National express + Tips and Hacks

National express is an inter-regional coach operator providing service throughout Great Britain.  I have had the pleasure of taking more than 100 trips with them over the past 4 years.

My reasons for taking them are simple. They are the cheapest and most convenient form of transport for me. A return coach ticket with my national express card would normally cost me anything from £25-£28. If I was to take the same journey by train. I would be paying around £100 for a return journey, and more if I purchased the ticket on the day of travel, and or without a travel card. No matter how many times I say I am going to take a train. I always end up taking a national express coach.

Travelling with national express is particularly useful when:

  • Travelling to and from university halls. The baggage allowance means you can pack your bedroom, kitchen and front room in one trip.
  • When travelling to the airport. They stop right by the terminal doors.
  • Visiting new destinations such as London or Brighton. You can be picked up or dropped off at locations that are easily accessible and very easy to find. Drop off and pick up points are often located near train or bus stations.

Travel Hacks and Tips when traveling with national express:

  • Sit at the front of the coach.

The toilets on the coach can be a blessing or a curse depending on how close you are to them, and if you need to use them during your journey. The reason why I suggest sitting at the front of the coach is because the toilets are located at the back of the coach. The closer you are sat to the toilets. The stronger the smell of urine. Trust me, the smell is BAD.

  • Buy your tickets at least 24 hours in advance

In comparison to train tickets. Coach tickets with national express are relatively cheap. So, they tend to sell very quickly. I have been caught out a couple times by leaving it too late to buy my tickets. If you want to avoid disappointment, buy them at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Get a national express card

If you are eligible, get yourself a coach card and save yourself a 1/3 on all standard and fully flexible coach fares. National express offers a young person coach card, a disabled coach card, and a senior coach card. There is an upfront charge for a Coachcard. However, it only takes a couple of trips to ‘make your money back’. So, if you only plan on using national express coaches 2-3 times a year. It is still worth investing in one.

  • Download Vuer

Taking long coach journeys can be pretty boring. Especially when you have taken the same trip more than once. So, download VUER. That way you can connect to the Wi-Fi on national express coaches, watch a couple T.V shows or a movie to keep you entertained for free.

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