Study Abroad Series #2: Pre-Planned Trips - Bus2Alps Tips and Tricks
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Bus2alps is a tour company that is geared towards study abroad students. Don’t let their discount codes and seemingly amazing perks deceive you because Bus2Alps truly is a budget travel service. Of course if you are on a budget (like most students) this travel company would serve as a valuable choice due to its ease. I have traveled on many trips with them and have had a plethora of positive experiences, but of course along with that comes a pretty large amount of disappointments.Below are my true thoughts on traveling with Bus2Alps so you can decide if Bus2Alps will be the perfect fit for your study abroad experience.
Bus2Alps is a travel company that is mainly run by young adults that have just graduated college and are looking to travel the world during their years before entering the workforce. This is a positive and a negative point because what most of the time comes along with inexperienced young adults is a LOT of unorganized chaos and confusion. The upside to this young employee demographic is that they may be more in tune to what you enjoy and how you want to spend your trip.
Personally, on every trip I was frustrated more than once due to extremely poor customer service and disappointing delays. What is promised is not always brought to fruition due to the nature of travel combined with the inexperienced and unorganized staff. The places that are visited however, are what makes the trip so memorable positively because of the amazing memories that are created between you and your friends. If you view Bus2Alps as purely a way to avoid booking places to stay and transportation on your own, then I say “Go for it!” and book a trip.
Due to the busy semester, it was difficult for me to plan trips on my own, so opting for the travel group option was the best decision for me. However, many of my friends and classmates booked trips on their own and enjoyed every moment as well.
1. It’s Just Easier - Included Tours
If you have nothing against planning your own trip, you should do it on your own. I personally prefer to have a tour guide which is provided in many trips run by Bus2Alps. I struggle when traveling because I want to know about every building I am passing, so with Bus2Alps a guided walking tour was almost always provided which ended up playing a very crucial role in the success of my trip. Most of my tour guides were amazing and I learned an insane amount of history and culture that I brought back to share with my family and friends.
2. Popular Destinations
The travel group is very good at picking destinations that are the most exciting and important to students when coming to study abroad. They are always willing to help you plan out any other destinations that you wish to travel to during the trip as well. You can browse the options on their website for the list of trips that they offer.
3. Ease of Travel
Traveling with Bus2Alps requires no brain power and just about zero thought because all you have to do is sit on a bus and do what you are told. This is also a great way to make friends because you will be rooming with other college students from American schools who may be looking to meet new people as well. Due to the simplicity of following the pre-made travel itineraries, it is easy to focus on other aspects of the trip such as meeting new people and exploring worry free.
My Favorite Bus2Alps Trips
1. Amalfi Coast!
This trip is a MUST SEE because the itinerary is perfect for encompassing everything that you should see when in Amalfi. The boat tours and island experiences were breathtaking and an absolute must when planning your study abroad experience. If you are to book one trip with Bus2Alps this is the one to take. It is the most highly rated of all of their trips.
2. The Western Loop (Break)
This trip was absolutely amazing for people who want to experience many countries without breaking the bank. The tours were my favorite part of the experience because we were able to get the most out of the time that we spent in each country. We visited 5 countries in a 10 day period which was a dream for someone who has not traveled to any country in Europe before studying abroad. If you are looking to see as much as you can within the allotted time, this trip is perfect for you!
Because the trip is extended for the larger breaks, you will make friends that may last you a lifetime. The downside to this however is being stuck with someone that is not your favorite, but it is all worth it when you are standing in front of such beautiful and historic monuments. The memories that were created on this trip are ones that will be cherished forever. I do not recommend buying this package if you easily experience motion sickness because the bus rides are up to around 15 hours long. Trust me it is not as bad as it seems and when it’s all said and done, you won’t even remember that you slightly suffered.
Other Recommended Trips:
2.Cinque Terre Day Trip
1. DO NOT Listen to their Food Suggestions
The company often has paid connections and discounts for certain restaurants, but I have NEVER enjoyed any of their recommendations. They are inauthentic and disappointing, so save yourself the disappointment and do your research on restaurants that would make your experience authentic and enjoyable. I know budgeting is tough but my biggest piece of advice I have learned along my travels is not to skimp out on food, especially if it is to achieve an amazing cultural experience.
2. Buy ONLY Base Package Options for the Trips (NO DELUXE)
Everyone who had purchased “deluxe” packages were VERY disappointed that they were losing money. The accommodations were said to be better on the website than those who purchased the minimum, yet it ended up to be the opposite. Do not trust their extra charges and packages because it limits your trip and takes away your freedom to do what you want. Everything that may be extra can be purchased while on the trip so do not box yourself into activities that you may not want to do when the time actually comes. It is a complete waste of money.
3. They Will Push You to Buy by Saying “Space Will Run Out”
This Fall was the largest study abroad group so far, and space still never ran out for trips and activities. They are very sneaky when it comes to stressing you out to buy right away when in reality, there is no reason to stress out or worry. Take your time and just breathe through the process because tweaking is never the answer when attempting to plan a relaxing trip. Spots are almost always available for all trips and all activities. They will tell you to “Hurry up because there is only limited space,” but they just open up more buses when there is greater demand because more people = more money of course.
4. Don’t Let the Complaints of Others Drag You Down
People will be ungrateful and act out of ignorance. Remember to just laugh things off and appreciate the culture to the fullest. It is not all about the photos and the outfits that everyone spent hours picking out. It is about breathing in the fresh air of another place that is unexplored by you and your friends. Take it in for all of its beauty and enjoy every moment. If a tour gets cancelled or the bus hits traffic, don’t let the complaints of others ruin your mood. Tune them out with some of your favorite music and keep on smiling.
Traveling is tough in any circumstances and you will have to remember to just chill out! Always remember to sit back and be grateful that life has taken you to these amazing places. Take in every moment that you can before it’s gone. Bus2alps was a great way for me to experience Europe and it might be the perfect fit for you, so go with your gut. Always strive for positivity, a grateful heart, and contagious confidence so that every trip can be truly unforgettable!
April Ann :)