How to save money traveling with Greyhound — and enjoy it, too
By Aimee Heckel
Traveling by bus is inexpensive, eco-friendly and you don’t have to take off your shoes and belt to get groped before you depart.
There are many reasons to travel via Greyhound — especially if you’re on a budget or just looking for a new adventure.
But navigating the Greyhound scene can be a bit, well, grey, especially if you’re a newbie.
Here are some tips and tricks for taking the big grey bus.
1. Getting tickets.
You don’t have to reserve tickets in advance. You can just show up 20 minutes in advance and buy them on the spot. You can buy advance tickets online or on the phone, too.
2. Save money.
- Book early and book online. Greyhound.com offers discounts for both.
- Only pack one bag. Each additional bag costs $15.
- Check the Deals and Discounts link on Greyhound’s website. For example, right now, Greyhound is offering a trip from Philadelphia to Atlantic City for only $15.
- Students and veterans save 20 percent on fares, so make sure you bring an ID. Seniors, children and military personnel also receive a discount.
- Check ShopAtHome.com for Greyhound coupons, such as $49 one-way rates or get 10 percent off standard fares.
- Consider traveling in a group. Greyhound is currently running a special: Buy one ticket and get 50 percent off up to two additional fares.
- If you plan on using Greyhound more frequently, sign up for Road Rewards. You can get 10 percent off your next ticket purchase just by signing up.
3. Get good seats. Seats are first come, first served, so be early. Sign up for priority boarding for only $5 more.
4. Be prepared and comfortable.
But not over-prepared. It’s better to pack a smaller bag so you can maneuver easily. You can check one bag per rider. In addition:
- Bring some entertainment for the trip, such as an iPad loaded with movies and games.
- Also bring a small blanket and/or pillow, if you plan on trying to sleep.
- Pack healthy snacks and water — but don’t drink too much. The bus does have a bathroom, but it’s not known for its exquisite beauty and cleanliness. Best to wait until a rest stop, if possible. Pack hand sanitizer, just in case. Oh, and you can’t pack alcohol, so don’t try.
- Bring an extra battery pack for your electronics, because the buses do not have outlets.
- GoGirlGuides also recommends packing baby wipes and leaving your expensive jewelry at home.
- Gadling.com recommends bringing a neck pillow and socks.
- Greyhound rolls 24 hours a day, so pick the right time for you. That might be an overnight trip, if you can sleep in a public bus.
- In addition, Greyhound buses have air conditioning, so if you get cold easily, dress in layers.
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