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Road trip on a luxury motorcoach

I took a road trip of a different sort last week: I let someone else do the driving. I was headed to Orlando, and as much as I enjoy a leisurely drive, I’ve tired of the sameness along Florida’s Turnpike and the long drive home when I’m weary.

My driver? Red Coach, a luxury motorcoach that has been running to select cities out of Orlando for a little more than a year and a half. I caught the bus at the Fort Lauderdale airport; a little more than 3 ½ hours later, I was in Orlando. My cost: $50 one way.

Redcoach - CopyWhat makes it a luxury bus is that it has only 27 seats, two seats on one side of the aisle, a single seat on the other. There is lots of leg and elbow room, free Wi-Fi and an electrical outlet so I could listen to music, read my iBook, take notes and periodically check my e-mail without running down the battery of my iPad. There are no prohibitions against taking liquids on the bus, so I packed a bottle of water and a snack. There’s a tiny restroom at the back, no sink or running water, with anti-bacterial foam instead.

The bus was only about one-third full, so we all had our choice of seats (although we reserved specific seats when we made our reservation).

Definitely more comfortable than a coach seat on an airplane or Greyhound – not to mention a nicer ambiance. Price for the same trip on Greyhound: $32 to $72.

My complaint: "The Great Outdoors" was playing on small overhead screens, and even though I had U2 turned up as loud as I could take it through my earbuds, it wasn’t enough to block the sound of John Candy screaming as he fell off his water skis. Next time I’ll bring noise-blocking headphones.

Red Coach travels to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, Naples, Ocala, Tallahassee and Gainesville. In Orlando, the ride ended at the Red Coach station near the airport, with free shuttle service to the airport.

Would I take it again? You bet.

 

Comments

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CRab

What you don't know is that they are terribly disorganized and treat their student population like the scum at the bottom of a pond. Take it from me -- I've ridden with them more than 10 times.

The BusBank

It is always good to see people seeing how wonderful motor coach transportation can be. As the industry continues to add more technology, we hope that articles like this will get more people to test it out. Besides, single tickets chartering a whole bus is a great option for group outings and many of the same amenities are available as well.

International Drive Hotel

I've taken numerous trips on luxury coaches and hits really they way to go if you on a tight budget and are not pressed for time.

Nicole Vickers

Hm, that sounds comfortable! You can get the same thing if you have an RV, or perhaps a bus. Still, once in a while it does feel good to have someone else do the driving for you.

Maria Wegner

Who was with you when you went on a road trip? Hehe, there are probably people have not tried riding on a luxury bus… They can do it on their customized cars, though. How did you know your luxury driver? I mean, are you friends or acquaintances?

Earnestine Novick

Awww.. a lot of people would want to be in your position. I think this new ease in travelling will boost the automobile industry in the long run. After all, one of the main draws of luxury vehicles is that they provide convenience and comfort. If those categories are met, then a ride is very much worth it.

Andrina Royceston

$32 to $72 is pretty cheap, if you ask me. It has complete features and gadgets to make you feel comfortable. This is a good way of traveling, if you have a lot of appointments to attend to, or documents to finish to be delivered to the clients. May I ask if you've tried renting a service car?

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