I had a best friend who studied in Paris. She was a close friend before she left but when she proceeded to rent an apartment on the Left Bank of the Seine I liked her even more! Every time we had a break from uni I made plans to visit her in Paris, but being on a student budget I was always looking for the cheapest option available. Once, just once, I was lucky to catch a sale on Eurostar where if I got up at 5am I could catch the train to Paris for £69. But most of the time I had to fork out at least double that.
One time I decided to fly. I had found a cheap fare online with a budget airline and learnt the hard way NEVER to do this again. Firstly I had issues with my hand luggage and the amount of liquids I was carrying. Admittedly this was my own fault, the rules at that time were extra strict and I hadn’t double-checked how many items you could take. My whole make-up bag (worth more than the flight) was confiscated. Then came the inevitable delay as we sat on the runway waiting to take off. This delay then had a knock-on effect when we eventually landed at Charles De Gaulle and so we had to sit on the runway for a further 40 minutes waiting for a gate to disembark. My journey had taken twice as long as it should have, cost me more than I imagined and left me more than a little stressed.
Which is why I have been following with interest the release of the new coach service by SNCF – iDBUS. iDBUS offers 7 daily services to Paris (3 direct and 4 via Lille) with at least 1 per day costing the mini price of £35. In Paris you can be dropped of at either the airport or the city centre and now you can continue your journey further into Europe too. In November iDBUS extended its services from London to Lyon (with a mini price at £45) and from Lyon you can travel onto Turin and Milan. Another popular route runs from Paris to Amsterdam – meaning you can see two superb cities for one small price.
The fares for iDBUS coach trips are simple and don’t go up as you approach the departure date so there are no penalties for last-minute bookings. They offer discounts for group bookings so it also pays to travel with all your friends and family. On board they make the journey as comfortable as possible with adjustable seats and (a huge bonus for me) there is free Wi-Fi and plug sockets which mean you can work on the go.
So my past experiences and everything I have read have got me sold on the concept of iDBUS. The only issue now is deciding where I should go.
iDBUS coaches depart from London Victoria where they also have a ticket office. For more information and to book visit the iDBUS website. This post was bought to you in association with iDBUS.