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I wanted to travel to Scotland this summer with my girlfriend, but I must admit I feel a little overwhelmed with options. Is there any carpooling service? When traveling with buses, do I have to book a ticket before or can I buy it when entering a bus?

  • Are you planning the Glasgow - Edinburgh - Stirling area? Or further north like Fort Augustus/Inverness? Available alternatives thin out rapidly further north than Inverness. – Gayot Fow Mar 21 '15 at 15:20
  • Hi, we've never been to Scotland, and just we wanted to feel the country - I'm still planning, but it won't be big-cities-only-trip :). We'd really love to see the mountains, so that's why it's important for me to be able to tell the budget. – Szamanm Mar 21 '15 at 17:08
  • @GayotFow Add your answer too? Szamanm is probably not the only person interested in traveling through Scotland.... – mattdm Mar 21 '15 at 21:13
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    @mattdm, in that case, check out Scotrail scotrail.co.uk/freedom-of-scotland-travelpass which includes the Argyll ferries :) – Gayot Fow Mar 22 '15 at 17:35
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Coaches

The Visit Scotland webpage on coaches carries plenty of information on the topic, including:

Coach operators

Most of the inter-city and longer-distance coach services around Scotland are provided by Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach, Megabus and National Express offering most of the inter-city and longer-distance coach services around Scotland, including a connecting service between the country’s two biggest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Tickets for these services can be bought in advance by phone, online, in stations and often on board.

For busy routes and travel at peak times, such as weekends or national holidays, it's a good idea to book as early as possible to guarantee a seat.

It's worthy to note that there exist various discount cards for coaches, namely the Explorer Pass from City Link and the Megarider tickets from Stagecoach. Quoting from the aforementioned Visit Scotland page:

Discount fare options

If you plan to do a lot of travelling by coach, it may be worth buying an Explorer Pass, which offers unlimited travel on Scottish Citylink network or the megarider tickets offered by Stagecoach, which provide unlimited travel within certain areas. 

Car Sharing

Car sharing is obviously an option too. Blablacar for example operates in the UK. You might want to check it out.

Trains

Train tickets are generally expensive in the UK, unless you have a discount card. I don't know of your age group qualifies for one, but Youth Railway Cards allow for many interesting discounts. Shouldn't you fit the age group, despair not. As starplusplus usefully mentions, the Two Together railway card allows discounted fares for two people traveling together. Seems to fit your case perfectly. Ticket prices may vary a lot depending on the departure time. For some lines, there are multiple train companies offering various times and prices.

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    There's also the "Two Together" railcard, for which the only restriction is that you have to both be travelling, well, together. – starsplusplus Mar 21 '15 at 13:54
  • Thanks for the anwser! From what I can see, the Blablacar isn't very popular yet, same as carpooling.co.uk, but that yes, that Two Together railway card sounds awesome, thanks, I would've never thought about that :). – Szamanm Mar 21 '15 at 17:16
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    Note Megabus can be very cheap if booked in advance. eg its possible to get a ticket from Edinburgh to Inverness for £1 (plus 50p booking fee). The cheapest tickets are limited in numbers, so best to book a few weeks in advance if possible. – vclaw Mar 22 '15 at 1:09
  • @vclaw Are these offers advertised? Are they regularly available? Do you have to be on constant lookout? – JoErNanO Mar 22 '15 at 1:29
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    Just go to the Megabus website, and search for the journey and date you are interested in. That will list all of the available trips, with prices. Prices can vary, depending on how popular a route and time is. You might have to check a few different dates to find really cheap tickets. – vclaw Mar 23 '15 at 1:14

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