When considering taking a bus ride, I had never envisioned a first-class setting...until I met Vonlane.
Earlier this month, I was headed to Houston for a professional conference. My hotel room was reserved and I had even planned out my stops for a road trip. A day or two before the conference, I learned that parking would be $16-$20 per day! That added up to $80-100 just to have my SUV sit in a dark garage for 5 days. With my low MPG, I was also looking at a $60 gas bill.
Knowing Greyhound busses would not be my cup of tea, I decided to check out Megabus. Reading this blog review scared me, though, and I decided not to spend $20 one-way on an iffy experience. When the author said to "lower your expectations" and "we've never taken a Megabus that doesn't leave at least 30 minutes late," it doesn't leave me with good feelings, even if the trip is cheap.
I argued with Ken over the justification for the $79 one-way trip. He explained that if we are going to have to spend $100, he would rather spend it on something enjoyable rather than a parking spot. He's also the most thoughtful husband who insisted that I needed the break and the special treatment. (awww)
I took to the internet again to read reviews and found nothing but praise for this bus line. That sealed the deal.
We booked the one-way trip online and saw there were only 6 of the maximum 16 seats filled. The next afternoon, Ken dropped me off at the Hyatt Regency downtown where the slick-looking bus was waiting for me.
On the drive to Houston, I enjoyed binge-watching Grey's Anatomy, working on my Macbook, having a few snacks, and simply taking in the view. Melanie checked on me frequently, but would not interrupt my work or sleep. It truly was a relaxing 2 1/2 hours. Melanie also served the bus driver, offering him drinks and snacks as well as updating him on road conditions and travel time. It gave me peace of mind to know he could simply focus on driving while she took care of other details.
They offer noise-cancelling headphones that are legit! When I put them on, my ears popped due to pressure. I didn't use them to watch the bus TVs, but plugged them in to my iPhone to enjoy Grey's. The wi-fi was fairly reliable throughout the trip. There were some parts of the drive when certain apps such as Netflix or Snapchat didn't respond, but work-related sites such as my assignment scheduling platform and Blogger always responded.
On the subject of work, they offer a conference room in the back, complete with a large table, door for privacy, seating for 6, and noise-cancelling headphones with a built-in mic so you can work and even conference while on the road. What an awesome way to do work travel! The conference room typically must be reserved, but if you're with few passengers as I was, they simply offer the use of the room to whomever might need it.
The bathrooms. They were not only clean, but were a lovely design. Much better than the "vomit-worthy" possibility I read about on Megabus. The seats recline to a very comfortable position and some busses have leg/foot rests, which help shorties like me sit for a long period of time without our legs falling asleep!
I highly recommend you take Vonlane if you're traveling among the tricities they serve. (Dallas, Austin, and Houston.) It could be a fun friend's trip or a way to get work done while you travel.
|The bus back home did have leg rests|
|The first bus didn't have leg rests|
|Roomy! Nice flooring.|
|This is the bus BATHROOM, ya'll!|
|TV if you choose to watch.|
|View from the bus, arriving in Houston|