What’s the Matter with Busabout? – In Depth Review
Our recent articles focused on reliable tour guide companies that help young travelers see the world without worrying about planning. But their major drawback is the lack of flexibility when it comes to exploring places at your own pace.
Some of us are passionate about traveling more independently, with a couple of impulsive decisions made along the way, all the while having someone to guide us.
If you are stuck between booking a guided tour and traveling free-style, we think you should give Busabout a serious thought! Structurally, it offers you a good balance between organization and spontaneity.
But, it’s not without a share of hiccups. So, do give our Busabout review a read before you decide!
What is Busabout?
Busabout is one of the leading European travel companies founded in 1998 with the aim of providing a budget-friendly, free-style travel mode for globetrotters. It can also be defined as a bus network that covers 189 cities around the world. The most popular Busabout circuit is the Europe one which consists of four major loops covering major routes to 46 cities in the continent. In addition, the company also operates in North Africa, Asia, and the USA.
Busabout is not a conventional tour company. It helps you see the world on your terms at your own pace while giving a social atmosphere. When you sign up for Busabout passes, you are not signing up for guided tours. Although every bus has a well-informed tour guide who can give you loads of recommendations of what to see and do in Europe, there’s no fixed itinerary that travelers have to follow.
Who owns Busabout?
At present, Busabout is owned by The Travel Corporation, which is a family-owned organization consisting of 40 travel brands. It is also affiliated with the TreadRight Foundation, supporting sustainable tourism.
Is there an age limit for Busabout?
Anyone above 18 can go on a Busabout tour, and there’s no upper age limit. However, it mainly attracts a young crowd, primarily backpackers and solo travelers. Anyone who likes to socialize with fellow travelers would feel welcome in Busabout tours!
How does Busabout work?
- Hop-On-Hop-Off feature: This is the unique feature of Busabout. Travelers can use Busabout as a means of transport from one city to another. You can either choose to visit cities according to their defined order or change the route. For example, if you don’t want to visit the city that’s next in line, you can “hop-off” and join another bus that goes to a different one.
- Tour guides: Travel guides will equip you with all the necessary information, provide recommendations, and help you utilize any discounted offers available. You can always rely on them to give a heads up about good places to stay, dine, or explore.
- Hop-On-Hop-Off or Adventure passes: Busabout offers passes for both short and long trips. Passes for short trips that go up to 4 weeks give you access to a maximum of 9 stops, and passes for long trips that go over six months grant you access to a minimum of 12 stops.
- Accommodation: Busabout will provide a list of accommodation choices, although you are free to stay wherever you like. But, if you select one of their options, you will be picked up or dropped off right there, saving you the money spent on taxis.
- Tours: You can link your hop-on-hop-off pass to different types of guided excursions and festival trips offered by Busabout.
How much does Busabout cost?
Short trips (3-9 stops)
- 1 week - $299
- 2 weeks - $399
- 4 weeks - $599
Long trips (12 or more)
- 2 months pass - $999
- 3 months pass - $1299
- Unlimited pass - $1499 (valid for six months)
How do I register on Busabout?
You have to visit Busabout’s website and purchase a pass, specifying the starting city. Once done, you can go to their MyTrip website and start customizing your tour. At present, Busabout doesn’t operate tours due to the pandemic situation.
What we like about Busabout?
- Flexibility!: Busabout doesn’t limit the time you can spend in a particular destination. You can stay behind, spend a couple or more days, and catch the next bus that leaves the city. Otherwise, you can go on a whirlwind tour covering as many cities as possible. If the bus network doesn’t cover the place you wish to visit, don’t worry. You can explore them on your own and head to a city covered by Busabout to catch the bus again. There’s ample flexibility to change your plans as long as you make arrangements 24 hours ahead.
- Reliability: Busabout is a reliable service in many ways. If you book one of their recommended accommodation spots, the bus will drop you right there. Even if you book a hotel of your choice, the tour guide will provide you with the directions to get there. This way, you won’t be abandoned in the middle of an unknown city with your luggage. The fact that there’s a bus operating regularly (once or once in two days) from the city is also very assuring, in case you stayed back or missed your bus.
- Good choice of accommodation: A lot of Busabout reviews have highlighted the quality of accommodation choices that are given to you. Most of them are very clean, comfortable, and offer great customer service. So, unless you really want to try a different BnB or hotel, we think you should stick with their options for convenience.
- Affordable: Compared to other alternative modes of traveling like flights and bus tour agencies like Contiki, Busabout is definitely a cost-effective option. If you have more time to spare, we recommend you purchase their unlimited pass that lets you use as many stops as possible.
- Comfortable buses and interesting rides: Traveling on the bus for a long time can be exhausting and boring. But, your tour guide will make it more interesting with games, movie options, and interesting facts about the destination you are about to visit. The buses are also very comfortable and spacious as they hardly become packed with people.
- No age limit: Unless you are under 18, there’s no restriction to go on Busabout tours. This means you have plenty of opportunities to mingle with travelers of all ages, learn a lot, and share your own experiences. It’s also a great way to travel with your family members!
What we don’t like about Busabout?
- Only one-way: The Busabout network only operates one-way around. So, you can travel from city A to B but not vice versa. It’s one of the major downsides we noted in many Busabout reviews.
- Wi-Fi is expensive: Busabout advertises about its coaches being equipped with Wi-Fi, but it’s not free. In fact, it’s expensive and doesn’t work fast. So, we recommend you find other ways to keep you occupied during the ride!
- Limited routes: Compared to other alternatives like Eurail, the Busabout Europe network only covers a limited number of destinations. It’s also a slower mode of transport compared to options, like flights and trains.
Is Busabout worth it?
Overall, considering the budget, degree of flexibility, and the host of attractive features, we can say Busabout is a worthy choice. But, it really depends on what kind of traveler you are. If you like to tour according to a prescheduled itinerary or prefer a faster mode of travel, it may not be ideal for you. If you love “creating your own adventures” as Busabput aptly puts it, then go for it!
Use Pilot to plan your Busabout tours
Need a helping hand to plan your trips with Busabout? We recommend you to use our super-flexible, super-cool, super-fun yet free travel planner Pilot! Plan your trips the way you want, edit them whenever you like, and add as many people you wish.
Did your brain pull-out another last-minute plan? Did you change your mind again? Do you want to add more experiences to the trip? No problem. Our social travel planner got your back. Tailor your trips as you wish without losing track of them!