Coach travel with children

kid-on-coach

Taking the coach is one of the most affordable and eco-friendly ways of travelling but it can also be fairly time-consuming. If you’re an experienced traveller, then this won’t bother you too much but if you’re travelling with children, it’s a different scenario. This is why we came up with some pieces of advice that will make you survive coach travel with children.

On the coach with children

Before you plan your next journey, you should be aware that each provider has different conditions when it comes to travelling with kids, for example with regards to discounts. This is also true when it comes to unaccompanied children, so make sure to check the minimum age if you want to book a trip for your kid.

First things first: Booking a child’s ticket

First things first: Booking a child’s ticketWhen booking a ticket, most providers allow you to choose whether you want to get a normal ticket or a child’s ticket, so make sure to tick the right box. If you’re travelling with a toddler, then it’s a bit more complicated: Both National Express and megabus offer free travel for children under the age of three when accompanied by a full paying adult. When you book your trip with National Express, you need to get a free child’s ticket, which you can easily add to your basket. megabus, on the other hand, only offers free travel for children under 3 if they don’t occupy a seat, which is why you don’t have to get an extra ticket. If you want your kid to have a seat of his or her own, you will have to book a full price ticket with megabus.

Discounts for children

As mentioned before, kids under the age of 3 travel for free with megabus and National Express. On FlixBus services, discounted rates for children are available but they depend on which route is travelled and in which country. If you’re a frequent traveller and you have your kids with you a lot, then you should look into purchasing the National Express Family Coach Card. You can get the Family1Plus1 discount card for £8 a year. This allows you to take one kid for free every time you travel. If you have two kids, then go for the Family2Plus2 Coach Card for £16. Then, you can take two kids with you for free.

An overview over the coach companies’ discounts for children

Coach CompanyFree TravelDiscounts
National ExpressKids under 3 travel for free (ticket needs to be booked)Family Coach Card: pay £8 and take a kid with you for free on every journey for one year
FlixBusDiscounts for children under 15
megabusKids under 3 travel for free (when they don’t occupy a seat)

➠ Don’t forget to bring some form of proof of age when you travel with your kids!

On the road with kids

Did you know that you can book a coach ticket from Glasgow to London for just £1? With that in mind, it’s not surprising that many families opt for intercity buses for cheap getaways. With a comparatively long journey ahead, preparation is everything! Make sure to provide for entertainment so that your kids don’t get bored. This can range from travel games to books over handheld consoles.

Some providers also offer free WiFi, which is always a good way to kill some time. National Express went the extra mile and recently launched an infotainment system called VUER. But be prepared that there will not be WiFi everywhere. When the bus is on the motorway, you might not get a signal. This is because the bus WiFi is basically a form of mobile internet. In order to avoid stress in times of a bad signal, we recommend preparing your tablet or phone and to download films, tv shows or podcasts in advance. Many providers such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have an offline mode. This allows you to save their content on your mobile device.

➠ In the mood for an affordable family vacation now? Check out our Budget Travel Guide!

Coach travel for unaccompanied kids

If your child is already a bit older and feels independent enough to travel by coach on their own, then that’s usually ok. However, there’s different conditions when it comes to unaccompanied kids on a long-distance coach: National Express and megabus allow a teenager over the age of 14 to travel alone. FlixBus, on the other hand, only allows children over 10 to travel unaccompanied. What you need in any case is a signed letter of consent in which you state that you approve of your kid travelling without an adult.

An overview over the coach companies’ discounts for children
  • National Express: 14 years
  • megabus: 14 years
  • FlixBus: 15 years

If you remember all of these hints, your next coach trip with kids will basically be a piece of cake!

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27 Comments

  • Hazel Dougherty

    Hi I’m travelling on one of ur coaches to
    Glasgow overnight coach I have a passenger beside who has a child on their knee and is kicking me constantly when I’m trying to sleep what can I do about this since the coach is full

    • CheckMyBus-Support

      Dear Caroline,

      Thank you for your comment. Please note that CheckMyBus is a search engine for intercity buses, and that we are not a transportation company. You would need to inquire about policies on children travelling on buses with the transportation company directly, as policies differ from company to company.

      Best regards,

      Your CheckMyBus Support

    • CheckMyBus-Support

      Dear Monira,

      Thank you for your message. Megabus allows young children under the age of 3 to sit on their parent’s lap.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  • Nasteho

    Hello,
    I am a 16 year old and i want to travel from London to Eindhoven on my own with megabus or eurolines. Is that possible?

    • CheckMyBus-Support

      Dear Nasteho,

      Thank you for your message. The connection between London and Eindhoven is offered by FlixBus, which does allow adolescents aged 15 and above to travel alone, however for international connections, your legal guardian must guarantee that you possess all the documents and identification papers required to cross the border, which likely includes a parental form. Eurolines France also has similar requirements.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

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