Travelling with the MegaBuses is probably one of the cheapest way you’ll get around in Europe. It’s not fancy, it’s not glamorous, and it’s not quick, but it’s cheap and it’s perfect for a weekend get away. I took the Megabus from London to Glasgow, taking a night bus on Friday night, and then one back on Sunday night. I only spend £14 one way, making it one of my cheapest travels yet, but also not a very comfortable one.
What to Expect
Depending on where you’re going and for how long you’re going to be on the bus, you’re experience will vary. From London to Glasgow it’s about 8-9 hours, not too bad, but still a lot of hours. I very much prefer taking a long bus or train ride during the night, it saves you a nights accommodation and time goes a lot faster if you sleep.
The seats were quite hard and not very comfortable, I didn’t get much sleep at all, and on the way there I managed to get a double seat – making it quite alright. On the way back the bus was packed and I almost didn’t get any sleep at all. It wasn’t very comfortable at all, but still – £14.
If you’re leaving from Victoria Station, you’ll want to be there in good time. People are there early to que up, and you don’t want to be the last one on the bus. Getting there early is just a precaution, but make sure you’re on time! You’ll be allowed to board the bus as soon as it arrives, so make sure to be there early to get your preferred seat!
Depending on where you’re travelling, make sure to print out your ticket/confirmation and have it with you, you might be asked for a physical ticket so have it ready when you board the bus!
If you’re travelling with luggage it will be tagged and you’ll receive a stub – make sure not to loose it!
On the bus you’ll find:
WiFi – I personally didn’t get this to work, not sure if anyone else did. I wouldn’t count on it.
Bathroom – Well, travelling on a bus I never expect a glamorous bathroom, but this was a new level. If you need to use it, use if early during the bus ride. Halfway through it got to a whole new level of disgusting.
Reclinable Seat – The seats did recline, but they were quite hard to sit on. Getting a double seat is a lifesaver, but if you’re not so lucky, it’s sill ok – not comfortable, but ok.
Air Con – On the way there it was warm and cosy, I didn’t need a blanket or a scarf or even a jumper. On the way back it was colder and I was thankful I brought a blanket!
During the journey
Make sure you’re prepared for the journey, get on the bus wearing comfy clothes and bring a scarf or a sweater (or a blanket!) as it can get a bit cold with the air con. Have a look at when and where the bus will stop, see if you can use it as a bathroom break or just to stretch your legs and get some fresh air!
Food and Water
Of course. You can travel anywhere without some on the road snacks, bring lots of water and some good snacks. Avoid anything with too much sugar in it, the long bus ride won’t get better if you’re on a sugar high, and if you’re taking a night bus the sugar sure won’t help you sleep.
I love listening to podcast when I travel, I rarely listen to them otherwise, but when on a plane, train, or bus, I always make sure to have a bunch of them ready offline so I can spend hours and hours listening away.
Make sure to have some playlist ready offline so you can listen during the journey. The bus does have wifi but it’s not always reliable, offline is the way to go!
If you have one, bring it! It’s the perfect travel companion and makes any journey so much more comfortable! If not, just use a scarf or a jumper as a pillow!
A lot of hours means a lot of battery, bring a portable charger so you don’t run out of batteries during the bus ride! A lot of the time the buses actually had outlets next to the seat, lifesaver! But on the way back for some reason they had changed the bus, which meant no outlets.
Another good tip is to put the phone on airplane mode, it’ll save you a lot of batteries!
All and all it was worth it. And I would do it again. But be prepared for an uncomfortable journey and don’t expect to get a good nights sleep. I wouldn’t pay much more than I did, I saw some MegaBus journeys we’re actually quite expensive, but for a £28 roundtrip, it was worth it! If there are an alternative journey for a similar price, I would probably pick the alternative over the MegaBus, but when travelling on a budget the MegaBus is a good competitor!