If you are planning your first Greyhound bus trip then you probably have lots of questions. One of the reasons I started this blog and my GreyhoundGURU Youtube channnel was to help answer some of these questions so people won’t have to be as nervous as I was on my first Greyhound adventure.
Today I want to take some time and talk to the folks who have never been on the Greyhound bus before and have no idea what to expect. First off, let me put your mind at ease – it’s not as bad as everyone says. Yes, things can go wrong on Greyhound but you are not going to get beheaded and eaten by cannibals.
Hopefully, just that statement alone has alleviated some of your fears. Now to further help you out I am going to list 10 tips for first time Greyhound travelers that should make you trip a little easier and less hectic.
1. Book Your Ticket Early – Greyhound offers some serious discounts if you buy your ticket 2 or more weeks in advance. I routinely save up to 50% off my tickets by buying them in advance.
2. Book Your Ticket Online – Greyhound offers some great discounts to try and entice people to use their website and their mobile app. I personally think it’s easier to book online and it saves you money too so its a win, win.
3. Get To The Station 45 mins to 1 Hour Early – Some people think I’m crazy for this one but I’ve seen what the lines can look like at some Greyhound stations.Get to the station early enough that you will be able to get your ticket printed (if need be), get your bags checked, and find out where the boarding line for your bus will be forming. I see people all the time almost miss their buses because they got to the station just minutes before their bus was scheduled to leave.
4. Make Sure Your Checked Bag(s) Weigh 50lbs or Less – If your checked bags weighs over 50lbs Greyhound will charge you extra to put it under the bus. Chances are you are riding Greyhound because it’s cheap, so paying extra baggage fees would kind of defeat the purpose.
5. Sit Near the Front of the Bus – For some strange reason everybody gets on the bus and heads straight to the back. I can’t explain this but it happens on every bus I get on. Don’t be like everyone else, take a seat as close to the front as you can. Sitting near the front allows you to get off the bus first, you usually have a better chance of sitting by yourself, and if you have any problems during your trip you are close enough to the driver to ask for help.
6. Listen To Drivers Instructions at Breaks – From time to time the bus will stop for food, bathroom, and smoke breaks. The driver will tell you how much time you have for the break and when to be back on the bus. LISTEN TO HIS/HER INSTRUCTIONS! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen left behind because they didn’t get back to the bus on time. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere at a Mcdonalds for 8 hours while you wait for the next bus to come through.
7. Watch Your Luggage Closely at the Stations – When you are at the Greyhound bus station make sure you keep all your luggage with you at all times. You will notice rather quickly that there are people who hang around Greyhound stations who never get on a bus. Some of these people are scoping out passengers and bags. All it takes is a few seconds and they can grab your bag and be out the door. So keep an eye on your bags even when they are right next to you.
8. Use Greyhound Bus Bathrooms Only When Absolutely Necessary – The bathrooms on a Greyhound bus can get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. Do yourself a favor and use the bathroom at the stations or during food breaks (your best bet). In an emergency the bus bathroom is better then nothing but just keep in mind that you might not like what you see and smell when you first open the door.
9. Some Greyhound Employees Are Very Helpful, Some Are Not – I’ve had some really great experiences with the staff at Greyhound, and then I’ve had some not so great experiences. If you have questions and you ask a employee who isn’t very helpful (or maybe even downright rude) don’t take it personal. Walk away and find another employee and ask them. Eventually, you should be able to find someone to answer your question.
10. Bus Departure and Arrival Times are Subject to Change – Just because your ticket says your bus will leave at 10:30 a.m. doesn’t mean it will. Greyhound buses are notorious for being a little late and in some cases a lot late. Once you realize that being behind schedule is just a part of traveling on Greyhound it becomes a lot easier to deal with.
Sometimes you will arrive at your destination right on time or a little early. Other times you will arrive later than scheduled. Don’t wig out, you’ll get there eventually. Just maybe not at the time you expected.
Have more questions about the Greyhound bus? Visit my Got Questions page and use the email form to send me any questions or concerns you may have. I will try to answer and address them ASAP.