10 Travel Essentials for Greyhound Bus Trips
In the past few years I’ve taken a number of cross country Greyhound bus trips that have lasted for days at a time.
But I still remember how totally unprepared I was when I took my first trip.
I didn’t know what to expect while traveling on Greyhound and I had no clue as to what travel essentials I should take with me to make my trip easier.
These days I'm a little Greyhound rider. And I've learned a few tricks about traveling on buses, that I share with others via my GreyhoundGuru Youtube channel. On this channel I post videos and answer viewer questions about all things Greyhound.
One of the first questions I'm frequently asked involves what items to bring when going on a long Greyhound bus trip. Over the past few years I have come up with a list of what I think are some items that can definitely make a difference when travelling on Greyhound. Below are listed 10 of these items.
If you are going to be taking a long trip on Greyhound I highly recommend you take a backpack along as your carry on bag.
Backpacks are a lot easier to get in and out of and they fit more easily under your seat or in the overhead bin than most suitcases.
It’s also a lot easier to put on a backpack and walk around with it while the bus is stopped for restroom and food breaks. People with carry on suitcases usually leave them on the bus at breaks which is a habit I'm totally against. If you aren't on the bus, your bag shouldn't be either. Travelling with a backpack makes following this advice much easier.
I recommend getting an inexpensive yet quality backpack that you will be able to use even after your trip is over.
2. Suitcase with Wheels
If you are going to take a checked bag with you then I recommend buying a suitcase with wheels.
This will save you all kinds of time as you are making your way through Greyhound bus stations along your trip. It will also save you from having to constantly lift a heavy suitcase every time you switch buses at transfer points.
Additionally, boarding lines for Greyhound buses can move slowly at times and it’s much easier to wheel your bag along than it is to drag or lift it every time the line inches up a few feet.
Shop around and find a quality suitcase that will hold up to the rigors of Greyhound travel and that can withstand hours of being jostled about in the luggage compartment under the bus.
3. Water Bottle
You will get thirsty on the bus sooner or later and you might still be a few hours away from your next scheduled stop.
Bringing a water bottle along with you and filling it up with water, soda, or juice will ensure that you stay hydrated throughout your journey.
Note: Don’t try to bring liquor, beer, or wine on the bus in your water bottle. You can be kicked off the bus for having alcoholic beverages with you and you don't want to end up on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the next bus.
4. Phone Charger
Your cell phone will probably be one of the most important things you bring with you on your trip so you want to make sure that you keep it charged.
There are centrally located outlets on the back of the seats on newer Greyhound buses so it’s easy to plug in your phone, laptop, tablet or any other electronics you may have.
I recommend buying a cheap backup phone charger and using that on your trip because it is easy to lose a phone charger while travelling and you don’t want to lose you primary charger. You can find some pretty inexpensive chargers on sites like Amazon.com
5. Luggage Locks
These are more for piece of mind than anything else. For the majority of your trip your luggage will never leave your sight unless it is under the bus.
But on the off chance that you do have a situation where your luggage is moved for you to another bus or has to be stored somewhere during a transfer having locks on the zippers of your luggage ensures that no one can open your suitcase and rifle through your possessions.
I sometimes even put locks on the zippers of my carry on backpack just to be safe. I know that it discourages pickpockets or thieves from trying to get into my bag while it’s on my back or while I’m distracted. You can purchase a good set of luggage locks for under $20.00.
6. Travel Pillow & Blanket
If you are taking a long Greyhound trip then there will be times when you will want to sleep on the bus. Having a travel pillow with you can make sleeping easier and more comfortable.
A nice travel blanket can keep you warm when you are on a bus that is colder than you would like.
Some people also find that taking along a sleep mask and ear plugs helps them to relax and fall asleep while traveling.
7. Travel Money Belt
You’ve probably heard all kinds of horror stories about how dangerous Greyhound is and how you are probably going to get held up and robbed on your trip.
Let me just first off put your mind at ease and tell you that the chances of you getting robbed while riding Greyhound are very slim.
Thousands of people use Greyhound to travel everyday and almost all of them make it to their destination with nothing bad happening.
That being said, it’s never a bad idea to take some precautions. Hiding some of your valuables like extra cash, passports, jewelry, etc inside a money belt is a great way to ensure that, on the off chance you do run into trouble, thieves won’t be able to take anything of real value from you.
You can find a variety of different money belts on Amazon for under $20.00.
Greyhound tries to schedule food and restroom breaks every 2 to 3 hours on most bus route. There will be times, however, when you get hungry between these breaks.
Bringing along an assortment of snacks will keep your stomach happy until your next break.
Bringing along your own snacks will also keep you from spending lots of money on food at greyhound bus station cafes and vending machines. These typically have higher prices than normal restaurants or vending machines and they can deplete your travel stash quickly.
I recommend going to Wal-Mart or a dollar store and buying a bunch of cheap crackers, chips, trail mix, etc. You can stuff a large quantity of these snacks in your carry on that can last you your whole trip.
9. Wet Wipes
You are going to want to stay clean and smelling fresh on your bus trip. And since there are no showers on Greyhound buses or at the stations, the best way to clean up on a long trip is with Wet Wipes or some other brand of antibacterial wipes. These wipes work great because not only can you use them to clean yourself but you can also use then to clean any dirty surfaces you encounter along your trip.
For example, you may end up having to sit in a seat on the bus that may have an unknown substance spilled all over it. If it’s the last seat on the bus and the bus isn’t scheduled for a cleaning for another 3 hours, trust me, you’ll be overjoyed that you spent that $2.97 for that pack of wipes.
10. Something To Pass The Time
Anytime you are forced to spend long hours in one confined space things can get very boring.
Especially if all you have to do is sit around and think about how many more miles and hours you have left on your trip. You need something to take your mind off of the monotony.
Cellphones and tablets are great because you can use them to listen to music, stream videos, play games, etc.
I personally allows travel with my Kindle Fire. Before my trip I download a ton of shows to it via Amazon Prime and I watch them all throughout my trip.
I like using my Kindle better than my phone because if something were to happen and I were to lose it or someone was to steal it there's nothing sensitive on my Kindle (unlike my phone) and I could get another one for as little as $49.00.
Some people like bringing along books, magazines, crossword puzzles, sudoku books, etc. to pass the time. The key is to figure out what will work for you and bring it on the bus to keep you entertained and occupied. Trust me you don’t want to have to deal with the alternative.
Hopefully by travelling with some or all of the items listed above you will be able to arrive at the your final destination safe, well rested, well fed, hydrated, and happy you decided to go Greyhound.
Want More Greyhound Tips?
- Check out the GreyhoundGURU on YouTube
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