Due to the prevalence of budget travel, I was enthusiastic about digging into cheap deals. After hours and hours of research on travel websites, my efforts were finally paid off. In United Kingdom, the bus system is well developed. You can go wherever you like by bus; and with good price too if you plan ahead. “National Express” is a major bus company in UK. A lot of coach fares start as little as 1 pound. Amazing!

Due to the prevalence of budget travel, I was enthusiastic about digging into cheap deals. After hours and hours of research on travel websites, my efforts were finally paid off. In United Kingdom, the bus system is well developed. You can go wherever you like by bus; and with good price too if you plan ahead. “National Express” is a major bus company in UK. A lot of coach fares start as little as 1 pound. Amazing!

 

After London, I chose to go to Oxford because of its proximity, and my fantasy to meet some handsome, humorous Oxford guys. The lowest fare I found is through a company called “Megabus”. It costs 6 pounds for a round trip. Not bad I thought. However, I ended up paying 16 pounds for the trip. I was so excited for the price and therefore forgot the words of wisdom from my economic professor from my first class in Econ 101. He said, “There is no free lunch in the world”. Believe it or not, it is true.

I spent half an hour running around Victoria station, which serves as the center for coaches, and could not find the right bus. There were at least three bus stops with buses leaving for Oxford in Victoria station. Then there are also bus stops for other bus companies. “Megabus” has no bus going to Oxford. I finally figured out my ticket booked with “Megabus” is actually a bus called “Oxford Tube”. The regular price to take the “Oxford Tube” is 11 pounds. “Megabus” buys limited seats from “Oxford Tube” and sells them at a cheap price. However, there is no sign that indicates their relationship. As a new comer, I knew nothing about it and thus missed my bus. There were also a couple of other travelers who missed the bus because of the complexity. I had to buy another bus ticket to go to Oxford. The whole situation was very stressful for me.

   

This experience taught me the lesson that budget travel is not really “budget”. It costs a lot of time and effort. However, I have bunch of time but no money, and so getting used to “budget travel” will be in my best interest for a long time. It is said that “Without stress, our life will be empty”. Well, for sure my life won’t be empty for the rest of my three months in England.

 

Bus website for budget travel:

http://www.megabus.com/uk/

http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/

 

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