The survival guide for traveling via bus
By Aimee Heckel
Short of pedaling cross-country on a bike you already own, it’s hard to find a cheaper way to travel than via bus.
But there are the intangible costs. You can’t stop whenever you want. Your destinations may be limited. There’s no privacy.
If you’re looking to save big bucks traveling this holiday season and you’re considering taking the bus, make sure you heed these survival tips:
1. Comparison shop. Visit BusJunction.com to see thousands of routes, prices and options. The Washington Post calls this website “one-stop bus shopping.” Compare the full picture, too; not just the route. Some buses have power outlets, reclining chairs and wifi.
2. Consider safety. Know the company’s reputation. Some quick research online will likely inform you about the drivers’ training. If you’re traveling with a large group, consider chartering a bus that is safety-certified through the U.S. Department of Defense, like Trailways.
3. Plan ahead. Cheap tickets sell quickly. You can typically score a much better deal if you book far in advance.
4. Don’t waste money. Look for deals and discounts. Many bus companies offer discounted tickets for military, students, kids, seniors and AAA members. Check online coupons, like this collection of travel coupons. Pair them with Cash Back to save even more.
5. Pack light. This means your luggage, too. You can filter luggage at Kohls.com by “lightweight” and check out the selection. Pay attention to the many online-only deals, like this expandable American Tourister bag, $239.99, which weighs only 9 pounds but boasts plenty of packing space.
Save money on Kohl’s purchases with coupons, too. This helpful link offers more than 130 Kohl’s coupons, plus an automatic 3.5 percent Cash Back if you buy through ShopAtHome.com.
6. Arrive early so you can get the best seats. Sit by a power outlet. Avoid seats near the bathroom. Look for a seat with extra leg room. Sometimes this may be the seats in the front. But be careful of front seats if you get nauseous. Before committing, make sure your seat reclines.
7. Pack entertainment and snacks. Bring headphones, but keep the volume at a reasonable level. Pack healthy snacks, but nothing that has an overly dominant odor or that crunches especially loud. Instead of crunchy carrots with strong garlic hummus, consider packing dehydrated fruit and a baggie of broccoli.
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