Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Take the bus

I'm not saying anything revolutionary, original or even surprising when I say "Air travel sucks these days!" Skyrocketing fares have already killed a trip my parents were going to make to the East Coast, and Cassie and I will probably cancel a big fall trip to Mexico that we've been planning. Airlines are nickel-and-diming everyone, and cuts in routes and flights will make cheap flights and on-time service a thing of the past.

It's time for me to say "Take the bus" with a straight face—and time for you to seriously consider it. In the past, if you'd planned to travel anywhere within driving distance, you probably would have driven your own car—until gasoline prices also started bloating. But don't simply stay home now: take the bus!

Before Cassie and I lived in the same city, we would often take one of the so-called "Chinatown buses" to visit each other. The most well-known of these is the Fung Wah bus, but a variety of copycat bus lines operate between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C (GotoBus, Boltbus). Our NYC -D.C. route on Eastern (one of the GotoBuses) only cost about $30 round-trip—far cheaper than actually driving—and provided a perfectly comfortable motor coach experience (and was a lot less stressful than driving).

If you don't live in the Northeast corridor, Megabus services Chicago and other cities in the Midwest, and along with GotoBus, claims to offer service between a variety of other major cities across the U.S. And yes, you might even consider taking the Greyhound. According to Arthur Frommer, the bus line is upgrading some of its buses and terminals.

I previously blogged about the airlines becoming "the new bus." Well, it seems that bus travel may become "the new airline."

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