Update: This deal is not officially available to United States residents. There is a drop down menu to select country of residence that offers Germany, Italy, France or “Other”. When selecting “Other”, it gives a message saying the promo is currently only available to those residing in the aforementioned countries. It looks like you can pick one of those countries and then change the credit card billing address to the United States, but YMMV as to whether the purchase will go through or you’ll have a problem down the road.
European bus operator FlixBus is running an interesting promotion: you can buy a voucher now that is good for a one-way direct bus or train on their routes for 14 Euros. The voucher will be valid for 3 years, theoretically giving you plenty of time to put it to use after the pandemic is over. Of course, that’s assuming that FlixBus is still with us in 2023. Given the current need for airlines to receive billions from their governments, I’m not sure I’d go betting on a bus company in fifteen dollar increments, but you do you. It could certainly make for some good deals.
- European bus company FlixBus is offering open date vouchers valid for 3 years that are good for 1-way direct bus service on their routes for €14.
- Direct link to deal
- Link to FlixBus route map
- Vouchers can be used for both FlixBus and FlixTrain.
- Valid for direct FlixBus and FlixTrain rides (interconnexions are excluded).
- Purchase a max of 3 vouchers per transaction (no info on a max that can be used per transaction when redeeming them, but I’d guess that on both purchase and redemption you could just do multiple transactions as necessary to meet your needs)
- See full terms on the promo page
The big “gotcha” is that these vouchers are only good on nonstop routes — if you have to transfer, you’ll need two vouchers.
On many routes, this will only represent a small discount (or you may even be able to get the bus for even less when you plan in advance and catch a sale). However, on some routes this is a deal. For instance, I looked at Berlin to Kiev in August (I wouldn’t be confident that bus trip will happen, but couldn’t find pricing for summer 2021 yet so this was as close a comparison as I could get). While there were many itineraries that required a stop, there was also a direct bus as well.
The one-way nonstop price on the several dates I checked was 65 Euros. Getting that bus instead for 14 Euros seems like an amazing deal for the masochists among us who want to pay any amount to cram themselves into a bus seat for 21.5 hours. Keep in mind that the likes of Wizz Air or Ryanair will get you there is just over two hours for $33-65 or so.
That said, I’d guess that maybe bus travel will be more popular than plane travel for a while? If I were 20 years younger and had 1.5 fewer children, I’d probably take a gamble on this, but I’ll leave this one to those of you who still have that youthful spirit of adventure.