Ah, summertime—the season that beams with warm weather and opportunities to go on adventures with your family and barkada.
But let's face it, when it comes to out-of-town trips, deciding whether to travel by plane or land can be complicated if you're running on a tight budget. Besides the fact that airfare can be costly, who among your companions would be willing to drive hours on end anyway?
Luckily, several premium buses in the country can take you to top tourist destinations in Luzon minus the mental, financial, not to mention physical, stress.
Riding these elite buses is a great way to jumpstart your vacation as they offer business-class-like amenities that would give you a relaxing experience from the get-go.
Here are some of the premium buses to give you a joy ride from Manila to your best vacation so far.
Pangasinan Solid North Transit
Frequent visitors of Baguio would agree that the four- to five-hour trip to the City of Pines is where the adventure truly starts. It's no wonder, especially with all the humps and bumps along the winding stretch of Kennon Road.
While this contributes much to the thrill of the trip, there are better ways to go about it, like booking a ride on Pangasinan Solid North Transit's Luxury Class buses.
The 28-seater airconditioned shuttles are designed to provide you with a restful voyage, with its overstuffed recliners, spacious legroom, and onboard comfort room.
If you'd rather stay up than get some zizz, you can use the "bus pad" or tablet that comes with every seat or connect to free Wi-Fi. The seats also come with built-in charging ports in case you need to juice up your gadgets.
Ready to hop on board? Book your tickets through Pangasinan Solid North Transit's website for a fee of P1,019 per person then head to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) where the buses are stationed on the date of your departure.
Want to travel to Baguio or Baler with luxury and comfort but have a tight budget? You might want to check out Genesis Transport's Joy Bus Executive Couch.
The 28-seater bus offers the same amenities as other exclusive shuttles: recliner chairs, individual entertainment screens, free Wi-Fi, and an onboard restroom. The difference is that you can enjoy all these for a cheaper fare of P800.
In addition to the standard amenities, Joy Bus Executive Couch would make your stay on the bus more homely with blankets, complimentary snacks, and personal stackable tray tables.
The bus line has two terminals—one in EDSA corner New York St., Cubao, and another in Doroteo Jose St, Santa Cruz, Manila—with trips starting as early as 2 a.m. You can book yours in advance via iwantseats.com, pinoytravel.com.ph, or any Genesis Transport terminal.
While summer is the perfect season to bask on beaches, it's also the time to explore the beauty of historical sites in the country, like all those in Ilocos.
If you're up for an expedition in Vigan, Laoag, and Candon, then you can avail of the services of Partas transport service's Super Deluxe buses for a smooth hours-long ride.
Each of the buses under Partas' premium line offers comfortable recliner chairs equipped with individual tablets and USB power ports for your entertainment pleasure. The buses also have free Wi-Fi, CCTV cameras, as well as onboard restroom for a safe and convenient nonstop trip.
Apart from Ilocos, the premium shuttle drives to and fro La Union, which is ideal for when you want to go surfing and get your dose of "vitamin sea" instead.
With its majestic Mayon Volcano, pictureseque churches, plus pristine beaches, Bicol has certainly become the province every traveler must visit at least once in their lifetime.
If you're coming from Manila, though, the best way to get to Bicol is by plane because traveling by land lasts up to nine hours. The more affordable and convenient option is to book a trip with Bicol Isarog's Sleeper Bus.
The shuttle gives its 20 passengers the ultimate legroom, with its seats that fully recline to become double-decker bunker beds. It also has an onboard comfort room, which would complete your dorm-on-wheels experience.
Accommodation—or a seat, rather—costs P1,500 to P1,850 depending on the schedule. The buses usually depart from Arcovia City transport hub in Pasig at 8 p.m. bound for three stations in Bicol: Naga City, Albay, and Nabua in Camarines Sur.
If sleeping on mobile bunker beds doesn't sound too appealing to you, you can also opt to travel through Bicol Isarog's SkyBus line. The fleet ranges from economy to luxury class, with SkyBus Premiere giving you the most luxurious ride of them all.
With the 20-seater premium shuttle, you can expect to lounge from PITX to Naga in cozy reclining seats with massage features throughout the day. Wi-Fi, individual folding tables, and complimentary snacks and drinks are available too. There's also a comfort room inside for an uninterrupted trip.
Tickets are priced at P2,500 per seat, with the buses usually leaving PITX at 8 p.m.
You can book seats both for Bicol Isarog's Sleeper Bus and SkyBus Premiere through the company's website or hit them up on Viber at 0967-597-1768 or 0981-009-8769.
Up for an adventure in the falls of Sorsogon? How about driving an ATV around Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, or marveling at the historical churches in Naga?
If you find yourself saying "yes" to any of those, then Peñafrancia's elite SkyBus could be your best bet for a hassle-free trip from Manila.
The bus line's premium fleet comes with 21 seats in a 2x1 column layout for spacious legroom. You can expect to doze off easily on its leather recliner seats or keep boredom away with its free Wi-Fi. Like most luxury buses, this shuttle has an onboard toilet for your convenience.
Peñafrancia has terminals at the Areaneta Center Bus Station in Cubao and Alabang Provincial Bus Terminal in Muntinlupa. You can book a ride in advance for P1,300 to P1,500, depending on your destination, through the company's website.