How to Have a Good Travel Experience on a Greyhound Bus
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." ~St. Augustine
Greyhound Bus Travel is Easy and Accessible
Of all the forms of travel out there, riding a Greyhound Bus is probably the easiest to access, and the cheapest to buy. Unlike flying on an airplane. you don't have to make reservations or buy tickets ahead of time. Unlike driving your car, you don't have to check for gas and oil, and worry about staying awake during the drive. No, on a Greyhound, it's pretty much as basic as showing up, and getting on.
Because Greyhound Buses are so cheap, they are often the only option for a good segment of the population. Depending on the length of your trip, a Greyhound ride can be pretty long, and it can definitely be an adventure. Here are some easy tips for making your bus travel more enjoyable. So grab a schedule, a suitcase and get ready to rock that bus!
More on GreyHound Travel
Tips for a Better Bus Trip
- Sit Together: If you are travelling with another person, always ensure that you will be able to sit together. There are two ways that you can make this happen.
The most reliable one is to purchase preferred seating. These must be purchased at least an hour ahead of time, and are a minimal cost. (Check your local station to verify times and fees.)
The other option is to show up early to the terminal and be one of the first in line. This will ensure that you can get seats together, before they start to fill up.
If you're running behind and don't get there early enough, you can always give a cute smile to someone that looks nice, and ask if they would be willing to move, so that you and your travelling partner could sit together.
- Pack a Good Carry-on Bag: Your luggage will be below the bus for the duration of the trip, so remember to carry what you need for the trip with you on your carry-on bag. Take some things for entertainment. Magazines and books are good, and it's good to have more than one, to give yourself some variety.
If you are electronically savvy, feel free to take your device of choice, whether Ipod, Ipad, or DVD player.
Snacks are also a good idea, because you can get sick of the unusually unhealthy snacks offered along the way. Some good ideas are crackers, granola bars, nuts, or cut up vegetable and fruits.
Also, pack some basic grooming supplies if you are going for more than three hours: toothbrush, hairbrush, washcloth and soap or cleanser. As well, if going overnight, an extra change of clothes can work wonders for feeling a bit more fresh.
- Refresh at Rest Stops. Taking a Greyhound is not for the faint-of-heart, or sorry to say, the prissy! There's something about being cooped up in a tiny space with no ventilation, with about 60 other humans beings, that can make the experience a bit funky.
Therefore, use your rest stops to your best advantage. Always get out for these, because it's usually a couple hours to next one. Stretch your legs, go to the washroom, get a drink. You definitely don't want to be stuck using the Greyhound washroom, believe me!
- Enjoy the Down Time. For most of us busy individuals, there aren't that many opportunities to just sit and do nothing. Enjoy it for what it is! A time to write, just look out the window, or speculate about those around you, and it's guilt-free.
You can try some of those Sudokus you've been saving up, or those magazines that have been sitting in your magazine rack for the last three months.
You can use it for reflection, to write in a journal, or just daydream. Many times when we travel, we are in a state of transition. Use this time on the bus to ponder on where you are going, and where you are coming from.
- Socialize. Riding a bus is a great way to get to know someone new. It's interesting to find out why people are riding the bus: from a student going home to her parents, to a Mom visiting her soldier son located at a far-flung military base: there's all kinds of people riding the Greyhound.
Enjoy the variety, and make some friendly conversation. Sometimes travel conversations are the best. You know you'll never see them again, so you can open up in a different way than you would in your normal day-to-day life.
So, travellng by Greyhond can be a great experience, in spite of the discomfort and long hours. Open yourself up to great memories!
I Travel For Travel's Sake
"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." -- Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Greyhound Commercial -- 1980
Bus Usage Poll
When was the last time you travelled by Greyhound, or another bus (besides city buses)?See results without voting
More by this Author
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel has always been a source of fascination to me. Join in me a learning journey about the hotel: what it's like now, and the history and background.
Advice for striking up a conversation with people that you travel with, on buses or airplanes.
This article give ten mistakes that people make when dealing with a workplace bully, based on the author's own experiences. She shares the mistakes she made, with the hope of helping others not to do the same.