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Canada - Buses and Trams

Travelling in and around Canada on a bus is actually very simple. The Canadian bus and coach network is superb and as opposed to driving everywhere you actually get to enjoy the surrounding while travelling at a leisurely pace. You can travel using the buses and coaches very well on a tight budget as there is a range of tickets to suit your needs.

Bus and coach travel is suitable for those who are not in a hurry to get where they need to be. Due to regular stops along the route travelling this way can take up a lot of time. Bus travel is a less stressful way to travel when compared to air travel. By flying you will get to your destination quicker, but by bus you get to arrive at the bus depot just a short time before the bus is due to depart, so no lengthy waits. Checking luggage is much quicker too as these are just placed under the bus in the storage compartment prior to boarding (you must remember to clearly label your luggage), there is very little delay for security checks and usually no checks at all. Passengers can start boarding around 10 to 15 minutes prior to departure and for a small extra fee can reserve their seating.

It is possible to sleep on the bus or coach although sometimes the seats are not very comfy, they do usually recline slightly. Take a small pillow and light blanket with you for very long journeys as this will help to make you feel more comfortable and enable a better sleep. Many of the long distance buses will have small screens similar to on an airplane where you can watch movies. Most standard earphones or headphones will fit into the socket so you can watch without disturbing those who wish to rest.

Every few hours the bus will stop for a break. Passengers can stretch their legs or grab something to eat. Food will not be served on the bus so if you must eat at certain times, such as those suffering from diabetes, then you must remember to bring a snack with you or purchase something on one of the stops to have while travelling.

There are only a small number of bus companies in Canada which makes organising your trip much easier, although your choices are somewhat limited. You can buy tickets that are flexible for travel or those with set travel times. The set journeys are usually much cheaper than the flexible tickets. Flexible tickets mean that you can change your mind about travel as you go. If you decide you want to stay in one place a little longer before moving on you can do. If you want to see the country at your own pace then this is perhaps a good choice for you. If however you know you need to be in a certain place at a certain time then the economy ticket is ideal. You have a set departure time so you know exactly when you will be arriving at your destination.

If you are looking to save money on your travel then you can also book tickets in advance. The earlier you book then the bigger the discounts will be. You can book 7, 14 or 21 days in advance and receive generous discounts of up to 50% the standard value of a ticket.

If you want to use buses for the commute to work or for regular travel then you can also buy weekly travel tickets or even monthly travel tickets. If you are only going to be in an area for a short time, such as for business conferences, then you can purchase a 10 ride ticket, and the buying process could not be easier.

There are several bus companies who all offer different tickets and who all have their own special offers. You can contact their customer services and ask for advice, or check out their websites online.

Greyhound buses are popular in Canada as they are in the US. Greyhound serves all the areas to the west of Ottawa while the Arcadian and DRL operate routes in the Atlantic Provinces. Orleans operates routes through Quebec and various routes through the Atlantic Provinces. This means you can easily travel form one end of the country to the other with minimal changes, making a very convenient way to travel.

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