SAVVY TRAVEL

Riding Red Coach

I've been spending a lot of time saying WOW lately. This is no exception! I live in Tallahassee and like to visit my sister in Atlanta and my brother in Orlando. Driving children by myself just doesn't seem appealing, so I really don't go very far with them by myself. I was elated to learn about the Red Coach.

Red Coach is top notch! It's probably one of the best ways to travel if it can get you to where you want to go. They have been around for about three years now and they are the best luxury bus line that the south has to offer. I am really looking forward to watching this business grow in such a challenging economy.

I've ridden on Greyhound and even back in the early 90's it was a little scary and took forever to get anywhere. I remember taking turns napping just so my travel partner and I could keep an eye out for each other. Sleep with one eye open took on a different meaning when riding on a bus. Not anymore! Now there is another option.

The Red Coach is not only flashy red (my favorite color of all), it's got it going ON inside. This type of charter bus is normally stuffed full with 56 seats to maximize profit. The Red Coach is in a class of its own in the bus industry. Their busses only host up to 27 passengers. There's a row with A and B seats with an aisle that separates a row of C seats.

Each full size captain's chair type seat has a leg rest and a footplate and dual armrests with a removable tray. The seat recline is rather extensive for ultimate napping pleasure. There is plenty of leg room and ample room to recline without making the passenger behind you feel like you've entered their bubble.

I rode on the bus with my two and a half year old. We left from Tallahassee and went down to Orlando. The total cost for a single ticket round trip between those two destinations was $80 for an adult and $72 for a child. If you drive an SUV of any sort, you're already looking at spending about $350 in gas and that's not doing a whole lot of driving at your destination. Car rental for two days was $38.11. I did opt for the cheapest most fuel efficient tumblebug of a car that they offered. The fuel for the rental car was less than $10.00 because I didn't go far. That's roughly $200.00 for two to go to Orlando and back.

So, we have comfort and luxury, convenience and we have price. Can there possibly be more?

It was much more comfortable to travel with my 2 year old this way. He is an exceptionally good travel partner. We weren't down the road 20 minutes and he looked at me with a giant grin on his face and said, "Mommy, I'm having fun! Are you having fun?" He loved the adventure of the bus and I was able to tend to him better and create some memories by focusing on him and not worrying about the road.

There was onboard entertainment with the multiple, oversize screens connected to the bus' DVD player. There are receptacles at every row of seats for laptop and accessories to plug into. There was also Wi-Fi provided, which was great because I was able to stream Netflix shows to entertain my son for part of the ride. I think the only thing that was missing was a good cup holder. I recommend bringing a cup with a screw on lid.

Once we reached Orlando, Red Coach had a complimentary shuttle that took us to the airport where I was able to rent a car. For my return trip, I called Red Coach and the shuttle picked me up from the airport and brought me to the Terminal. It was a rather seamless adventure with little waiting and a punctual schedule. Just a short five hour trip on the bus, about the same as it would have taken me in the car with my kids. Not bad!

Red Coach is comfortable, safe, economical, prompt, fast and EVEN practical enough to be equipped for the electronic age. I don't give stars, but if I did they'd get Five!

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