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Couple relaxes in tent after their first official trip together as boyfriend and girlfriend.

5 Travel Tips to Survive Your First Trip as a Couple

By | Bus Travel

First date, first time meeting the parents, first anniversary — there are a lot of firsts to look forward to as a couple. Yet, one of the most unforgettable is your first vacation. Regardless of location, traveling together poses many challenges, but the experience is also incredibly rewarding with the right preparation and mindset. Ensure you both survive your first trip as a couple by following these five simple tips.

1. Create a Balanced Itinerary

Most couples share some similar interests, but there are likely a number of things one person wants to see or do that the other doesn’t. While there needs to be some compromise, it’s vital that the itinerary doesn’t end up only representing one person’s travel goals. When such a situation occurs, it tells the other individual that their needs aren’t as valuable, leading to feelings of disrespect and resentment. For that reason, it’s important to create a balanced schedule that reflects both partners’ wishes.

Achieve this feat by sitting down at the very beginning of the planning process and write a list of things you both want to accomplish on your trip. Next, compare the items and create a table that separates them into three columns — shared interests and each person’s individual interests. As you create your itinerary, focus on things you’re both attracted to and only add items from individual categories in even amounts (one from each at a time).

2. Start With a Short Getaway

The thought of a week-long romantic vacation is incredibly enticing, but it’s also a risky move for your first trip as a couple. Traveling can be stressful, but your first getaway ups the anxiety because it’s such a monumental moment in your relationship. To avoid adding unnecessary pressure to yourselves, start with a short journey, like a weekend trip. The shorter timeline allows you both to get to know each other’s travel habits and quirks better before tackling a longer time frame.

3. Set a Budget

Talking about money isn’t comfortable, especially during the early stages of a relationship. But, it’s an important conversation to have when you’re planning on traveling together because you’re going to face expenses along the way. To avoid either of you experiencing unnecessary financial stress on the trip, create a budget for every aspect of the trip.

Start by having a discussion about each of your spending goals. Next, discuss how you want to cover certain expenses. In most cases, couples split the basics, like hotels, or cover their own individual costs, such as bus tickets, but the waters become murkier once food and activities enter into the picture. At this point, you need to work together to determine what you’re both comfortable paying. For instance, if there’s an activity that caters to your interests, you may agree to cover the cost for both you.

Once you’ve reached an agreement, write it down. This step helps make it feel more official and takes the financial pressure off of you both during your trip. It’s also vital that both parties partake in the budgeting process to ensure each of you feel comfortable with the outcome and aren’t simply trying to appease the other. Honest and open communication are the true keys to success on your first journey as a team.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Alone Time

Being together doesn’t always mean that you have to physically be with each other around the clock. Whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, it’s completely acceptable to enjoy some time apart on your getaway. In fact, it can actually make the experience more pleasurable, especially if you’re someone that needs time alone to recharge.

A quick break can also allow you both to reflect on the memories you’ve made so far, making it much easier to appreciate all the time you are spending with one another. Hit the gym by yourself before breakfast; schedule some pamper time, like a massage or facial; or simply visit a local site that your partner isn’t that interested in seeing. Regardless of how you fit it in, be open about your need for it to be alone time before your trip so that your partner knows it’s not personal.

5. Get Enough Rest

If you want a sure-fire way to have an argument, don’t get enough rest on your trip. Lack of sleep makes just about everyone cranky, which creates the ideal atmosphere for disagreements. Fortunately, you can avoid the issue simply by planning strategically. For instance, when you place a late-night event on your itinerary, don’t book any activities early the next morning. Or, if there’s an action-packed day, follow it up by a relaxing day of lounging by the pool or on the beach.

Find Fantastic Travel Deals for Your Couple’s Trip

Planning your first trip as a couple? BusTickets.com makes it incredibly easy to stick to your budget. Simply choose your destination, compare prices, and book your trip — it’s truly that easy. Set yourself and your partner up for a successful adventure by buying your bus tickets today.

Book a bus trip to the East Coast and figure out the best places to visit.

Best East Coast Destinations for a Beach Trip

By | Bus Travel

Any kind of vacation is exciting whether it’s a cross-country road trip, a ski trip in Aspen, or a camping getaway in the Adirondacks. No matter how exciting and how novel a vacation might be, nothing seems to trump the appeal of a luxuriously lazy long weekend at the beach. Whether you’re tanning on the warm sands of a beach in a southern seaside city or draped in your white cardigan as you walk barefoot along the shores of the Hamptons, fewer things cure stress quite like sand between your toes, the scent of the sea air, and the sounds of the crashing waves. If you’re on the hunt for some of the best beaches on the East Coast, you have come to the right place. In today’s post, we’ll introduce you to a few East Coast beaches you should consider making your next vacation destination.

Block Island, Rhode Island

Twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is accessible by ferry and boasts gorgeous beaches, incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean, over 32 miles of nature trails, and 250-foot diving cliffs for the adventurous types interested in plunging into the ocean water. For outdoor activities, there is plenty of horseback riding, bird watching, parasailing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking. In case of a rainy day, explore the many art galleries and boutique shops on Block Island before enjoying a seafood dinner with lovely wine pairings.

Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City is made up of an eight-mile stretch of beachfront along with a festive boardwalk. Day or night, you can take in the scenery of the boardwalk that includes a mammoth Ferris wheel, an endless array of seafood restaurants, grandiose hotels, and boutique shops. Ocean City is a great option for families, due in part to a bustling boardwalk with loads of entertaining attractions and an alcohol-free beach that will keep the chances of visits from bothersome partiers very low. There are plenty of family-friendly activities on the beach, along the boardwalk and throughout the rest of the town. Rent bikes and pedal down the boardwalk, go out on the town for a bit of karaoke or take the kids to a shop for some face-painting fun.

Montauk, New York

Just a 40-minute drive from the lush beaches of South Hampton is Montauk, New York which sits on the edge of Long Island. Pay a visit to Montauk Point State Park to watch the sunset over the lighthouse and wait for the sky to explode into a beautiful display of pink, purple, and orange. Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk is a great place to plan a day trip that includes plenty of walking trails on dryland and killer waves on the water (great for surfboarding). Finally, don’t leave Montauk without taking a guided tour by horseback at Deep Hollow Ranch. The ranch hosts a variety of tours, with over 3,000 acres to cover. Riders of all levels are welcome, from first-timers to experienced cowboys.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Maine is just one of those places that everyone should plan on visiting at least once in their lifetime, especially if it’s Bar Harbor, Maine. Aside from pristine beaches and the fresh sea air, there are countless historical landmarks and attractions worth visiting during your time in Bar Harbor. Make a point to check out Egg Rock Light, an 1875 lighthouse that is situated between the Schoodic Peninsula and the Mount Desert Island. If you’re in the mood for a really novel and family-friendly experience, plan a night at Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theater. Diver Ed and his scuba diving companion will take you out on a boat, dive underwater, and bring film and sound equipment with them so that you see and hear everything they see and hear on the ocean floor. After watching the footage on the boat, Diver Ed introduces guests to a variety of exotic creatures including eagles, porpoises, and seals. There are plenty of beautiful beaches around Bar Harbor, with Sand Beaches being one of the most popular. Nestled between the rocky edges of the coast, this small, public beach offers pristine sands and spectacular views of the Atlantic. Finally, a beach vacation in Bar Harbor wouldn’t be complete without some world-class lobsters! Both Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes and Stewman’s Lobster Pound are two popular restaurants, however, Bar Harbor is home to plenty of renowned seafood dining establishments.

Ready to start planning your upcoming beach trip? Start by buying a bus ticket today!

Tips for staying comfortable and for practicing self care.

How To Practice Self Care While Traveling

By | Bus Travel

Long road trips can be seriously exhausting. Although you’re spending all your time sitting, anyone who has been on a 14-hour car ride or bus trip knows they can get tired on those long journeys. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to pass the time, stay healthy, and even enjoy the trip. In today’s post, we’ll go over a few things you can do to practice self care on your upcoming bus trip.

Stay Hydrated

The most important thing you can do on a long trip to stay comfortable and healthy is to drink plenty of water. Pack a few water bottles for your trip, especially if you’ll be on the bus for longer than eight hours. The only thing you’ll have to consider is that buses typically don’t have toilets on board, so you’ll have to wait every few hours before you can go to the bathroom at a scheduled stop. Keep in mind that you’ll want to drink enough water to stay hydrated, but not so much that it becomes unbearable for your bladder.

Pack Healthy Snacks

Stock up on protein bars, jerky, trail mix, and other nutritious snack foods for your long journey. Tempting though it may be, try not to fill up on salty chips, chocolatey desserts, and other sugary treats during the trip. These indulgences may offer immediate satisfaction, but they’ll only leave you with a lethargic feeling afterward. Keep the sugary snacks to a minimum and instead opt for filling, healthy foods.

Dress Accordingly

Just like you (probably) wouldn’t show up to a farm in a full-blown ball gown, when you’re going on a bus trip, you shouldn’t be decked out in the most fashionable — uncomfortable — outfit of all time. Steer clear of tight and rigid clothes like jeans, professional attire, or anything that will make sitting for a length of time uncomfortable. Stick to comfy, loose-fitting clothes, especially if you will be on the bus overnight and need to get some shut-eye.

Stay Fresh

It’s a rare person who doesn’t feel sluggish and gross after a 14-hour flight, car ride, or bus ride. Although it will be difficult to preserve the feeling of freshness during the trip, there are a few little hacks you can try to freshen up right at the tail end of the trip, especially if it’s an overnight trip. Bring some face wipes and moisturizer to give yourself a mini skincare treatment so you can show up at your destination fresh-faced and glowing. Drink some water, apply a lip balm, and lather up your hands with lotion. Pop a mint and you’ll be good to go.

Get Plenty of Shut-Eye

The reality of bus travel is that, like flying economy on a plane, you are not always going to be very comfortable. One of the easiest ways to pass the time is to get a lot of sleep. Use this time to catch up on any sleep you’ve been missing out on. Pack an eye mask to keep the light out, take some melatonin, and get yourself situated for a luxuriously long nap. To stay comfortable, it’s a good idea to bring along a neck pillow or mini pillow for your head as well as a small blanket.

Use the Time to Catch Up on Things

Long trips are the most opportune times to catch up on all those podcasts you’ve been meaning to listen to and books you’ve wanted to read. Whether it’s good reading or listening material or perhaps some work you needed to complete, use your time on the bus to get all the things done that you weren’t able to do during your regular routine. This, paired with plenty of naps, will help make the time go by quickly.

Take in the Sights

One of the great things about buses is that they often have gigantic windows, offering plenty of opportunities for you to gaze out at the beautiful sights along the way. Take advantage of this, especially if you are sitting right by a window. Use this time to take in the awe-inspiring views of city skylines, open plains, and any natural wonders you end up passing along the way. And of course, you don’t want to miss the spectacular sunset as the day comes to a close. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the setting sun and the immaculate pink, orange, and purple sky that it will bring. Even at night, you can catch some astonishing views of the starry night sky.

Ready to start planning the rest of your bus trip? Don’t hesitate to buy a bus ticket today!

Book a bus ticket to see the best west coast cities.

Best West Coast Cities to Admire Spring Blossoms

By | Bus Travel

Nothing says “spring” quite like a bed of colorful wildflowers in full bloom. On the West Coast, there are a number of places that offer unparalleled views of vibrant color and awe-inspiring beauty. If you’re looking for a surefire way to officially say “goodbye” to winter and “hello” to the beauty of spring, you definitely need to plan a spring blossoms tour of the West Coast. In this post, we’ll go over a few of the best cities to spot the spring blossoms.

Carrizo Plain

The flowers of Carrizo Plain are of such otherworldly beauty that you may feel like you stepped into a different universe upon seeing them for the first time. Located in Central California, the plain boasts miles and miles of gorgeous yellow and purple color. You will behold a variety of flowers including jewel flowers, California poppies, owls closer, tidy tips, and lupine. March through May are the best times to visit the plain and see the flowers in full bloom.

Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve

Any time between February and May you can catch an incredible explosion of orange color in the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve in Northern Los Angeles County. Hundreds of thousands of California poppies, which happen to be the state’s official flower, fill the preserve and take up miles and miles of land, showing off their radiant, deep orange color. At the preserve, you’ll be able to explore over eight miles of hiking trails throughout the hilly areas filled with poppies. Although the poppies are usually only in bloom from February through May, you can visit the preserve year round and still enjoy incredible views of the scenery. The preserve is free to enter; however, there is a $10 fee for parking.

The Lavender Farms of Oregon

In Oregon, you’ll not only be treated to stunning views of lavender flowers in bloom (provided you visit anytime between April and August), but you’ll also get to take in the incredible snowy mountaintop backdrop. During your time in the state, there is no one place to go for lavender flowers; you’ll be able to find several lavender farms throughout this West Coast state. Lavenders are so prevalent in the state during the spring and summer season that there are many lavender-themed events and festivals you should plan on attending. Whether you go to an event or just visit one of the farms, you should be able to find plenty of lavender-related products to buy and take home as a souvenir. Many of the farms sell lavender perfumes, teas, soaps, candles, and essential oils … all products that will make fabulous gifts for yourself and others! If you are in Southern Oregon, lavender could bloom as early as April. However, if you are in Central Oregon, don’t plan on seeing any lavender flowers until July.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Tulip lovers will get a real kick out of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State. At the event, millions of brightly colored tulips are in bloom, filling up the Skagit Valley. All the tulips are grown by Roozengaarde and Tulip Town. If you stop by Roozengaarde, you’ll find 44 acres of tulips and yellow Daffodils along with a real Dutch windmill. At Tulip Town, you can enjoy a tour of the tulips via a trolley ride. Both Roozengaarde and Tulip Town have a small $7 admission fee.

Anza-Borrego Desert

The flowers of Anza-Borrego Desert are in full bloom from January until March. The white andpurple flowers are so stunning that they don’t even appear real at first, especially when they are in the sunlight. Aside from a variety of flowers, you’ll also spot many different cactuses and other plants in this California desert. Another great thing about Anza-Borrego Park is that you’ll be able to camp in the park if you so choose and sleep surrounded by the beautiful wildflowers.

Death Valley

Don’t let the “Death Valley” name deter you from making a trip to this California valley. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to gauge when exactly the flowers will be in bloom. It can be so tricky, in fact, that super blooms only occur once every five to ten years! However, if you can get the time down just right (usually sometime between February and April) you can behold stunning views of bright yellow flowers and a variety of other exotic plant species that inhabit the valley.

Ready to enjoy spring the best way one can? Don’t hesitate to buy your bus ticket to one of these West Coast regions and start planning your spring blossoms trip today!