10 Travel tips for using the bus in the USA

S.T. Alvyn By S.T. Alvyn, 17th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3szn15b-/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Tips>Planning

Fast, convenient and economical—traveling by bus is the easiest way to travel with pick up and drop off points in town and city centers. With fares starting from a $1, there is no time like now if you are flexible to take a few road trips.

Travel across the country for a $1

Traveling by bus has become competitive as fares can start at $1 plus a booking fee. Nowadays, the bus has become economical, fast and convenient, often stopping in town and city centers avoiding the need for train or airport transfers. I have booked the $1 fares before; my cheapest was a Megabus free ticket promotion where I paid a 50-cent booking fee for a ticket from Boston to New York. Here are some tips to getting the best ticket prices and what to do before and on your bus journey.

1. Sign up for loyalty rewards and email promotions. Many companies will send out promotional codes and special offers for new routes. Bolt Bus has a free scheme, which gives priority boarding to all members. Greyhound offers a 10% discount on your first ticket amongst other discounts.
2. Web fares are cheaper than buying over the counter, but are often non-refundable. However, you can exchange the ticket before 24 hours before departure for a fee. For example a web fare from New York to Boston is $11.50 and a standard fare is $37.50 for the same journey. If you want a round-trip, two singles can be cheaper. You must search each journey separately as a round-trip in the search may not show any promotional fares. The best time to look for $1 fares is six to eight weeks before departure as some companies only release tickets six weeks before departure.
3. Print out your ticket or keep a copy of your confirmation number. Some companies like Megabus and Bolt Bus allow a digital ticket, and many show their phone or tablet with the ticket. Others insist on a paper ticket, so double check and if your phone battery dies, then you need a hard copy.
4. Don’t be late. Arrive early as departure points can change and some may be hard to locate. Some operate a first come first to board system and others have been allocated groups. If you are in standby and there is room you can buy a ticket on the day, but will board after all ticketed passengers.
5. One bag in the hold and one on board. Make sure you can lift your bag as some companies have a policy where passengers must load and unload their own bags. Greyhound and Peter Pan allow another bag if there is room for a fee (about $15) and Megabus require you to buy another ticket, so if you got a $1 fare, buy another if you want to take an extra bag.
6. Rest stops. Not all will have a rest stop and those that do is usually for about 15-minutes. Don’t be late back, or better take a packed snack with you.
7. Double check on the website for any delays or changes to the drop off or pick up points and print out a map if necessary. Many are curbside stops and often change with road works or diversions after you have bought your ticket.
8. Take some headphones if you are using your laptop or listening to music. It is courteous and one of the rules. Drivers will reprimand people who do not use headphones.
9. Most buses have Wi-Fi, but it is never guaranteed. Sit near the front by the driver to get the best signal from the router. Some have power points, but again don’t rely on it, so makes sure all your phone and laptop are charged in case.
10. Take your own rubbish with you. These services have a tight turn around and to enable the companies to keep offering the competitive fares, we can help out to keep the buses running on schedule. Nothing is worse than a delay in departing because someone left a mess on the bus and it took time to clean.
Traveling has become affordable and the phenomenon of the bus is expanding across the country. The competition between the companies keeps the fares low, and is a great way to travel and be green.

Copyright © 2014 S.T.Alvyn All Rights Reserved

Tags

Bus, Coach, Dollar Fare, Greyhound, Megabus, Peter Pan, Tickets, Web Fares

Meet the author

author avatar S.T. Alvyn
New England based writer and explorer philosophizing and musing on the morals and ethics of humanity,sharing Spiritual theories and concepts. I was a beauty expert and model and write on my life then

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