Avoid the Stress of Flying With These Luxury Bus Routes
As travelers scramble to find the best flight deals amid increased prices, there is a new player on the scene and one you may not have thought of – luxury bus routes. Flights are known to cut travel time drastically, but when you factor in the time to get to the airport, check in your bags, move through security, wait for your flight, and then sit on the tarmac for an open runway, it’s already been hours before you’ve even taken off (and that’s without flight cancellations or disruptions).
With arrival times 15 minutes before departing, seats wider and with more recline than airlines, and the promise of no airport crowds – traveling by bus just isn’t what it used to be.
As the New York Times wrote this week, these companies “are betting that Americans will abandon the image of the rumbling, cramped bus as the transport of last resort for the cash-strapped and embrace long-haul coach travel.” There are more companies popping up that are promising luxury overnight accommodations and restful sleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready to go when you reach your destination.
Check out 4 luxury bus routes below:
- Route: New York City (close to Hudson Yards) to Washington DC (close to Metro Center) and return
- Departure Days: 6 days a week, every day except Tuesdays
- Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes
- Cost: starting at $99 for one-way
This luxury coach has been designed to mimic a private jet. With “motion-canceling seating” made from a gel-foam base and a memory-foam back, these 22-inch seats will lull you to sleep with their 135-degree recline. Or enjoy the high-speed Wi-Fi so you can stream your own entertainment.
Accommodating up to 14 passengers, the rows are spread out by 6-inches for plenty of leg room and the vehicle fits one bathroom said to resemble a luxury hotel instead of an airplane. While the coach is fitted to serve in-seat meals with a menu, it’s not up and running yet. However, complimentary beer and wine are served. Two checked bags and two carry-ons are permitted, but to keep noise as quiet as possible, children under six are not allowed.
- Route: Washington DC to Nashville (via Knoxville) and return
- Departure Days: Departing Washington on Fridays at 10 pm and Nashville on Sundays at 7.30 pm. Additional scheduling is being added in November and December on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Duration: 10-12 hours (depending on departure city)
- Cost: starting at $125
The only full reclining sleeper bus in the country, this coach offers what they call “private suites” for 18 passengers. Each person gets two seats that make one bed when folded down together and a memory foam mattress pad for extra comfort, with anyone under 6’4” not spilling over. The suites are equipped with two desks and a Nap Kit with things to help you snooze, which includes blankets, pillows, and a sleep mask. Each suite comes with power outlets, two desks, and decent enough space to either work or sleep.
The coach is also fitted with one airline-style bathroom. Guests are encouraged to bring their own food on board (as long as it’s not pungent to the neighbors) and enjoy the high-speed Wi-Fi with 24/7 entertainment. Two checked bags are included, and it is $25 for any additional piece after that. You can also take on board anything that you can carry and that will fit in your personal suite or the backpack-sized overheads.
- Route: multiple service routes in Texas with destinations including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio; as well as Atlanta to Nashville and back.
- Departure Days: Daily, with peak days offering 4 or 8 departure times each day
- Duration: multiple durations between cities
- Cost: fares range from $99 to $119
Vonlane has been designed with business travelers in mind and resembles more like a luxurious train than a bus. It’s 22-seats also offer limited seating facing each other and the option to add a tray table to encourage work collaboration between colleagues. The 20-inch leather seating reclines up to 140 degrees for resting with the provided noise-canceling headsets or enjoy satellite TV entertainment.
Complimentary snacks and beverages are served, with beer, wine, and spirits sold separately, and select destinations offer complimentary sandwiches, salads, and wraps. You are permitted two bags under 50 pounds and one carry-on bag that fits in the overhead storage compartment. You don’t have to worry about leaving your pup at home because they permit one small dog under 10 pounds in a carry case.
- Route: Multiple destinations in Texas and Florida. Florida destinations include Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, Tallahassee, Gainsville, and West Palm Beach. Texas destinations include Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Richardson, Katy, and College Station.
- Departure Days: Daily scheduled bus services
- Duration: 4-4.5 hours from Miami Airport to Orlando; around 3 hours from Dallas to Austin; anywhere from 3 hours 45 minutes to 7 hours 30 minutes from Dallas to Houston, depending on the time of day.
- Cost: Depending on the route, bus tickets in Red Coach First Class and Red Coach Business vary from $19.00 to $129.00
Like airlines, Red Coach offers three different classes, and this determines the size of the coach. First class comes with 27 seats (21-inch-wide seats), business class with 38 seats (18-inch-wide seats), and economy with 56 seats (16-inch-wide seats that don’t recline). This more affordable option provides comfortable seating that reclines up to 140 degrees with Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. Passengers are permitted 2 checked bags plus one carry-on for free.