I'm heading to Europe for 2 1/2 months in late june and I'm finding it very hard to decide on what means to travel Europe. I've looked into the rail passes (10 or 15 days in 2 months) which appear to be gold, (independant etc) but then a mate mentioned to me about BusAbout... so my question... has anyone done both or have any advice that may help me dicide? I'm planning to spend 4-5 days in each city i visit.. general directions (fance, spain, italy, greece, croatia, germany, switz, netherlands & the UK)
Thanks heaps! J.
I've got the same question... Can anyone shed some light? Ta!
I'm about to embark on my long-awaited trip to Europe and have decided to give Busabout a go. There's a few different ways to use Busabout - there's 3 different loops (western, northern and southern), so you can buy a loop OR you can by a flexi-pass which gives you any 6 stops (provided you go in the right direction) and you can even by additional stops. The bus passes through every stop every second day, so you can stay as long as you like in any stop and jsut get the next bus that comes thru. Its easiest to go to their website www.busabout.com to understand it.
I chose Busabout coz I didnt want the restriction of a Contiki tour but it just provides that little bit of guidance or reassurance that you wont get from doing it alone.
Hope this helps!
Lisa (10 days til i leave!!!)
Trains (or "normal" buses, such as Eurolines) are much more flexible and have a huuuuge number of extra destinations and permutations. They are normal trains used by everybody, and thus offer huge number of options and flexibility to go whereever the heck you decide. You also get to meet locals etc.
Busabout only links a small number of places, and is designed solely for backpackers, meaning that you don't meet "normal" people or locals when you travel. However, that can also be the bonus in that you will definitely meet like minded people on the journeys, which appeals to people that have never travelled or are going alone and worried about it. They also have guides to help you out.
And whilst the loops are very restictive, they do cover most of the "normal" backpacker detainations in Western Europe which makes it easy for you. You also can, of course, buy extra tickets on normal buses/trains for side trips.
(fance, spain, italy, greece, croatia, germany, switz, netherlands & the UK)
I've never used Busabout, but as far as i'm aware, they don't cover either Greece or Croatia, meaning you will have to use at least some normal buses/trains and ferries if you wanted to visit them, even if you did use Busabout as well.
I would personally choose train. The views are often fantastic, on train routes. After a lot of long bus journeys, u might start to get the impression that Europe is all motorways.
i travelled round euope last year and i only used the train. my experience was that it was generally fantastic. it was fun, you met different people and on those really long trips you do have a bit more space so you can move around and stretch your legs.
i didnt have any problems with the train except once. generally you didnt have to prebook your tickets if you had a eurail pass you could just use that. but on our journey from krakow to berlin the train was absolutely full and there was no space. the conducter guys were not at all friendly or pleasant and we ended up sitting by the tiolets with about 15 other people who couldnt get seats until we got kicked off the train at some random town. other than that one experience i loved travelling by train and would do it again anytime.
happy travelling, whatever you decide im sure you will love it.
Personally I find busabout restrictive - they drop you in front of selected hostels and pick you up there, so you often find yourself staying at these hostels out of convenience. It takes a worry off your mind, but makes your trip less individual. (I considered going with my grandma (78) on a busabout trip for exactly the reason that they stop near the hostel.)
If you already have a clear idea what you want to see it is also worthwhile to look into the cheapest/best way to do it without using a railpass and compare that. Railpasses can work out to be more expensive than point-to-point train tickets.
I like to travel with a combination of cheap flights, train, bus and or bicycle - whatever works out best and cheapest at the moment for a particular destination.
I recommend that you both (MaverickJa and rach13) post your plans here, so that we can comment on it.