If you're traveling between San Francisco and Los Angeles, perhaps the least expensive and most comfortable option is in the back of a bus.
Since late April, a chartered bus service between the two cities has been bringing people back and forth for just $48 a ride, and the concept is simple: Get in, grab a bunk, and pass out. You fall asleep in one city and wake up in the next.
"It would basically be like you teleported to L.A.," Tom Currier, the founder and CEO of SleepBus, told Inc. Magazine.
It's an interesting way of connecting the two technology hubs in an era of Hyperloop test tracks and costly memberships with the so-called "Uber for private jets." And for the budget-conscious traveler, it makes a lot of sense.
While technically not a "bus" — the passenger area is a trailer connected to a commercial truck — it can carry a dozen people, and each passenger has their own bed with privacy screen and fresh sheets, power outlets, reading light, and wireless internet. There's also a bathroom, just in case.
The bus takes off from either city at 11pm sharp, and it drives through the night to the destination, which is usually reached around 5 or 6am. Despite the early arrival, passengers can sleep in until 9.
"I was traveling on business and had an evening event, but needed to be back in LA in the morning. I could have gotten a hotel and a early morning flight, but SleepBus took care of both needs," reads one review of the service on Yelp, where it currently has 4.5 stars.
On its site, the company says the response has so far been incredible; so much in fact, that it's stopped taking new reservations as it tries to get more buses online. The price is also expected to go up to $65 for a one way fare, once it restarts around Aug. 15.
But even that is cheaper than a budget flight, and this mode of travel is already here as we (impatiently) wait for high-speed rail.