Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash
Coach travel conjures up the image of either school trips, or pensioners going to visit dilapidated seaside towns, in the UK at least. But actually, these days, coaches are a viable means of travel for all ages, and all types of travel, from business to commuting to tourism.
So, free yourself from the stereotypes and give coach travel a whirl. All the reasons you need are below.
Modern coaches are extremely comfortable compared to other forms of travel. The seats tend to be big and plush. They usually have lots of legroom, for the taller among us, unlike planes and trains. Air-conditioning is standard, so you'll arrive at your destination chilled.
Another great thing about coaches is that you get much better views than other road users because your seating position is so much higher. And because someone else is doing the driving, you actually can take the time to look around and enjoy the vista.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
You can actually move around a bit in a coach, so you can get up and stretch your legs if you want. Try doing this in a car!
Along with being comfortable, coach travel is also really cheap.Megabus for example, used to advertise £1 fares widely in the UK, although this seems to have increased to £3 recently.
At with all travel options, the prices can vary widely depending on what time you want to travel, and how far in the future. To get the best prices, avoid peak commuting hours and book at least a month in advance.
If the alternative is flying from the UK, then coach travel looks even cheaper. This is because if you fly from a UK airport, your ticket price includes Air Passenger Duty (APD). On a short haul flight, APD is £s;13 in economy and £s;26 if you upgrade to premium economy. In business class it is a stonking £78 (prices at April 2020). As coaches don't have to pay this, operators can afford to charge lower fees.
A big advantage of coaches over train is the convenience. If you are getting a train, then you need to get to the station first. Most town have only one station although there might be multiple stations in the bigger cities. Whereas coaches drive along the roads (yes really!). This means that wherever you live, a coach is likely to pass quite close to you, and with luck there might be a stop within walking distance.
This will save you not only the hassle of driving to the station carpark or getting a taxi or bus there. It will also save you money and time.
It stand to reason really, a coach might be a big vehicle, but it carries a large number of passengers. A fleet of cars would be needed to carry the same number of passengers.
Studies by Department for Transport/National Atmospheric Emission Inventory show that coaches are a great way of cutting down your carbon footprint - especially compared to planes.
Coaches also reduce congestion on the road, thus reducing travel times.
One thing that most people aren't aware of is how safe coach travel is. For example a study in the US showed that bus travel (which includes coaches) has the second lowest fatality rate of common modes of transport.
Source: Northwestern University
Per mile travelled, you are an astonishing 66 times more likely to die in a car than in a coach.
It turns out that having a professional, experienced driver driving at moderate speeds in a well-maintained vehicle is a good way of staying safe on the road. Who would have guessed?
It isn't rocket science. Being driven around while you read a book, watch a movie or just look out of the window is more relaxing than doing the driving yourself.
Idiot driver trying to cut you up? In a coach you probably wouldn't even notice. Traffic jams? Who cares - you have more time to read book/watch movie.
When you arrive, you will feel relax and ready to do whatever you came to do, be it business or pleasure.