I would strongly recommend arriving into Victoria Coach Station much earlier than I did, which at 4 minutes before my departure time did not give me enough time to buy a bottle of water let alone check in properly at the Megabus/Eurolines desk which is right round the back of the coach station at Gate 19.
The other bonus to arriving early is you will be at the front of the queue. You know it's a cheaper option so they really ram people onto those coaches, and only have two departures per day. They use the large, newer coaches for these longer European routes and getting there early enough to chose your seat could mean you might hit the coach-journey jackpot and get to sit at the front of the top deck, panoramic windows and enough leg room can't be sniffed at.
Sorry about the terrible quality of photo, I only had my camera phone with me!
The plug sockets didn't work, apparently when someone plugs in a too-high voltage item it blows all of the fuses, so my phone died the second I stepped onto the bus and I was stuck with no contact for hours. Pain in the butt.
The coach takes 3 hours to get to Calais, boards the Eurotunnel with a very small layover where they is access to a vending machine but no running water, no change machine and some rather depressingly grim toilets. Once on board the Eurotunnel there are toilets but nowhere to browse or even relax, although you can get off the bus and sit wedged between the wall of the train and the coach. I would sincerely recommend this as it gets excruciatingly hot on the coach during the crossing. Once on the other side you will find the coach sets right of again, they don't mess about! It's off to Boulongue to change drivers. There is a short layover, it's around half an hour from the Eurotunnel exit, so the smokers jump off the bus. Again, there is literally nowhere to purchase a drink and no toilets anywhere at this stop. It's literally a carpark in a deserted part of the marina.
The rest of the journey to Paris can vary depending on the time of year. It took us 4 hours to get to Porte Malliot, the coach part in the centre of Paris. The Center For Commerce blocks your initial view, but the Eiffel Tower is directly behind it around a 15 minute walk.
I would say, although it's evident at every stage that this is a budget option, I will definitely be taking the coach again. Such a long journey increases camaraderie in an enclosed space and I met some really fun fellow travellers. I would definitely recommend going round Europe in this way, I've already decided I'm going to take a trip to Barcelona at the end of the Summer, it's 24 hour journey though.
Top Five Megabus-To-Europe Tips
Arrive Early - Get the best seats!
Bring water & snacks - There are very few places to buy them!
Wear layers - It's freezing most of the time and then boiling hot in the tunnel.
Keep your passport in your carry-on, you will need it at Customs
Make sure your phone is fully charged and bring a spare battery if possible.
I would love to hear your experiences on this journey, pop a comment below.