Coach travel with children

Coach travel with childrenTaking 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 a coach trip with kids.

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 Eurolines UK 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, which 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 and take two kids with you for free.

An overview over the coach companies’ discounts for children

Coach Company Free Travel Discounts
National Express Kids 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
Eurolines UK Discounts depend on the connection
megabus Kids 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 the intercity bus when it comes to 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 prepare that there will not be WiFi everywhere: When the bus is on the motorway, you might not get a signal since 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 and allow 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 his or her own, then that’s usually not a problem. 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. Eurolines, on the other hand, only allows children over 16 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
➠ Eurolines UK: 16 years

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

27 thoughts on “Coach travel with children

  1. 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

    1. 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

    1. 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

  2. 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?

    1. 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

  3. Hello. I have a 2 year old and I want to travel from Newcastle to Sheffield and I would like her to have her own seat, who’s best to travel with and what’s the best option?

    1. Dear Megan,

      Thank you for your message. With National Express, children from the age of 0 to 2 can travel for free when travelling with an adult. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  4. My daughter is 13 ,,and she want to go from Birmingham to Manchester to see her cousins is she allowed to go by her own I will write a consent form to give her permission

    1. Dear Tahmina,

      Thank you for your message. With both National Express and megabus, a child must be at least 14 years of age to travel on their own. Otherwise they must be accompanied by someone 16 or over. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  5. My 15 year old and I want to travel by national express bus to Cork Ireland. Is he classified as a child or adult fare? Mum

    1. Dear Carmel,

      Thank you for your message. Since he is travelling in Cork, Ireland, he will have to pay the adult fare since European Services only offer child discounts to children between 0 and 2. Within the UK, he would be classified as a child as long as a legal parent or guardian is accompanying him on the trip. Children 14 and under must travel with an adult and those 15 and older can travel on their own with parental consent but must pay adult fares. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Jan,

      Thank you for your message. Different bus companies have different rules regarding children on the bus. With National Express, for instance, children who are under 14 must be accompanied by someone who is at least 16. In this case, it would certainly be alright for a 15-year-old to travel. On megabus, however children under 17 must be accompanied by someone who is at least 17 years of age. To know for sure, it’s best to check with whichever bus company you plan to book your trip with.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  6. My 4 year old child gets extremely travel sick and the citylink driver let him sit at the front of the bus all the way to Inverness, however at Inverness a lady who worked for citylink got on, informing myself and driver he wasn’t allowed to sit at the front as citylink wouldn’t like it. Surely as he was restrained by wearing a seatbelt it is possible. Just wondered the ins and outs.

    1. Dear Rachel,

      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 their buses with the transportation company Citylink directly, as policies differ from company to company.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Onome,

      Thank you for your message. According to National Express’ child policy, children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a responsible person aged 16 or over. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  7. Travelling with my 2months baby on the National express in Uk can I go without my car seat but have the front Carrie

    1. Dear Kween,

      Thank you for your message. Generally, on National Express you can travel without a car seat, and the child can either travel on your lap or fit the seat as you see fit. Still, we suggest directly contacting National Express directly to make sure that this is alright. Most National Express coaches do feature children’s booster seats as well. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

    1. Dear Nano,

      Thank you for your message. Generally when riding the bus, young children can sit on their parent’s lap. Please note, however, that if you’re travelling within the United Kingdom, Eurolines UK has been discontinued, and all routes are operated via National Express, where children under the age of three can travel for free if he or she sits on an adult’s lap. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  8. I’m due to travel on mega bus with my 6 month old I’ve booked her a seat so I can bring her car seat for maximum security and so I don’t have to hold her for four hours are, does mega bus allow car seats

    1. Dear Hayley,

      Thank you for your message. Most bus companies allow passengers to bring a car seat for young children. To make sure that you can bring the seat, we suggest directly contacting megabus. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

  9. Hello! We are about to head back to travel through Europe, and this time we are returning with our 1.5 year old. Did you find you needed baby seats when traveling on the buses?

    1. Hello Cara,

      Thank you for your message. When travelling by bus, most providers, such as FlixBus will suggest that young children sit in a baby-chair for maximum safety. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

      Best regards,
      Your CheckMyBus Support

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *