Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Forget the plane, forget the train. What about the bus the next time you have to travel?
RedCoachUSA.com is the first luxury ground transportation provider in the Southeast with destinations throughout Florida. RedCoach serves Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and other Sunshine State locations from Atlanta. They’ve also chartered new routes to Fort Pierce and downtown Disney.
The downtown Disney location offers passengers a direct route to Disney theme parks from either Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites in Buckhead.
One-way rates to Gainesville start at $25; $40 to Fort Pierce or Miami; and $43 to Tampa. And get this, Mouseketeers: $37.50 to Orlando and $42.50 to Disney.
These are not your father’s Greyhound buses. They don’t stop in every little nook and cranny on a route, but instead run non-stop between metro areas. The coaches tend to be extra clean with reclining business-class leather seats. Free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, GPS systems and restrooms are all standard amenities.
Cheap interstate luxury bus routes have been a hidden travel secret for the past few years. The Boston Globe reports the industry as a whole saw 20 percent growth in 2010 around the country.
One early entrant into the market was a British company called Megabus.com. They launched in 2006 with $1 fares for a select number of seats on regional routes in the Northeast and Midwest. Megabus now has multiple competitors, including the Northeast corridor-focused BoltBus.com, owned in part by Greyhound and also offers some $1 seats per bus.
These can all be truly viable options for cheap travel. If you are looking to get somewhere and your first reaction is, “A bus?!,” well, think again.
-by Clark Howard, Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs
Find more answers to your consumer questions at ClarkHoward.com. You can also listen to his radio show live Monday through Friday 1-4 p.m. on AM 750 and NOW 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB.