Want to know the secret to my success of planning adventures? Here it is: I Google it! Yes, plain and simple. Hate to break it to you, but you're probably not the first person to dream up that adventure. Turns out, there's a whole lot of people in the world who get around the world too. ;)
So that's what I did when my brother and I tried to plan a month-long trip across Europe on a budget. My Google search went something like "how to get around Europe on a budget" - yeah, plain and simple. Yes, I've been to Europe too many times to count, but I'm not going to let myself get on a high horse about it. And it appears that playing the Europe Travel for Dummies card paid off well because through that search, I was introduced to Busabout.
Our Busabout stops: Split, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, Lauterbrunnen, Nice
Whatabout? Busabout is the exact kind of thing I was hoping to find. In 2011, I planned an epic trip for some study abroad friends in South Africa using the Baz Bus- a hop on, hop off bus that picks you up and drops you off at designated hostels with a set daily timetable. Busabout is that but for Europe. Each day, buses go from various point A's to point B's (circles below), but along the path, there are optional stops where you can also choose to get off (squares below).
There are several options for passes: You can buy a ticket to stop at a set number of stops or unlimited travel within a certain timeframe. I did the latter on a month-long unlimited pass because I wanted the flexibility (we changed our itinerary several times because we decided to stay longer or shorter in places once we got there), and let me tell you, it's basically my favorite way to travel!
Whyabout? I LOVE meeting new people while traveling. You learn so much about the world, and it just always makes it more fun. With Busabout, you're all traveling along the same route (although sometimes you can branch off on different paths from certain cities), and have the same general schedule, so you end up having the same group of people with you at all your stops, or you might meet back up with them if you're spending slightly different amounts of time in your stop-off cities. We had solo travelers, small groups who were down to hang out with others, and people who just wanted to keep to themselves- honestly good for whatever adventure you're looking for!
You also have guides with you on your bus that give you deets on the locations you're heading to - history, travel tips, help you book excursions and accommodation if you're the last-minute type, etc. They are all fun and extremely knowledgeable. It's such a bonus having someone tell you all about the places you're going!
I could go on and on, but I also just want to add that the buses are new, have [paid] wifi that I used for work, free entertainment on your personal device, and they have it down to a T on when and where to stop. Every time I thought "I'm kind of hungry" or "I could use a bathroom," the guide would tell us we had a stop in 15 minutes. They're magic!!
I'll never forget the memories I made on my epic trip around Europe with some amazing new friends (I have so many new friends to stay with in Australia, Canada and more now!). One last tip for you: DO IT!
P.S. If you decide to book Busabout, I humbskly a that you book through my links. It lets them know I referred you, and I receive a small kick-back that helps me keep this blog running. :)