5 Reasons to Travel by Bus in the USA

Many budget travellers are not very enthusiastic about visiting the US after exploring common backpacking routes of Asia or South America. South-East Asia, for example, does not only offer breath-taking sceneries with laid-back attitude of locals, but also extremely low prices of accommodation, food and transportation. Nevertheless, there are many unbelievably beautiful places in the US, and ways to make your trips around the US more fun and very affordable. There are even a few places where you can stay for less than $25 a day that we’ve already covered on Etramping:

One of these ways is to cut down on your transportation costs by discovering hidden gems of American’s regions by …. BUS.

SONY DSC
Buses have been definitely our favourite mean of transport when travelling. In the picture: Cez getting on the bus in India.

Believe us or not, exploring the US by bus is one of the awesome things that everyone should do at least once in a lifetime. It’s a different experience that you can’t compare to taking the plane or fast trains. It’s not only a greener and more flexible way to explore this marvellous country, but definitely one of the cheapest ways to stay on the road longer. If we have not convinced you yet, how about these top 5 reasons why you should be traveling in the US by bus, forgetting the convenience of taking a plane!

1: Cost effectiveness 

Taking the bus in the US is definitely less expensive than driving, taking the train or flying. You can easily make savings on the fuel. Bus tickets are at least 40% cheaper than both the train and plane, so it makes a huge difference in prices if you are planning to stay in different parts of the country for at least a month. In this way you will be left with plenty of leftover cash to be spend on sightseeing, food or maybe souvenirs for your loved ones.

SONY DSC
Sit down and chill!

Before you plan your bus trip, make sure that you know what your options are. Go online, search for different bus providers and double check bus booking sites, in order to compare prices. Many providers do discounts and ticket promotions, including last minute booking lotteries.

2: Comfort

What me and Cez hate about travelling by plane is getting to the airport at least 2-3 hours beforehand, waiting in line and worrying about our luggage being too heavy. You don’t have these problems with buses. You arrive at the bus station 5-20 minutes beforehand, have your ticket checked and here you are ready to departure. No extra security checks, nor extra luggage control.

SONY DSC
Indian buses are definitely less comfortable than the US ones.

Moreover, the majority of bus providers in the US provide their passengers with high standard services such as Wi-Fi available onboard, extra legroom, free meals and drinks, TV screens and even leather seats.

3: The view 

Nothing can beat the view of mountainous panoramas, city lights and breath-taking lakes of America you can see when snagging a window seat on a bus. The view you can admire is definitely one of the most exciting things everyone looks forward to when getting on a bus in the US. Some bus routes pass by hidden gems of America that you would never have a chance to see when taking a plane or a train.

SONY DSC
Bus selfie!

4: Accessibility

These days, not only technology advances many bus providers across the US. Flexibility and accessibility take over when it comes to bus transportation. Firstly, here are plenty of different picking and dropping points so there is no way you will not get where you want to, even if it’s a hidden countryside spot or tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. Secondly, tickets are also very easy to access through online booking – two mouse clicks and your ticket is purchased with no extra hassle.

Desktop80

5: Eco-friendliness

Did you know that buses can use up to 60% less energy than other means of transportation? Did you know that one regular bus can replace at least 30 cars? Yes, these are the facts that show how eco-friendly buses are. Thus, choosing a bus as your main mean of transport in the US shows that you are not an ec0-ignorant and you do care about this planet a lot.

And you … do what would be your favourite mean of transportation when visiting the US?

Get insured

"It will never happen to me" said every person before it happened to them. Accidents happen at home and abroad. The difference is that they are usually more costly when you're in a foreign country. That's why travelling without insurance is a bad idea. There's just no excuse to put yourself in such a risk.

>>voice from the crowd<< Travel insurance is too expensive!

>>voice of the common sense<< If you can't afford travel insurance then you can't afford to travel.

Don't take chances and get yourself insured now. Check out our budget travel insurance page.

Tags from the story
, ,
More from Agness Walewinder

How To Prepare For Long-Term Travel

"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail"; a slightly irritating phrase, most likely...
Read More

35 Comments

  • I literally just left the USA for South America. I took the Megabus from Washington DC to NYC, and it was surprisingly comfortable and quick, AND it had wifi, which is first for me,

  • I’m so excited right now! You need to come to Maine :D just my opinion. I don’t know where you’re going but Megabus is probably the best option. Those tickets start out at $1 a person. The most “expensive” ones I’ve seen are $7 a person but there could be ones more than that. Greyhound has been going downhill in recent years. More expensive tickets and less leg room. Concord Coach Lines run through New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) but they’re more expensive than Megabus.
    I probably don’t have to tell you this, but I want to tell you anyway! :) Be careful around bus stations. Unlike airports where everyone has a ticket to go somewhere and there is security everywhere anyone can walk in there. Freaky people like to hang out around those places no matter where you are in the country.
    The only downside about Megabus is that they only do short stints. If you wanted to take a bus from Washington D.C. to Miami for example, you’d probably have to switch buses in Richmond, Virginia, and then again in South Carolina and again in Georgia or so.
    I had no idea buses were 60% more fuel efficient. I guess it’s true depending on the number of passengers. Have fun in the USA! By the way, Americans usually just call it America (to the dismay of South Americans). :)

    • Some very good points about safety! Cheap stuff in the US invites troubled people, although that’s the type of image Megabus is trying to change about buses after Greyhound’s image declined. But if you’ve got time, and have a flexible schedule buses are a wonderful way to see the country.

      Another way that can be super-cheap is discount airlines like Frontier and Spirit. You can fly as cheap as $35 round trip if you plan it right.

  • Thanks for sharing this! My boyfriend and I are heading to the US later this year for a wedding and want to explore the country but on a limited budget. Good to know the bus is an option for this! Are the journeys you’ve been on pretty long?

    • Great to hear that, Helen. Buses are a great option if you are planning to be on the road for longer than 7 days.

  • taking the greyhound bus is great fun in the States. I actually think the best thing about travelling by bus in the States is that you can cover a lot more of the country – it’s a very comprehensive network. Train would be my preferred option because I adore train travel, however the network is very limited in the USA, covering only a small fraction of destinations that the bus reaches.

  • When we got married (decades ago), my wife and I bused from Angola, Indiana to LA. Most of it down the original Route 66. She got to see almost the whole country and all it’s variances. I still prefer bus or train to flying, especially on shorter hauls.

  • I absolutely love travelling by bus through Europe, and travelling by train too! ‘Remember when I took the bus from Estonia to Germany lasting 26 hours! I’v even taken the bus from Germany to England and back again, just for fun! That was crazy!

    I’ve been to the US and have used Megabus in the UK but I’m not sure that I would use the bus in America as I like the opportunity to go wild on a long American road lol! Having said that, I don’t drive so it would be up to my husband on whether we would take the bus, take the train, rent a car, or walk lol!

  • My favorite method of travel is by train but I haven’t traveled as much by train over the U.S. as I would have liked – I find Amtrak a bit expensive. But I do like long distance journeys by bus. I should do more of that.

  • You are right about the view and the ability to relax. My wife and I am from the United States, and even we used the buses to go road tripping. Yes, you could use a car, but like you said, a bus saves you a lot of money and prevents you from getting lost. US buses are very comfortable too! In some places you can buy an all day pass and travel on that line essentially anywhere you want!

  • I know the summer is almost over, but my husband and I want to try and squeeze in one last trip. I never would have thought to travel by bus, but I actually love the idea. That way, we could EASILY travel with a bunch of friends. I love your tip about getting insured. I’ll definitely make sure to do that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *