Buses and coaches have got a lot of advantages over other forms of transport. Usually they are cheaper than the cost of petrol and parking cars; cheaper, more frequent and more flexible than planes; cheaper and more reliable than trains.
Bus routes can be direct, allowing you to get from A to B as quickly as possible on the roads or they can be indirect, allowing more people to easily access stops and get as close as they can to their preferred destination. In the countryside, bus routes are often the only way for people to travel any great distances.
The price of bus tickets will vary depending on which bus company runs a particular route, and bus timetables are as reliable as the companies can make them. iDBUS, a major coach company that runs services between London Victoria and various cities across Europe, has timetables on its website that are easy to read and understand: you tap in your departure and destination cities and find out what times the buses leave and arrive (and make clear the duration of the journey, taking into account local time differences).
Other, traditional timetables can be rather complicated, with estimated times of arrival at numerous stops and with some times only relevant on certain days of the week. You can also never be sure, when standing at a bus stop for a bus due at that exact time, whether your bus has already been and gone or if it is running late.
If you are due to depart from a major bus station then there may be staff available to tell you where your bus is and whether you have arrived in time to catch it or not. If you travel with iDBUS, they have staff at each station to help passengers to board and keep them informed.
Real-time information can be transmitted to bus stops allowing waiting passengers to know just how long it will be until their bus arrives to collect them, but these facilities are usually only found in city centres or along major bus routes. Some bus companies (iDBUS included) have this facility installed on each of their coaches and at the stations to help passengers plan their journey.
You can often book tickets on long-haul journeys by bus or coach at Mini Prices. You may also be able to book specific seats so that you and your party can all sit together, or so that you can sit next to a window or by the aisle – wherever you prefer to sit for comfort and convenience.
Modern buses and coaches offer services such as free on board Wi-Fi, plug sockets (but don’t forget your plug adaptor!) and comfortable seats. If you are planning on travelling a long way by bus or coach make sure that you choose a company that offers a good standard of customer service and comfort on board so that your journey is relaxing and enjoyable.