A Getaway for the Price of a Commute

The long weekend kicks off at 5 PM today or earlier for those of you who are trying to beat traffic as you make it to your travel destinaton.  If you are one of the thousands of people trying to move through the NY-DC corridor, you must’ve come across various options – the train, the shuttle, and the bus.  Considering that the train is expensive (though cheaper if you book in advance) and the shuttle drops you off in the inconvenient La Guardia, the bus is the way to go.  Bus companies, such as Megabus, Bolt, and Vamoose, allow you to take a weekend trip for about $25 each way.  This is an awesome deal, since these buses are clean and have wi-fi, and you don’t have to pay for gas or tolls.  An average trip lasts 4.5 hours, which is equivalent to going by air once you factor in the time to travel to and from airports and through security checkpoints.  Bolt offers tons of leg room; Vamoose is always on time as their drivers re-route to avoid traffic.

Another major money-saver that my friend taught me is to book your trip months ahead of time with Megabus or Bolt when fares start at $1.  She selects random weekends and buys the tickets for $1 each (it’s really $1.50 if you include the booking fee).  If she decides not to use the ticket, she’ll only lose a buck.  I also suggested that she can sell the ticket to a friend or colleague for $5-10 about a week before the travel date, since by then the same ticket would cost anywhere from $20 to $25 on the website.  Even if she reserves 15 tickets (a total cost of $22.50) and only uses one of them, it would still be cheaper than buying the ticket a week or two in advance and paying the full $25.

But don’t ignore Vamoose.  Although Vamoose offers only $25 fares,  you get a free ticket for every four that you buy, so make sure to save the ticket stubs they give back.

Whether you take the bus or not, in this economy, “recessionizing” your travels is the way to go.