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Photo: Photo: USAToday.com

Traveling by bus is another popular and affordable way to get around. Buses generally offer free Wi-Fi access, comfortable seating, onboard restrooms and reclining seats with headrests for trips between major and smaller cities. The bus companies connect major cities with smaller towns and virtually run around the clock, giving you the option of enjoying the daytime views or relaxing during a nighttime trip. You can bring your own food and beverage onboard. You can usually save money by purchasing your tickets in advance, according to Visittheusa, Aglobewelltravelled expressed.

Benefits of bus travel

  • Free WiFi – This is always my biggest selling point as I take my laptop on long journeys to get work done or edit my photos.
  • Stations are in the city centre – I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate having to make my way to airports!
  • No airport stress – Bus travel means no security lines, no bag drop lines, and no having to arrive 2 hours before you leave.
  • It’s often faster than trains – If you compare trains and buses, and you’ll often find they take less time or a similar amount of time to get you from A to B.
  • It’s the cheapest option – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bus that’s more expensive than a train or flight.
  • They can be booked last minute – You know how flights have that annoying tendency to get stupidly expensive at the last minute? This doesn’t happen with buses!
  • It’s better for the environment than travelling by car or air.
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Photo: Geyhound.com

Travel by Greyhound Bus in the USA

Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) is the major long-distance bus company, with routes throughout the USA and Canada. With a large selection of destinations and an attractive range of ticketing options, Greyhound is an excellent choice for the backpacker looking to cover a large distance on a budget, which is clarified in The-backpacking-site.

Greyhound Bus Comfort

Greyhound buses are well-equipped with all the usual modern conveniences that you come to expect when traveling in the States. Buses have climate control, so you don’t have to worry about keeping cool while you are traveling around. Furthermore, buses are equipped with restrooms, reclining seats, and tinted windows. You will find that on popular routes, buses are even equipped with tv/video equipment.

Flexible Fares

Greyhound offers an impressive range of different fare and discount options, including discounts for children, students, the elderly, and military personnel. For the backpacker, however, the most useful choice is the discovery pass. This ticket allows unlimited travel within a set period of time, which can range from 4 days up to 60. The Greyhound discovery pass includes unlimited stopovers and really gives you endless options for traveling. While you are traveling on Greyhound buses, you will undoubtedly meet and talk to people. With a discovery pass, you can make detours on your trip should any of your new-found traveling companions come up with a place to visit that interests you.

Greyhound Food Services

Greyhound operates its own cafeterias and gift shops at many stop-off points, and food is typical American fast food. Expect to choose from items like Pizza, Burgers, Chicken, and sandwiches. As can be expected at these locations where Greyhound has a “captive audience,” prices are slightly above average rates, but using these facilities is the easiest way to get a quick bite to eat while traveling.

Greyhound Bus Food Policy

Per Greyhound’s food policy, you will want to stock up for your trip. You can bring food and drink on the Greyhound bus with you. Remember, certain drinks and foods lend themselves better for travel. If you are traveling for an extended time, you may not want food that needs to be refrigerate. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on Greyhound buses.

Drawbacks to Greyhound Bus

Many Americans complain that Greyhound is slow compared to traveling by train or plane, but for a backpacker who can find something to see at every major stop on the route, this isn’t really a concern.

Things to Remember While Traveling by Bus in the USA

To avoid possible hassle, travellers should take care to sit as near to the driver as possible, and to arrive during daylight hours – many bus stations are in dodgy areas. In many smaller places, the post office or a petrol station doubles as the bus stop and ticket office. Reservations can be made in person at the station, online or on the toll-free number.

Oddly they do not guarantee a seat, so it’s wise to join the queue early – if a bus is full, you may have to wait for the next one, although Greyhound claims it will lay on an extra bus if more than ten people are left behind. Fares on shorter journeys average out at about 25¢ per mile, but for longer hauls there are plenty of savings available – check the website’s discounts page, noted by Roughguides.

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