Budge over interrailing...2018 is all about the interbus and interplane...
Interrailing sounds amazing… your friends/siblings and maybe even your parents have probably done it and told endless stories of the fun they had. Yes its convenient, it’s easy and well explored, but is it enough? Ultimately interrailing is expensive, a 1-month ticket costs £480 and then you still have to pay European prices for accommodation, food and activities.
Don’t you want to do something different, better and more exciting? Something where you can create your own stories to make them all jealous. How about interbusing or interplaning...
I’ll start down under. It’s a country that’s on the list for most gap year travellers and for excellent reasons – it’s fun, adventurous, beautiful, sunny and so far from home that you really feel like you’re on an adventure. With the huge popularity, there are now multiple hop-on-hop-off style buses to explore anywhere from Melbourne to Cairns.
As for options, there are two that are right up there, both offering a slightly different thing…
Greyhound – this is a public bus for which you can get a flexible ticket that lasts roughly 1 month (options are available). It takes you from bus stop to bus stop and is very easy to use. Although a public bus it’s filled with backpackers so easy to meet people. Sydney - Cairns costs approx. £250.
Oz Experience – this one is a bit more like a tour and therefore a bit more expensive. It tends to run from hostel to hostel and is aimed at travellers only. An ideal way to meet people and they run organised activities and tours that you can join in on. Sydney – Cairns costs around £419.
Greyhound buses – although a different kind – also run across North America. These buses will take you almost anywhere so you can plan a route to suit your interests. Check out both these articles that detail people's experiences on Greyhound buses across America:
...South and Central America
Your parents might tell you that going solo using public transport isn’t a great idea in Central and South America, that’s why Bamba hop-on-hop-off buses are a perfect alternative. You can run your own schedule and get to visit multiple countries along the way, even with a few organised adventure activities. They run buses in central and southern America, perfect.
Public transport can’t be relied on in all countries… in Southern Africa, it can be patchy and often doesn’t take you close to campsites. For that reason, the best way to get around Southern Africa is to hire a car. You might think this is a bit daunting but don’t – the place is set up for it. There are also lots of blogs to help you on your way such as this one by Nomadic Matt The Best Way to Travel Around Southern Africa. Also good to note that you can save A LOT of money on safaris this way and get a much better experience than being on a bus with 15 or so other tourists.
Last but not least - Interplane around...
When you’re in Asia planes are most likely cheaper, more reliable and quicker than overland transport so you can essentially ‘interplane’ around. Whilst there is not a multi-use ticket for this you don’t really need one. Just doing a quick search on Air Asia now and you can get a fight in 2 days’ time from Thailand to Vietnam for just £39. This gives you ultimate flexibility as you can change up the route last minute and can get anywhere in a matter of hours. Asia is also a lot cheaper than Europe when it comes to things like accommodation and food.
Want to immerse yourself in Asia's culture?
Read more about volunteering
What are you waiting for?
Don’t get me wrong – Europe is a fascinating and beautiful place that is definitely worth exploring but you can do that on weekend trips from the UK. When it comes to your gap year it’s time to do something a bit more exciting and adventurous. Do an alternative not-so-interrail interrailing adventure. When you’re there stop off and doing a bit of volunteering, it’s a great way to really get to know the culture and people who call that country home whilst giving something back.
on 25 / 01 / 2018