Earlier this year in March, I had the opportunity to finally test ride a travel service I’ve been wanting to use for some time.

My friend Jimmy and I reunited for a second trip together for a conference. He’s one of my favorite traveling coworkers—he knows how much time is too much and is more than willing to break off for individual activities and locale exploration.

When Jimmy confirmed his plans to attend the event, I jumped on the chance to rope him into my antics.   After hearing me out, he willingly joined my circus.

Vonlane, a luxury motorcoach service, is one of the most convenient, relaxing, and fun ways to travel between major cities across Texas. With a convenient pick-up point in Dallas, near Luv field, the HQ of Southwest airlines, this luxury travel coach is on time, every time, for less than the cost of round-trip airfare.

Routes in Texas travel between Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Riders can choose one-way or round-trip. Travelers can leave their personal vehicles securely parked in the designated pick-up location, just like one would at the airport.

We arrived at the Doubletree Hotel, our pickup point near the airport, where we were greeted by the porter who checked us in and helped us store our luggage in the compartment beneath the coach. No overhead storage wars on this journey! We found our assigned seats, which were equipped with curved leather headsets, padded leg and footrests, and full-sized laptop (and snack) friendly tray table.

The snacks flowed freely on our ride, and I’m not talking about vacuum-packed peanuts and half a can of bubbly. I mean several passes of full-fledged cookies, crackers, chips, and candy with plenty of refills to wash it all down. This was on top of the real food meals we were served midpoint on our trip.

Of course, TV and WiFi (free) were also included. Prior to settling in for our lunch, cozy blankets and warm, moist towels were distributed to passengers, just like they are in major airline first-class seating.  Did I mention this smattering of pampering goodness is available for less than a coach-class ticket on an airplane? Oh, sorry, just rubbing it in a bit.

But why would I suggest taking a four-hour road trip that can be covered in a 50-minute flight? I’m not a physicist, but I’ll try to do the complicated math:

  • 30-45 minutes to airport
  • 10 minutes to park / find parking at airport
  • 10-minute walk to terminal / check bags
  • 20-30 minutes for security shakedown
  • 30-minute wait time to board
  • 15 minutes to board (not including the time you take to find an overhead compartment—good luck with that)
  • 90 minutes on the plane (taxi, holding pattern, you name it)
  • 10-20 minutes to deplane
  • ?? to retrieve your luggage (oh…you had luggage???)

OK the math just got way too much for me to compute, but the gist is this—Vonlane picks you up and drops you off at convenient brand-name hotels with transportation nearby and your luggage goes where you go—no surprises.

During our luxurious day, Jimmy and I got a chance to catch up, read, and watch the beautiful scenery pass by—many things we both said we don’t often see as vehicle drivers. There was no stress, anxiety, or dread of delayed flights, long lines, or the feeling of being rushed on and off a plane.

Vonlane is expanding its service outside of the Texas state borders, and hopefully will have numerous connections across state lines. While it’s not the long-awaited bullet train we anticipate in The Lone Star state, it’s significantly a cut above your grandfather’s commercial bus service of yesterday (I am a dog lover, but the canine cruiser is a bucket list item I decided need not be repeated!).

If you’re looking for a different and unique way to travel across the great state of Texas, give Vonlane a try. You’ll be comfortable, relaxed, and if I’m honest, snacked-up in style.

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