NEW YORK -- For budget-minded travelers to Europe -- especially the
youthful backpack set -- seeking an alternative to the Eurail Pass,
Busabout offers a road-based solution with its Flexi-Pass bus
The London-based company -- a subsidiary of Travel Corp., which
owns such tour operators as Contiki, Trafalgar Tours and Insight
Travel -- started the program in Europe last year and introduced it
to the U.S. on June 1.
Busabout uses 28 deluxe motorcoaches to link 60 European cities
through a series of interconnected routes and schedules with set
departures. "We're positioning it directly against rail travel,"
said Ed Dischler, national sales manager at Busabout. "The gimmick
is that our pricing structure is up to 30% cheaper."
Prices start at $285 for 15 days of travel taken within a
two-month period, $380 for 21 days of travel within three months
and $465 for 30 days of travel within four months.
However, those seeking the flexibility of the multiple daily
departures afforded by rail travel will be disappointed by a bus
schedule in which departures are typically every other day.
"It's really for someone who is backpacking around Europe," said
Dischler. "The buses stop at the preferred youth hostel in each
city we visit."
While traveling between destinations, travelers can tap the
services of an on-board Busabout representative, who can help make
accommodations and sightseeing arrangements. Upon arrival in a
city, passengers who want to stay at the youth hostel can take
advantage of Busabout's preferred relationships, which enables it
to block space there for its clients.
A Bedabout 10-night voucher program also is available and is
priced at $14 per night for select hostels, bungalows and tent
Busabout also created a Web site that its clients can use to
exchange e-mail messages and compare notes on their travel
experiences. "Our clients are very Internet-savvy," said Dischler.
"A lot of youth hostels have e-mail capability and, if not, there
is generally an Internet cafe, usually within a block or two."
Busabout Flexi-Passes are commissionable at 15%, and the
Bedabout vouchers are commissionable at 10%.
Additional packages to the Greek Isles, Morocco, Spain's
Balearic Islands and eastern Europe also are available as add-ons
to the Flexi-Pass.
Phone: (800) 664-4046
E-mail: [email protected]