Tag Archives: bus

Europe to the Himalayas on a British double-decker


The Observer has an article about two British lads driving a pimped-out double-decker bus from Bristol along the ol’ hippy trail to Nepal. With years of experience pimping vintage cars the two adventurers have

rebuilt the bus from the bottom up – adding a new engine, bull bars and a fold-down top deck for negotiating low bridges. They make highly technical alterations sound like changing a light bulb. The bus’s regular supply of steaming hot water is simply ‘a calorific heat exchanger fed by engine coolant’. Of course it is.

More of a shock was the reaction of the European public. I hadn’t climbed aboard any old bus; I’d joined a celebrity on tour. With three bedrooms, kitchen, shower and sun deck, it attracted levels of adoration unimaginable on its old routes to Weston-super-Mare.

Thirty minutes later I witnessed its power as an aphrodisiac – albeit one that only works on middle-aged men. ‘Magnifico, I give you special price,’ cooed the randy moustache at the Italian motorway tollbooth, before charging for a 50cc moped. ‘Where are the sexy ladies?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘The ladies. You need sexy ladies. Go to the beach. In this bus, you will find sexy ladies in bikinis.’

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Loose Change – A round-up of recent travel tips from around the web (13th of May)

Travel Tips of the Week

John Flinn, SF Gate: Travel Light Means Fewer Clothes, Wash Your Own

A great guide to washing clothes quickly with only a sink.


For everyone determined to make the most of their holiday time Bootsnall has five destinations where the summer sun just don’t set (literally).

Bravenewtraveler has some suggestions for avoiding getting lost in a new city.

Wired’s How To Wiki has an excellent guide to buying a digital camera.

Matador has some tips for visiting indigenous peoples.

The Americas

Intelligent Travel has some tips for finding the authentic Flushing in Queens, New York. The Guardian has some tips for free things to do in New York.

SFGate has a guide to LCC’s in Mexico.


Eurocheapo has some cheap places to see Michelangelo’s work in Florence, including the sadly overlooked Bargello. In Krakow they suggest five free things to do and for good measure they have five great places for a picnic in Paris.

Coach travel in Europe can be a more economical alternatives to the fabled Eurorail pass. itravelnet rounds up the low coast bus services in Europe and surveys European bus passes.

The Guardian has a guide to the Isle of Man. Ask a Local on High Culture on a Low Budget features Mike from London.

Nick Trend in The Telegraph claims to list Venice’s top ten budget (well less than £130 a night) hotels.

With the Champions League final around the corner The Guardian has some suggestions for Moscow.

Rick Steves has a very entertaining audio discussions about Rome and Istanbul.


9000 Hours in Saigon has a guide to Vietnamese titles

Frommers has an audio guide to South Korea with Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, author of Frommer’s South Korea.

MSNBC has some tips for first time visitors to India.

Thailand is pretty cheap to begin with, but Budgettravelguide has some tips for making it even cheaper.

Travel Blogging – is that thing still around? has some tips for dealing with Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Stuff.co.nz has some tips for seeing Singapore with children.


Frommers.com Podcast discusses Namibia.

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[Sunset in Iceland by Deivis, Coach image by orisfrancesco.com, NAIA image via alexyra]

$1 New Zealand Nakedness

Nakedbus is a New Zealand coach service that has learnt a thing or two from LCCs and US based Boltbus by selling at least one seat on every bus for $1. Unfortunately, they also appear to have learnt the excess luggage trick. I found a few fares at the advertised buck (Queenstown – Christchurch in July) but (unsurprisingly) never for two passengers travelling together. Travelzoo reckon they had success finding the fares on routes between

  • Napier to Taupo
  • Palmerston North to Wellington
  • Auckland to Rotorua

Regular fares, however, seemed to be in the same ballpark as competitor Intercity.

Unfortunately, Nakedbus might be, well, just a bit of a tease.

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The travel danger everyone ignores

Road of DeathMost travellers conscietiously ensure they’ve had the necessary vaccinations before leaving, check travel warnings and avoid tap water/ice/street food, etc. Yet very little attention is paid to a very real danger when travelling which is much more difficult to prevent against – traffic accidents.

Travelling by road is something that many travelers do frequently and without a second thought. In the last twenty-four hours five British tourists were killed in Ecuador and fifteen were injured. Over the past weekend people throughout South East Asia have been celebrating the new year. Thais are celebrating Songkranthis site has some photos. As with many festivals it is a particularly dangerous period to be on the road; the Bangkok Post reports that ‘Some 1,220 accidents were recorded on Friday and Saturday, with 1,411 people injured, in addition to the deaths’. The tradition of drenching passersby with water during this festival in Thailand (including those on motorcycles) helps to add to the danger.

I’m certainly not suggesting avoiding travel by road; traffic accidents are a fact of life everywhere – and travelling by bus may be much less dangerous than just crossing a major street. A representative of the company that arranged the Ecuador trip described the risk as ‘inherent’, which is pretty much spot on.

However, taking the obvious precautions of travelling with a reputable bus company, avoiding bus travel at night, during busy festival periods or on routes known to be dangerous and taking extreme care when driving overseas are no less important than anti-malarials or vaccinations. Tragedies such as those in South America put into perspective some of those dangers travellers spend an inordinate amount of time stressing over.

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Loose Change – A round-up of recent travel tips from around the web


Streching the dollar in Europe (MSNBC)

How to survive airport stopovers (Travelling Board)

That’s Sick! 9 Ways to Avoid the Bug When You Travel (Frommers)

How to survive your next bumpy bus ride (Gadling)

The waiting game: How to cope when widespread delays hit the air travel system (MSNBC)

10 ways to get the best airplane seat (MSNBC)

How to avoid Heathrow Terminal Five (The Telegraph)

How to Avoid Being Pickpocketed (eHow)

How to Avoid Getting Bloated on a Long Flight (eHow)

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