Monday’s Money Saving Tips: “Slumming It” on Buses

monday's money saving tips buses in china

Monday’s Monday Saving Tips: On yet another bus in China!

As a traveller, there is nothing better than getting on a dirty wreck of an old bus and having a chicken sit on your lap while the locals squash up against you as you pass through no mans land hoping and praying for an ice cold beer and a bit of decent sightseeing at the end of the trip. Oh buses of the world, it’s time to pay homage to you and double as a fantastic money saving tip!! For today’s Monday’s Money Saving Tips I am slumming my way round the world on cheap buses! Something I’ve got well used and accustomed to…

local bus in Brunei Jonny Blair

Monday’s Money Saving Tips! Slumming it for $1 (without a seat) on a local bus in Brunei.

How to save money on buses:

1. FREE buses There are FREE buses in a load of places and these are often overlooked by travellers, for example the city of Parramatta in Australia offers a FREE city loop, ALL the time and in Hong Kong there is a FREE shuttle bus in Tsuen Wan. In Macau almost every hotel or casino offers a FREE bus. Research if there are any FREE buses in the place you are going. You might be surprised.

free buses

A FREE Bus from Tsuen Wan MTR station out to the seafront at Cable TV Tower.

2. NIGHT buses – I covered it before in some detail here: Monday’s Money Saving Tips: Night Buses and basically you can save money on accommodation on a night’s sleep!

night bus vientiane to pakse

Saving money on night buses – my sleeper bus from Vientiane to Pakse in Laos.

3. NON-AIR CONDITIONED buses – Come on it’s only an 8 or 9 hour trip! Do you really want to waste an extra $2-3 on air conditioning? Do as the locals do and get sweaty! Gotta love the experience of it all!

non air conditioned buses sri lanka

Saving money on a non-air conditioned bus in the tropical heat of Sri Lanka. Loving it!

4. LOCAL CITY BUSES – Make sure you avoid taxis on your travels and use the local buses, yes I know I recommended walking but some cities (like Jakarta for example) are just way too big to waste your day walking from one side to the other! Use cheap and cheerful local buses!

bus in Jakarta Indonesia

On a local bus slumming it in Jakarta, Indonesia.

5. LONG DISTANCE BUSES INSTEAD OF TRAINS/FLIGHTS – This is often a really good way to save money if you have the time. I have used long distance buses a lot in South America, Africa and China. I love the views out the window, the way you can sit back and relax and the slow method of travel. If I could choose to avoid aeroplanes I would, I find trains and buses much more enjoyable!

ciudad del este to paraguay bus

My long distance bus in Paraguay – sit back relax and enjoy the countryside!

So basically if you want to get a cheap and raw experience on your travels, bus is realistically the best method of transport for doing it. That’s it for Monday’s Money Saving Tips as I sort out my buses in China this week for more travel ahead! Safe journeys my friends!

One of my videos from a recent local bus floor in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei:

2 thoughts on “Monday’s Money Saving Tips: “Slumming It” on Buses

  • Perhaps the extra $2-3 for a bus with A/C might be worth it? I can’t imagine any traveler being that much of a penny-pincher (although I’m sure there are some!)

  • Thanks for the comments Paul – can you believe I’m one of those cheapskate penny pinchers!! My last two long distance buses were in Sri Lanka and Malaysia and both times I went for non-air con!! However, I do agree sometimes you splash out a bit more – I’m doing Yuanyang Rice Terraces in China on Friday and will probably get a coach to it, which will have air con…safe travels. Jonny

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