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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!

GreyHound Bus

Greyhound Buses are a familiar sight. Here the driver gives a friendly wave.

Greyhound Buses are a familiar sight. Here the driver gives a friendly wave.

Carry On Bags -- Amazon

Tips for a Better Bus Trip

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on February 09, 2011:

Hey, Rob, that's great to hear. I agree with you ... it is an adventure, and that's the appeal. Good for you for stocking up. The food is so expensive, and often very fattening. Take care!

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Rob14 on February 07, 2011:

great info there .... ive rode the greyhound 3 times this year and so far so good fla to nc and back lots of characters along the way and the food at the bus stops is expensive i definitely stock up before i ride greyhound... love the bus though gret adevnture!!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 30, 2010:

Tammy L, that's neat that your father-in-law was a bus driver. I am sure they meet a lot of interesting people! Yes, sometimes riding the bus makes way more sense than anything else. Take care.

Tammy L from Jacksonville, Texas on November 28, 2010:

I've been on a bus twice this past year. Each time was for the same reason: went out of town to pick up a new car. It made more sense for us to take one-way trips to pick up the new cars and drive the new cars back home instead of driving together in one car and each driving back in a separate car. My father-in-law was a bus driver. He had his usual route and drove charters as well. He drove for Texas Bus Lines which was bought out by Greyhound.

Reading this reminded me of a funny story he once told. I'll have to write a hub about some of his stories.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on November 07, 2010:

Thank you, Tlpoague!

Tammy on November 06, 2010:

Great hub! Very informative, thanks!

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