once they go on sale, they’ll cost you around $7 for a one-way trip. But, like I mentioned before, be sure to book far in advance and expect to see a booking fee on top of that.
Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but once they are available, book quickly as their sure to go fast at that price. As an added incentive, Bolt Buses offer free WiFi and power outlets on their coaches.
(via Cheapskate Travel)