Guest Post by: Mike Smith
Coach travel between the UK and mainland Europe has seen a rise in popularity in recent times, perhaps because it is becoming more and more widely recognized as a viable means of international transport. In the past, coach travel has been rather restricted to guided tours or package holidays, where passengers are collected from various stations in the UK and transported together on a sightseeing tour and taken to hotels to sleep before pressing on to the next destination on the itinerary the following day. For independent travelers, or travelers happy and able to do so, flying from the UK to a European airport was the first, and pretty much, the only choice.
Now, though, bus companies have been able to attract a significant number of customers by promoting their low fares. Compared to flying or taking the train, international coach travel is considerably cheaper—but as journeys by coach inevitably take longer than an equivalent trip by plane or train, potential customers might be deterred by the prospect of an uncomfortable journey.
Fortunately, in the last year or so, French company SNCF has created iDBUS, a coach operator that can take you from London to Paris or further afield. iDBUS has several destinations in western Europe and each iDBUS coach station is located very centrally within each city. Their unique selling point is that they charge affordable prices but not at the expense of comfort: their sleek, modern coaches have ergonomically designed, adjustable seats with extra legroom and elbowroom as standard, adjustable tables, free Wi-Fi and plug sockets, as well as on-board real-time travel information.
The basic fare is pretty inexpensive, with at least one trip per day (of their frequent services) at their lowest price for that route. For instance, you can travel with iDBUS from London to Paris for the Mini Price of £33 during the Christmas period under their ‘Christmas Mini Prices’ promotion. Budget airlines are well known for offering very cheap prices to travel from the UK to elsewhere, but notoriously the airport taxes, excess baggage fees and of course the return flight are usually very expensive. Not so with this company. And unlike when you travel by plane, your iDBUS coach station is central to town, so you won’t have to pay expensive transfer fees either (for instance, the iDBUS leaves from London Victoria Coach Station and arrives at Paris Bercy international coach and railway station).
So traveling by coach is more economical than traveling by plane or train, and, more comfortable than it has ever been thanks to iDBUS. It is also a stress-free alternative to driving yourself–you all have room to stretch your legs and you don’t have to worry about map-reading or navigating a large, unfamiliar city.
With prices that are set low, and stay low, no matter when you book your ticket, you could use iDBUS to get to and from Paris easily and cheaply so, why not book a New Year trip to one of the world’s most stunning cities in the world.